If you intend to run a 5K in under 20 minutes, or just over 3 miles, you should keep running regularly. However, if you do not do it currently, such goal might be too high to accomplish. So if you already run, the following tips could be helpful in improving your 5K time. With consistent improvement of your strength and endurance, you could easily realize the goal of running a 5K in under 20 minutes or 1 mile in about 7 minutes, in less than a year.
- Go for 3 to 5 miles at an easy pace twice a week. For instance, you could have your easy runs on Mondays and Wednesdays and do your harder physical fitness on Tuesday and Thursday. With the easy runs, you should not feel absolutely exhausted after such runs. During easy runs, you had better time yourself so as to keep track of your progress.
- Run a 5-mile tempo run every Tuesday. Generally speaking a tempo run is kind of fast-paced run. So, if your ran 5-mile for 50 minutes (10 minutes/mile) on Monday, you should try to do it more than 2 miles in 20 minutes. At first, you should go for an easy jog of warm- up for 15 minutes, then increase your pace faster than previously for 20 minutes, finally slow down to your easy jog again to cool yourself down for 15 minutes . By doing so, your body’s lactate threshold would be increased, that is the way your muscles are able to use oxygen.
- Perform 440-yard sprints on Thursdays. You should do warm-up and cool-down at either end of a 2-mile run , and in your first week you should try the four sprints , then add to six in your second week, and so on until you reach 12 per workout.
- Go for a long run every Saturday. This should be between 8 and 10 miles, and you should run at the same pace as you do for your Monday and Wednesday runs.
- Rest or turn to another type of exercise on Fridays and Sundays.
- Repeat this workout for several weeks, then gradually go for more tempo runs and sprints and the length of your long runs. This would help you easily maintain high speeds during your next 5K. If you could consistently run 5K in under 20 minutes on your easy days, surely you get ready for your next race.