How to Run a 32 Minute 5 Mile; Part 2

After reading part 1, you’re now educated on the mistakes to avoid when aiming to improve your 5 miler. It’s important to note that failure to adhere to the tactics in part 1 will make implementation of what you learn in part 2 less effective. As you read through part 2, my hope is that you’ll start to connect the dots as to why it’s important to build a base and avoid jumping the gun.

My goal is to help you run a faster 5 mile and set yourself apart from your peers, and not become another injury statistic. In part 2, I’m going to break down the different types of runs that move the needle most when it comes to improving your 5 mile time. I’ll also piece them all together into a sample training week. When you read through, please understand that running is highly individual and that following the sample plan may not be effective for everyone.

A coach that can individualize your program using your own abilities and metrics will always be better than following a generalized run plan. But I can assure you - if you’re someone who struggles with running, and you’re able to be patient, build your base, and stay consistent, you’ll see improvements in your run times by simply applying the principles in this article. Let's hop into it!

Training (Types of Runs)

It doesn’t require a PDH in physiology to conclude that in order to get better at running, you’ve got to run. But, as mentioned in the “what not to do” segment in part 1, just going out and aimlessly racking up more miles on your Garmin app isn’t the answer. Just like junk volume in the gym, junk miles won’t get you very far (metaphorically speaking). Running improvement training must have a clear intent, as well as provide the runner the ability to track and measure progress. A mix of slow, somewhat fast, and very fast running is required in order to maximize your progress. But since there’s such a big gap between the training required to run a fast 5 mile and the training required to improve your 40 yard dash time, it’s crucial to break these running speeds down more precisely. Just to reiterate, the information below is geared towards running a better 5 miler for an Army fitness test, not how to become an elite middle distance runner. There are several additional running methods elite runners use in their training, but for the purpose of this article, I’m going to highlight solely the biggest needle movers: 

Training Runs

  • Easy runs/LSD runs (there’s a slight difference, but they’re in the same category)
  • Intervals/Repeats
  • Fartlek runs
  • Tempo runs

Testing Run

  • Time Trial

Within the four training categories, there are a plethora of subcategories for pacing that will appear in the explanation for each. Here’s a short explanation for each one:

Race pace/Goal pace

Fastest repeatable pace

Recovery pace/run

Easy run pace

Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) based

Let’s take a look at each main category.

Running Slow

When considering all the variables involved in training for a fast 5 miler, it’s paramount to understand that not only should some of your running be done at a slower per mile pace than your goal 5 mile pace, most of it should be. As previously mentioned, the most elite runners on earth conduct most of their training at submaximal efforts - and not just a bit under max effort, but quite substantially under. 

Eliud Kipchoge, widely considered the greatest marathon runner of all time (he holds 4 out of the 6 fastest marathon times ever recorded) runs his marathons at a ~4:34 minutes per mile (MPM). For reference, the vast majority of humans on earth couldn’t run 50 METERS at this pace. How often do you think he runs a 4:34 mile for 26 miles in training? The answer, with no exaggeration, is ZERO. 

Why? There are a few key reasons, but the main factor is fatigue. With running (or any physical training endeavor), we must consider the fatigue cost of training. Going out and running hard all the time is fatiguing, and although you’ll surely experience aerobic adaptations from fast running, doing so too frequently will result in extreme levels of fatigue and/or drastically increase your injury potential. Fortunately, with running, you can experience measurable aerobic adaptations at a much slower pace and lower effort, with the added benefit of far less fatigue and recovery demand. Kipchoge runs his easy, zone 2 (more on this below) runs at 6:45-7:15 MPM, over 2 minutes slower per mile than his race pace. This is still lightning fast for the average person (many SOF hopefuls would be happy with a 6:45 pace on an all out 5 mile), but it goes to show the stark contrast between his max effort runs and his easier runs. A recent article outlining Kipchoge’s marathon prep illustrated that of the13 total training runs he does weekly, 10 are easy, and 3 are hard. All this to say, if an elite runner understands the importance of slow, easy running, we should probably pay attention. 

How To Run Your Slow Runs?

Zone 2, long slow distance (LSD), low intensity steady state (LISS) are all commonly used terms for an easy run. I like to break down these types of runs into 2 categories: an easy run and an LSD run. The main differences are the distance and the intent. 

Easy Run

An easy run is usually just a shorter, less adaptation-focused run that allows you to accrue  mileage, but more so in an effort to facilitate recovery than to actually elicit a measurable aerobic stimulus. Think of running 2-3 easy, recovery-based miles the day following a hard speed workout (more on speed workouts below). 

