5K Surging Workouts

By Rick Morris

Your 5K running speed is a fast and intense pace at about 95% of your VO2 max. That blistering pace makes surging in a 5K race a challenging proposition. You’re already running at very close to your maximal aerobic capacity and now you need to surge to pass an opponent or hold or a competitors challenge. To develop and improve your ability to surge in a 5K race you should be including 5K surging workouts in your 5K training routine on a consistent basis.

Don’t just do generic surging workouts. Perform training runs that specifically target your ability to successfully surge in a 5K race. Doing training workouts that closely mimic your actual race conditions will usually make the most improvements in your race performance.  Here are some surging workouts specifically designed to increase your 5K speed and performance.

10 x 500 Corner Surges

On a 400 meter track, run 400 meters at 5K pace then speed up to full sprint pace for 100 meters around the curve. Jog back to the starting line and immediately begin your next repeat. Take no recovery other than an easy jog back to the starting line.

5 x 1000 Meter Pick Ups

Run 1000 meters alternating between 200 meters at 5K race pace and 200 meters at mile pace. Take no recovery during the 1000 meter repeats. Repeat 4 more times for a total of 5000 meters. For your first few attempts at this workout, recover between each 1000 repeats with 2 minutes of complete passive rest. As you become fitter you can jog for 2 minutes of active recovery instead of complete rest.

2 x 2400 Meter Compound Sets

Run 2400 meters alternating between 400 meters at 5K pace and 200 meters at mile pace. Take no recovery during the 2400 meter repeats. Recover between the two 2400 meter compound sets with 2 minutes of active recovery (jogging). After the second 2400 meter compound set run 200 meters at sprint pace with no recovery.