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How to Train for Speed and Endurance for the 5k or 10k

written by: GreggH • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 1/7/2009

If you have decided to train for a 5K or a 10k, how fast will you run while you train? Learning how to run for these races demands that you learn how to run long and short distances. This article will give you tips for speed and long-distance training.

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    Long Distance Training

    The obvious answer to how fast you should run while you train for a 5K or a 10k is "not too fast and not too slow." Though this may seem obvious, it is often overlooked. You must run fast enough to make progress, but you should run slow enough to be safe and enjoy yourself. If you run too fast while you are training for a 5K or a 10k, you will suffer injury, you won't have as much fun, you will be too tired and you will not be able to recover very quickly.

    However, if you run too slow, then you will be less prepared, your race times will be slow and you will not see the progress that you want. This is also not fun. A general rule of thumb is to be able to talk to your running partner or be able to hum a tune while you are running.

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    Speed Training

    In order to maximize the effectiveness of your training for a 5K or a 10k, you will need speed training. Obviously, speed training involves faster running than long-distance training. For 5K and 10K runners, speed training may include 200 and 400 meter sprints or half mile runs. Try repeatedly running up short hills. With these distances, do intervals of each at a higher pace than race pace. Set a goal of being able to do multiple intervals at this pace.

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    Determining how fast you should run in order to train for the 5K and 10K depends on your present fitness level. Again, the general rule of thumb is to be able to speak with your running partner. With speed training, do intervals at a higher-than-race pace. Incorporating both endurance and speed training is important to boost the efficiency of your workouts.

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    Glover, Bob, The Competitive Runner's Handbook

Running Training for 5k and 10k Races

Training for long distance running requires understanding your body and how fast to run, how much to run, and what types of runs to do. This series of articles are designed to help you know how to progress toward race day.
  1. How to Train for Speed and Endurance for the 5k or 10k
  2. Types of Long Distance Runs for 5K & 10K Training
  3. Learn How Much You Should Run When Training for a 5K or 10K Race