LSD Run 

An LSD run (running while tripping on LSD is not indicated) on the other hand, will usually take place at or around the same pace as an easy run, but for a longer duration. The intent with LSD runs is to accumulate running volume and build a robust aerobic base, but because you’re still running much slower than you’re otherwise able to, it won’t add too much stress on the body. This style of running should be familiar to you if you implemented a base-building phase. 

For the purpose of this article and the “training sample week” below, I’ll refer to these two methods as easy runs and LSD runs. Both will be in zone 2, but the easy run is more of a recovery run, and the LSD run is more of an aerobic adaptation run. 

How Slow is Slow?

The pace at which you run your LSD/easy runs will be quite different for everyone, but the concept remains the same. Remember when I previously stated the World’s Best marathoner runs his long runs at a 6:45-7:15 pace? That should give you some indication that your easy/long run pace won’t be anywhere near this pace. There are several ways to calculate your pace. You can use this calculator (Scroll ~⅛ down page). The easy run pace the calculator gives you will likely be faster than the long run pace. Easy runs are shorter, and therefore easier to stay in zone 2 without slowing down (needing to slow down is often the case for a long run). For your easy runs, I suggest using the SLOWEST pace in the LONG run range. Easy runs should be VERY easy. 

*Note: Only concern yourself with the “easy run” and “tempo run” blocks in this particular calculator - the other runs are marathon-specific training or for those who ONLY have a running goal, and are therefore not needed to run a faster 5 miler. 

This calculation will give you a good starting point, but to ensure it’s accurate (there’s always individual variance with running), you’ll also want to use another metric or two to gauge your intensity. Options for this (I suggest picking 2):

  1. Heart rate: 180 - age = HIGH end of zone 2 (so try to hover 5-15 BPM below it)

Ex: I’m 33, 180-33 = 147, so I want to hang out around 130-140 + or - (HR will vary throughout, this is fine so long as it’s not hanging out too high)

  • Heart rate: 220 - age x .65-.75 = RANGE of heart rate for zone 2
  • Ex: (using 33 again) 220-33 = 187. 187 x. 65 = ~121 (low end), 187 x .75 = ~140 (high end)

    *yes, these 2 examples yield different high ends - so I would simply use common sense and hang out ~130-140. I would also ensure to be mindful of one of the metrics below.

    1. Nasal breathing - are you able to solely breathe nasally? (if you have a combat sport history/past facial trauma, this may not be feasible)
    2. Conversation: Can you carry a conversion and speak in full sentences? If by yourself, can you say a 10-12 word sentence without gasping for a breath mid sentence?

    In a well constructed training plan, the majority of your running should take place at a slow run pace. Does it need to be 80/20 like many people preach? Perhaps not for this population. A professional runner may conduct most of their training (80-90%) at a lower intensity, but these individuals often run upwards of 140-180 miles per week. A tactical athlete won’t be anywhere near that in regards to total mileage, so an 80/20 approach may not be warranted. That said, slow running needs to be present weekly, and cannot be overlooked. I recommend against getting too caught up in the minutiae of exact percentages, though. 

    Speed work

    Commonly known as intervals or repeats (I will refer to them as repeats for simplicity), speed work is essential to get faster (who knew)? But that still doesn’t mean just running as fast as possible. Properly implemented speed work requires runners to pay close attention to detail, and mistakes can be costly. Speed work is a stressful style of training, not just structurally (musculoskeletal system), but also systemically and mentally . If this stress is applied appropriately, you’ll get faster. If not, your chances of injury or lack of progress increase measurably. When implementing speed work, the following parameters must be taken into account:

    • Speed work should be done in a well recovered, minimally fatigued state.
    • Speed work should be done with lower total volume than slow/easy training
    • One must consider distances, paces, and rest intervals when conducting speed work. 
    • Speed work can be done on a track, treadmill, or on an incline/hill (decline/downhill/overspeed running is a method some elite runners use, but isn’t worth the potential risk for the population reading this)
    • Speed work for a faster 5 mile isn’t the same as speed work for a faster 100 meter dash.
    • Speed work shouldn’t be followed by another high effort day (a rest day, a non-impact recovery day, or an easy run is usually indicated the day after a speed work session).

