Interval Running Ideas for 10k & 5K – Interval Running Plan For Beginners
Whether you are preparing for your first 5K, 10K, or building up to a PB attempt, performing the right workouts is crucial to your success over the distance.
As opposed to training for long-distance events, 5k and 10k aren’t solely about logging the miles. Training needed for a 10k requires specific workouts that help develop speed and sessions to promote recovery.
Having some basic knowledge of interval running ideas for 5k and 10k can help improve your results over the distance.
Irrespective of your background in running or goals, the goal should be to incorporate two specific workouts per week. Your current fitness then will decide the sessions between each of these workouts.
While incorporating two quality sessions into your training, it is still important to remember to split these hard sessions apart. Ideally, for most people, Tuesday and Thursday are the best days to implement these sessions. In between these days you should be focusing on recovery and nothing more.
While it might not always feel glorious, easy running after each interval session will help promote recovery, reduce soreness and provide a mental break.
Interval Running Ideas For 10k
So you’re training for your next 10k event and need some interval running ideas. Here are the most common workouts for 10k that can help you set a new personal best.
3k Running Intervals for 10k
3k intervals are one of the longest interval workouts leading up to a 10k event. These repetitions can either be performed on the flat or over undulating terrain. Either way, the session is focused around half-marathon to 10k goal race pace.
While performing 3k running intervals you should keep the surface and terrain consistent. This can help you monitor improvements each week as your fitness progresses.
Start by doing two repetitions first and build up to three. Between each effort, perform an easy 500 m jog as recovery.
400 m Intervals
To feel relaxed during your 10k it is important to include some over-speed training. Performing 15×400 m repeats are a great way to include strength and endurance into one workout.
To improve your 10k time it is crucial to include specific workouts that force you to run quicker than your predetermined 10k pace. Doing so will help to improve your leg speed, breathing, v02, and threshold.
Either perform the workout on the track or measured loop. The first five repeats should appear easy and controlled. Over the next five, you will start to feel the body go into oxygen debt. Before needing to focus on holding your running form and composure.
Make sure to have an equal amount of recovery as the duration of the effort (1:1) and do these at your goal 5k race pace.
1k Intervals for 10k
One of the most used workouts, 1k intervals are the bread and butter for all middle to long-distance events. But don’t be surprised if you find these workouts tough. They are one of the most strenuous sessions a runner performs leading up to a 10k event.
Once your closer to your event you should be able to perform each of these at your 10k goal pace.
Either take yourself to the track or measure a 1k loop and make sure you perform these on flat terrain. The goal here is to simulate the rhythm that you will need to hold over 10k.
Start by performing 5×1k and build up to 8 of them at your 10k race pace. Make sure you allow a 3:1 recovery time between each repetition to allow adequate recovery.
Tempo Runs for 10k
Often used in the build to a variety of distance events, the tempo run is a great addition to your 10k training plan.
The tempo run focuses on improving lactate threshold pace (LT pace) which is an indicator of your current fitness level. LT tells you how quickly lactic acid builds up and when it starts to inhibit your running ability.
The intensity of the tempo run should be performed at a pace when your body starts to accumulate lactate acid.
During the tempo run, it is common that your heart rate naturally increases even though you’re holding a steady pace. This means that the further you get into the tempo run, the more difficult it will feel.
To perform a tempo run, start with 15 minutes. Focus on holding between 10k and half marathon pace and perform this over flat or undulating terrain. As you get more comfortable with this workout you can increase the time to 20 minutes or even 25 minutes.
Interval Running Ideas For 5K
If you are looking for some interval running ideas for a 5k, we have included some of the most common 5k workouts below. These are all proven to have a major effect on your performance.
1k repeats for 5k Training
Just like the 10k workout, 1k repeats are beneficial to improving your 5k results as well. While they may be similar, 1k intervals for 5k training require a slightly higher intensity. Often we keep these below eight repetitions, but the recovery period is often the same.
200 m repeats
Including some over-speed interval sessions later in your 5k training plan can help you bring your speed up. 200 m repeats are a great way to increase your speed and improve your efficiency as well as technique.
Ideally, it is best to perform these on a track. Start by running these at your 800 m race pace and include 200 m easy jogging as recovery. As you become more accustomed to the workout you can increase the number of repetitions or the speed. There are a lot of variations to the 200 m workout, so adjust the workout to fit within your training cycle.
Interval Running Plan For Beginners
Once you know some interval ideas for 5k and 10k you can start putting your training plan together.
Remember, it is important to have a foundation of running behind you before you start to incorporate some of these workouts. Some of these 5k and 10k workouts are very strenuous to the body, and if you don’t have a base behind you, you may struggle with performance and injury.
Make sure to split each workout apart and allow adequate recovery between sessions. If you find you are underperforming during one of these, reduce the number of workouts to once a week. Then once you start to recover properly, re-introduce the second workout back into your plan.
If you are struggling to put together a 5k or 10k training plan, SportCoaching has a range of programs for all levels. We also provide a monthly running coaching service where you have access to our running coach 7 days a week.
No matter if it is a training plan or coaching service, all our training plans are customized to you. This means all training is designed for you and based around your lifestyle, fitness, and goals.