5K Positive Split Workouts
By Rick Morris
I’m sure you have heard of if not already practice 5K negative splits. The benefits of negative split training are well known. Well, how about positive splits? Are they valuable at all? The next time you enter a 5K race pay close attention to the start. You will see many runners sprinting away from the starting line. There’s a good chance that you’re one of them. I know I almost always push it hard, probably harder than I should, in the first half of a 5K race. The typical fast start of the 5K makes running positive splits a common occurrence. Those positive 5K race splits aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Several studies have shown than running positive splits often results in superior 5K performance.
Running positive splits isn’t something that many runners train for. But, if you are going to succeed with positive split racing you really need to practice the skill. Here are some 5K positive split workouts that will improve your ability to run hard at the start of your race and still finish strongly. Make sure that you are thoroughly warmed up before beginning these intense positive split workouts.
5 x 400/1200 Meter Compound Sets
- Description: Run 5 x 400/1200 meter compound sets with decreasing pace.
- Pace: Run the 400 meters at mile pace and 1200 meters at 5K pace.
- Recovery: No recovery within each compound set. Recover with 2 minutes of rest between each compound set.
5 x 1000 Meter Repeats
- Description: 5 x 1000 meter repeats
- Pace: Run the first 1000 meter repeat at mile pace, the second about 10 seconds per mile faster than 5K pace, the third at 5K pace, the fourth at 10K pace and the final 1000 meter repeat at 5K pace.
- Recovery: Recover between the first and second repeat with 4 minutes of rest, between the second and third with 3 minutes of rest, between the third and fourth with 2 minutes of rest and between the fourth and fifth with 1 minute of rest.
5 x 400/800/400 Meter Compound Sets
- Description: Run 5 x 400/800/400 meter compound sets at alternating pace.
- Pace: Run the first 400 meter segment at mile pace, the middle 800 meter segment at 10K pace and the final 400 meter segment at 5K pace.
- Recovery: Take no recovery within each compound set. Recover between each compound set with 4 minutes of rest.
2 x 500/2000 Meter Compound Sets
- Description: Run 2 x 500/2000 meter compound sets at decreasing pace.
- Pace: Run the 500 meter segment at mile pace and the 2000 meter segment at 5K pace.
- Recovery: Take no recovery within each compound set. Recover for 4 minutes between the two compound sets.
5K Reverse Progressive Run
- Description: Run 5000 meters at progressively decreasing pace.
- Pace: Begin your run at mile pace. Gradually decrease your pace to marathon pace through the first 4000 meters. Then speed up to 5K pace for the final 1000 meters.
- Recovery: None