    To improve your 5 miler, the two types of speed work I want you to focus on are run repeats (flat surface) and hill repeats. The main focus for most runners should be on flat repeats, that is, unless you know the 5 mile course you’ll be running is very hilly. If this is the case, occasional hill repeats should appear in your training. 

    In order to improve your 5 mile run, the distance, total volume (miles covered at speed), pace, and recovery intervals are all critical considerations. Most people who aren’t high level runners (e.g. most people in the Army) do speed work wrong, which results in excessive fatigue (or injury) for minimal benefit. 

    Here are some considerations for speed work/repeat/interval distance, volume, pace, and rest intervals for a better 5 miler:

    Distance of each repeat: 400 meters - 1 mile

    Volume: 2.5-3.5 miles (e.g. 5x800 meters (M), 3 x 1 mile, 4x800M + 6 x400M) 

    Pace: your pace MUST be repeatable.

    For Army/Military, you can use this calculator. Enter your GOAL 5 mile pace, and it’ll tell you how fast to run various distances. If your goal pace is ~3+ minutes faster than your current pace, use the calculator and enter a time ½ the distance between your current time and your goal time.

    Rest interval: Depending on the fitness level of the runner, rest intervals can range from a 1:2 work to rest (resting 2x as long as your interval/repeat) to a 1-.5 (resting ½ as long as your repeat). Shorter rest intervals are an option, but again, for simplicity’s sake, we’ll keep it in this range. As you continue to progress, shortening rest intervals is a great way to play with variables.

    Rest modality: There are generally 3 different ways to approach rest periods. You can stand still (which I don’t like to use/recommend), walk/pace, jog, or combine them. When just starting out, I recommend spending your rest periods walking/pacing around slowly. As fitness improves, you can start to play around with combining walking and jogging (e.g. ½ the rest is walking, ½ jogging). High level runners often jog for most/all of their rest intervals, but this is probably not needed for most people reading this (fartlek runs will be explained a bit later, which is a similar concept)


    Goal time = 33:00

    Current time = 39:00

    Pace entered = 36:00

    You’d run your 800s at ~3:34 (+ or - 3 seconds/effort), Mile repeats at ~7:12 (+ or - 5 seconds/effort) etc. If you’ve built a good aerobic base, you can start with a 1:1 work to rest ratio. If not, a 1:1.5 or 1:2 may be indicated.

    For more advanced runners, another option for repeats is to run them at your fastest repeatable pace. This is a higher stress version of speed work, and should only be done occasionally and by those who know what they’re doing. What does this look like? Imagine you’ve been doing repeats weekly for several months at your goal 5 mile pace, and you’ve manipulated other variables like volume (total distance of your repeats), rest intervals (reduced rest time week over week) and even what you do during your rest intervals (standing, walking, jogging) and you’re ready to speed up the intervals a bit, you can pick a time that you think you’ll be able to repeat for the given session. 

    Here’s an example:

    12 x 400 meter repeats: Your goal pace for the 5 mile is 30 min, which is 6:00/mile, so you’ve been running your 400s ~1:30. You’re down to a 1:.5 work to rest ratio and have been able to complete these workouts with relative ease in the previous weeks. Doing a “fastest repeatable pace” session involves choosing a slightly faster pace for each 400, but ensuring you’re able to repeat them. It’s crucial to be realistic and not choose a pace that you have no chance of repeating for the given duration of the session. For this example, perhaps you choose a pace range of 1:20-1:23. This is 7-10 seconds per lap faster than you’ve been running, which in most cases (assuming the runner meets all the prerequisites mentioned above), is realistic. You can also go back to a 1:1 work:rest, at least for the first session in order to ensure you’re able to repeat the efforts. This will be a more difficult, fatigue inducing session, which is why I recommend only doing it every so often. For most runners, sticking to your goal pace and manipulating other variables (volume and rest intervals) is usually sufficient, especially if you conduct periodic time trials every few months (which will give you a new pace to work with - more on time trials below).

    *Important*- If you select a pace that’s too fast for you to repeat within 2-3 seconds each round, you need to slow down. Speed work sessions should not be a 10 RPE. The word “repeat” means you need to be able to REPEAT your pace. If the first repeat is a 9.7 RPE, you’re not going to be able to sustain it. The way MOST people do intervals is as follows:

    Example: 5x800M repeats (didn’t use a pace calculator or entered a pace 7 minutes faster than current pace)

    1st 800 = 3:00

    2nd 800 = 3:07

    3rd 800 = 3:15

    4th 800 = 3:30

    5th 800 = 3:42

    There’s nothing “repeat” about this session. If you had just run all of them at 3:25 (+ or - 2-3 sec), you would’ve achieved a much better training stimulus. 

