Gonzo 5K Training Runs
By Rick Morris
Your 5K running and racing pace is already a high intensity activity at around 95% of your VO2 max. To prepare for racing at that high of an intensity level you should be doing a good deal of fast paced training. Your normal 5K training runs are already at a high intensity level, but these gonzo 5K training runs will take your training to new levels of difficulty.
400 Meter Repeats
Your probably thinking there’s nothing gonzo about 400 meter repeats, and you’re right. 400 meter repeats may be the most common interval training workout of them all. This 400 meter progression is a bit different because you gradually decrease the recovery interval to very short periods of time.
- Week 1 – Run 12 x 400 meter repeats at 5K pace with 2 minute passive recovery ( complete rest) intervals.
- Week 2 – Run 12 x 400 meter repeats at 5K pace with 1 minute passive recovery intervals.
- Week 3 – Run 12 x 400 meter repeats at 5K pace with 30 second passive recovery intervals.
- Week 4 – Run 12 x 400 meter repeats at 5K pace with 15 second passive recovery intervals.
- Week 5 – Run 12 x 400 meter repeats at 5K pace with 15 second active recovery (easy jogging) intervals.
800 Meter Repeats Increasing Pace
Here is another gonzo 5K workout that is adapted from a standard interval training workout – 800 meter repeats. This one is more difficult because of the increasing pace of each 800 meter repeat.
Run 6 x 800 meter repeats with 2 minutes of passive recovery between each repeat. Run the first repeat at 5K pace. For each subsequent 800 meter repeat increase your pace by 1 second per lap or 2 seconds per 800 meter repeat. For example, if your 5K pace is 6:00 per mile you would do your first 800 meter repeat in 3:00 and your final 800 meter repeat in 2:50
5K Goal Pace Progression
Goal based training is a highly effective technique. This 5K gonzo workout uses a high intensity goal based progression that is great for peaking for a new PR.
- Week 1 – Run 12 x 400 meter repeats at goal 5K pace with 1 minute passive recovery intervals.
- Week 2 – Run 6 x 800 meter repeats at goal 5K pace with 1 minute passive recovery intervals.
- Week 3 – Run 3 x 1600 meter repeats at goal 5K pace with 1 minute passive recovery intervals.
- Week 4 – Run 2 x 2500 meter repeats at goal 5K pace with 1 minute recovery interval.
12 x Corner Burners
Here is a gut busting workout of eye popping difficulty that will also make your vVO2 max and lactate turn point soar to new levels. This one is simple in theory but brutally difficult to execute. You simply alternate between running the corners at 800 meter pace and the straights at tempo pace ( not easy endurance pace ) for 12 laps of a 400 meter track. The first couple of laps will feel relatively easy, the last few will leave you begging for mercy.
5K Gonzo Hill Run
You’ll need to find a long hill of moderate to steep incline to perform this 5K gonzo hill run. If you live in a hill challenged area you will probably need to do this one on your treadmill.
Run 3 miles or 5 kilometers up a moderately steep hill or on a treadmill at 8% incline. Run the first mile at tempo pace, the second mile at 10K pace and the final mile at 5K pace. Run back down the hill at tempo pace.
5K Gonzo Long Run
No set of workouts would be complete without a long run. Here is a gonzo long run for the 5K distance.
Run 12 miles. Run the first 6 miles at easy endurance pace. Speed up to tempo pace for the next two miles. Now speed up again to 10K pace for two miles and finish this very difficult long run with the last two miles at 5K pace.