If you've ever wondered "how to improve my 5K speed," read on. Increasing your running speed and improving your 5k time takes hard work and training. Dedication to speed work, resistance training and cross training will be your workout schedule. Are you willing to take on the challenge? Some helpful items you will need to help improve your 5K speed are:
- Running shoes – Replace your running shoes every 300 to 400 miles.
- A stop watch – This is great for speed work.
- Heart rate monitor – Optional and helpful tool for figuring out your heart rate and exertion.
- Pedometer – Another optional tool that lets you know how far you've run.
- Do speed work – Speed work and sprint workouts are a must for improving your running speed. Fartlek, a Swedish word that means "speed play," is a great speed workout. A form of high intensity interval training (HIIT), Fartlek is a highly effective, and challenging way to improve your speed and endurance by pushing your cardiovascular threshold. The concept is simple. Per every five to ten minute interval, sprint a duration of 30 seconds to one minute followed by a couple minutes of slow jog or walk for recovery. Repeat this six to ten times once a week and you should get the benefits of improving your 5K speed. Use your stop watch to keep track of time.
- Increase Your Distance – Gradually increasing your distance for longer runs helps improve your endurance. Increase your distance every one to two weeks and you will help strengthen your leg muscles for the 5K race. Try to run a minimum of 20 miles per week, and a maximum of 40 miles per week.
- Run Hills – An effective way to build up your muscle strength is hill work outs. Running up hill will be a challenging task but great in building muscle that will help improve your 5K running speed.
- Do strength Training – Strength training by building up your leg muscles is a great way to cross train and still get the benefits of improving your 5K speed. Try doing explosive plyometric exercises to improve agility, speed and strength for your 5K race. Plyometrics mimics the start-off and landing of sprinters and focuses on a lot of bouncing, jumping and other explosive techniques, helping to increase your overall fitness level.
With these tips to improving your 5K speed, you should be on your way to tip top condition. Enjoy the triumph on race day as you shave off your time and improve your speed.