    For speed work to benefit you, It’s crucial to be honest with yourself and stick to the guidelines.

    Tempo Runs

    A tempo run is usually considered a “comfortably hard” effort. Many people have misunderstandings of tempo runs, likely due to the vagueness of the “comfortably hard” description. A tempo is more intense than an easy or LSD run, but not as intense as a time trial or the fast portions of fartlek runs or an interval session (fartleks and time trials below). To figure out a tempo pace starting point based off of a recent run time, you can use this calculator (assuming you have a recent time trial/timed run to go off of - if not, a time trial may be necessary). 

    *Reminder - Do not concern yourself with anything other than the easy run pace and the tempo run pace while using this calculator.

    Example: (using the calculator with a 35:00 5 mile)

    Tempo run pace will be ~7:15/mile

    Note: I suggest using that pace as your slowest pace. Because tempo runs will be shorter in duration/distance than your ultimate 5 mile assessment, conducting tempo runs at or just above your race pace early on, and potentially faster as you progress, is usually what I recommend (there is not perfect way to do it - it’s ok to experiment with a few different paces). For example, if you’re doing a 15 minute tempo run, holding your 7 min/mile race pace should be doable. Anywhere between 6:50/mile and 7:10/mile is a good ballpark.

    *It’s important to note that using your CURRENT time is recommended for tempo runs, at least early on in a training plan. If you use your goal time rather than your current time, your tempo runs will likely be too fast for the desired training effect.

    Tempo runs are also usually shorter than your race distance. I like to program tempo runs (most runs, for that matter) for a certain duration, rather than distance. For 5 mile improvement, a 12-20 minute tempo run (NOT including a warmup - which I’ll explain later) is usually a good range. Like intervals, tempo runs shouldn’t be done too frequently, as they’re a bit stressful and require more recovery reserves. A 2-4 x monthly (weekly OR biweekly alternating with fartleks) frequency is usually a good starting point, ensuring you space it at least 3 days away (72 hours) from your interval sessions (e.g. intervals monday, tempo thursday). 

    Fartlek Runs

    Fartlek (fart-lick…not my invention) is a Swedish term for “speed play”. A fartlek run is a different way to perform intervals, and for the purposes of this article, can be used in place of EITHER the interval session OR the tempo session. In other words, a training week can have 1 interval session and 1 fartlek, or 1 tempo and 1 fartlek. Most people should not be doing all 3 in a week unless you’re a very experienced, high level runner (even many high level runners may not do this). I personally lean towards doing more fartlek runs than tempo runs to prepare for a 5 miler. If preparing for a longer run (½ to full marathon), more tempos would enter the mix. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, just a consideration. 

    Fartleks can be structured, minimally structured, or non-structured. In other words, you may have set paces, durations/distances for each running speed (structured), loose guidelines to follow (minimally structured), or you may just go by feel (non-structured). If you’re inexperienced and lack running knowledge, a structured fartlek is recommended. 

    Here are some examples of each:

    Structured Example

    Paces: Warmup, Coast, Build (optional), Fast

    Workout: 24 minute fartlek run (warmups not included in the duration)

    5-8 minute warmup (easy run with 3-4 “bursts” for 100-200 meters at your desired fartlek fast pace)

    4 rounds of 6 minutes total

    Each 6 minute round consists of:

    • :30 build (going slowly from coast/warmup pace to race pace)
    • 3:00 fast (~ goal 5 mile pace or slightly faster)
    • 2:30 coast (very easy, recovery pace - not concerned about min/mile - allow HR to come down)

    5-8 minute cooldown (slow run/walk, bring HR down slowly)

    Moderately Structured Example

    *using telephone poles (can use any consistent landmark) 

    20 minute fartlek run

    5-8 minute warmup (warmups not included in the duration)

    • Build for 3 telephone poles 
    • Fast for 6 telephone poles 
    • Coast for 6 telephone poles

    5-8 minute cooldown

    Non- Structured Example

    (same description of each pace as above)

    25 minute fartlek run (warmups not included in the duration)

    5-8 minute warmup

    • Build as you see fit
    • Run fast till you feel fatigued/need a rest
    • Coast until you feel recovered

    5-8 minute cooldown

    Again, this is more of an advanced technique. Although you’re not paying attention to duration, you’re still paying attention to your pace and output. 

    Why Fartleks?

    The biggest advantage to fartleks is that for most people, they’re more “fun” and less mentally stressful than a tempo run. This is likely due to the fact that you always know that a rest period is on the horizon following a hard output, as well as having the ability to “play” with different speeds, which can make it more interesting. For less experienced runners, I suggest starting with a structured fartlek run and potentially working your way towards a less structured version over months (depending on your personality and ability to practice throttle control).

    Time Trials

    The final form of running I want to touch on is the time trial. I won’t get too into the details, as a time trial is pretty self-explanatory. It consists of simply testing your time at a given duration (e.g. giving yourself a mock 5 mile test). However, I want to emphasize the frequency with which you should do them, because most people do them far too often.

    It may be tempting to test your ability to run your goal event (the 5 mile, in this case) after a few weeks of good training, but I urge you to avoid falling into this trap. If you’re following a short term program and training hard for an event (e.g. TTM SFAS program), it may be appropriate to test yourself when you’re several weeks out from your selection date. My SFAS program includes a time trial week about ½ way through the program, prior to a deload week and another several weeks of hard training. Prior to the last taper week, there’s a final time trial in an effort to see the progress you’ve made and (hopefully) give you a confidence boost before you go. But in general, if you’re just training for overall running performance and you have some time before your event, I would limit the frequency with which you do time trials to once every ~3-4 months (at most). Another good time to consider a time trial is when you haven’t done a timed event recently. Implementing a time trial PRIOR to a run improvement training block will allow you to see where you’re currently at, but more importantly, have a pace to plug into the running pace calculators listed above. For a lot of Army units, schools and courses, you can simply use the graded 5 mile event as your periodic time trial. 


    For the training runs detailed above, there’s no need to overthink your warmup. Warmups for easy runs and LSD runs are not necessary, but should be considered for faster runs (repeats, fartleks, tempos, time trials, the 5 mile event). If you were about to run an all out 100 meter sprint, a comprehensive warm up would be appropriate. For a longer, slow twitch dominant run (which all of the above runs are, more or less), simply conducting a short, 3-8 minute easy run with some strides is usually sufficient. A stride has multiple definitions, but I like to keep it simple: for 3-5 rounds (can be intermixed with your easy run warmup, or done after) you’ll simply build up to your desired training pace and hold it for 80-150 meters. The goal is to get a feel for your pace, while minimizing fatigue. This is enough to get your muscles and joints warm, your heart rate up slightly, and prepare you to run. I do not recommend excessive static stretching prior to a run. If you do want to stretch, dynamic stretching is preferred pre-run. You can do longer, more relaxing stretches after your session if desired. 


    Data are mixed on whether or not a cooldown does much in the way of facilitating recovery. But I like to recommend a cooldown following a harder effort, as it allows the runner to go from a more aroused state to a more relaxed state. A cooldown can take many forms, but something as simple as a 5-10 minute walk, jog or walk/jog combo is usually what I recommend. There’s no need to do a cooldown following an easy run or LSD run. This concept need not be over thought. 


    Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) is another way to assess your efforts. I’m only going to touch on this briefly because it’s not for everyone, especially those who are relatively inexperienced with running. You’ve likely seen RPE used before in strength training, but interestingly enough, it was originally created for endurance training. Put simply, RPE is a way to subjectively assess your training efforts on a 1-10 scale. RPE can be used to assess an overall session, or in the case of fartleks and repeats, each individual effort. A 10 is all out, max effort, a 1 is a leisurely stroll. Here are some RPE guidelines using the training runs described above:

    Time trial/5 mile event day: RPE 10 (overall, the first mile shouldn’t be RPE 10)

    Tempo Run: RPE 7.5-8

    Fartlek Run: Fast segments - RPE ~7.5-8.5, slow segments - RPE 2-3, Overall session: RPE 7.5-8

    Intervals/repeats (speed work): Each repeat: 7.5-9 (harder as workout progresses due to fatigue), Overall: 8-9

    LSD run: 4-5

    Easy run: 2.5-3

    Don’t get too wrapped up in RPE. This is just a guideline that works great for some, and results in added stress or overtraining for others. The main drawback of RPE is that it’s completely subjective, and therefore an easy way to lie to yourself. If you have a tendency to overdo things, I would focus more on the effort parameters I included in each run type description. But if you’re experienced and in tune with your body, RPE is a great tool. 

    Putting It All Together

    Now that we’re familiar with each type of run, and aware of the drawbacks of just going out for a random, aimless run, let’s bring it all together and take a look at a sample training week. It’s important to remember that since you’re likely interested in maintaining or even building fitness in other areas besides just running, the sample week will be a lower running volume than you’d see in a running only program. I’ve touched on this before, but all training causes fatigue, and if you’re doing too much of any of it, all of your performances across the board will suffer. Fatigue is NOT the goal, and It’s important to consider the minimum effective dose required to progress. 

    I suggest identifying the aspects of fitness in which you’re already strong, and putting those on maintenance mode while really focusing on running improvement. This means you’ll likely need to dial back the lifting volume, especially for the lower body, in order to “make room” for running. This training week example will involve 2 full body strength training sessions, but keep in mind there are other ways to sprinkle in your strength work. The sample week will be followed by a brief explanation of why each session is programmed in its given space. 

    Sample Week - this will be a “mid program” sample week - for a “beginning program” sample week, volume will be lower

    Monday: Repeats - 

    • 2x1K repeats @ goal 5 mile pace (1:1 work/rest) 
    • 3-4x 600M repeats @ 5-10 sec/mile faster than goal 5 mile (1:1 work:rest)

    Tuesday: 2-3 mile easy run, full body lift w/focus on upper

    Wednesday: Non-impact cardio (zone 2) 45-60 minutes OR rest day

    Thursday: Fartlek run - 

    25 minutes - 5x5 minute rounds (after 5-8 min warmup)

    • 3:00 fast (goal 5 mile pace or slightly faster)
    • 1:30 coast (pace slow enough to allow you to recover for a repeated efforts)
    • :30 build

    5-8 min cooldown

    Friday: Full body lift + 2-3 mile easy run OR rest OR non-impact for 15-20 min

    Saturday: 60-75 minute LSD run

    Sunday: rest 


    The primary reason Monday is a repeat day is that this session is the most stressful run workout of the week. It’s also following a rest day, because running intervals/repeats on fatigued legs is usually not ideal. Again, you’ll want to start your program with lower volume and longer rest, and progress by adding volume OR speed OR decreasing rest periods weekly (not all 3). Again, using your goal 5 mile pace only works if it’s within striking distance of your current ability. 

    Tuesday is a chance to lift weights and build (or for most, maintain) strength, as well as conduct an easy run to promote blood flow to the legs. Since your lower body will be fatigued, keep the volume low for leg training, and focus mostly on the upper body.

    Wednesday is an optional day. If you’ve developed considerable work capacity, a long zone 2 session may serve you well on Wednesday. It’s non-impact to give your structure a rest before another hard run on Thursday. If you’re smoked from the previous 2 days, an active rest day (walking) is recommended. 

    Thursday is another speed day, this time in the form of a fartlek. A tempo run can be conducted in place of a fartlek if desired. This day can be substituted with a rest day from running, pushing the run to Friday if needed. In this case, moving friday’s full body session to today may be indicated in order to avoid a full body workout and a fartlek on the same day This will result in running the zone 2 session on more fatigued legs (which isn’t necessarily good or bad, but worth considering). 

    Friday is another full body lift. You’ll be carrying some fatigue into this session, so again, keep lower body lifting volume low (you can still push the sets hard, just don’t do a lot of them and keep them in the ~5-8 rep range). The 2-3 mile shakeout run can be substituted with non-impact cardio for 20-30 minutes if joints/structure need it. If you’re very fatigued, you can skip conditioning.

    Saturday is a long slow distance run in zone 2. This will facilitate continued aerobic adaptations, while also factoring in the stress from previous workouts within the week. Because of the relatively short distance of the event (5 miles), There’s no need to go for a very long run on this day (90+ minutes), unless you feel up to it and have long run experience.

    Wrapping it up

    There are several ways to approach running improvement. The strategies in this article are just suggestions, and the main purpose is to allow you to re-think your current running approach. Chances are, you’ve been running already, but these considerations can provide you with some insight on how to structure your runs so you’re doing so with better intent. Implementation of these strategies will almost certainly produce faster run times, while also minimizing frustration and wasted fatigue. 

    Because running is so multi-faceted, I’ve also decided to add a part 3 to this series that explains more considerations for better running. These will include running form, vo2 max, pacing strategies, 5 mile event prep (hydration fueling and pacing strategy), and a sample 12 week training plan, beginning with a base building month and culminating with 8 weeks of event specific training. Stay tuned!

    Thank you for reading! If you have questions on any of the topics covered in this article, write them in the comments section below!

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