Time to Refocus: 5K Training

I’m not surprised that I haven’t posted in about three weeks – the months of May/June are always incredibly busy for me with school ending and Track & Field taking up a significant portion of my time. I believe I predicted at the beginning of May that the month would fly by and it did. June has been equally as busy as I had a bit of catching up to do after missing a number of days of work due to coaching. But luckily, day school is winding down and I will be transitioning to ‘working from home’ for the month of July.

I decided awhile ago that I was going to change the focus of my training to work solely on the 5K for the summer/early Fall. This is the first year in awhile that I am not training for a Fall half marathon. I really want to focus on speed and lower my 5K time even more and that means training in a bit of a different way. Whenever I train for a half marathon, I train in order to run 21.1KM with very few walking breaks at a reasonable pace. With a 5K race, I have zero problems running 5K non-stop, but have difficulty running ‘all out’. The focus on training for the next few months is all about speed.

However – don’t think that I will not be running any long runs. It is equally as important to run at a ‘conversational’ pace for at least 8KM every week. Because school/work/life has been busy, I will admit to only running 3x a week since Ottawa Race Weekend. Now that I have more free time, I will start running at least 4x a week. My plan so far is for those training runs to be:

  • Long Run 8KM-16KM
  • Track Speed Work – my favourite workouts!
  • Mile Repeats – conveniently run on my street that is exactly a mile long
  • Easy Runs for the rest of the week’s runs

Running a speed work practice on the track is my favourite kind of workout. Because I am coaching at Terry Fox at least once a week, I tend to go early to run on the track. It is amusing to me that I have zero problems running a full workout (warm up – drills – track work – cool down) that takes at least one hour to complete but ask me to run for an hour at long run pace and I complain the whole way. I had a great track practice last week where I ran 2 sets of  5×300 with 100m jog recovery. I ran every single 300m in between 1:11-1:15. It was the first track workout I’ve done in about a year and it just felt great to go fast again.

For races this summer, I’m running a few local 5K races. The first race of the summer is the Canada Day Road Races in Kanata. I’ve never run this race before but now I’m only a 15 minute drive away from the race start. There seems to be many running-friends who are going to be running the race so it is sounding like a great morning to kick off Canada’s 150th Birthday. My goal for the Canada Day race is to treat it like a time trial. I’m going to experiment with pacing a bit. The next race will be two weeks later at the Agricultural Museum for another Run Ottawa 5K. After that, the only race I’m registered for is the Vimy Challenge at the Army Run. The Vimy Challenge is a 5K followed by the 10K. My goals for that race are to warm up with the 5K and then go for a 10K PB after.

I’m really looking forward to focusing on the 5K for the first time in a long time (if ever…). I’m sure it will play to my strengths. Who knows what I can accomplish…..


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  1. Lynda Turner

    I will be following along with interest as 5K is my favourite distance. Do you do any hill work? Good luck on your summer training.

  2. CathyV

    Ha! We are on the same page as we often are. This is the first fall I won’t be doing a half either. After a spring of multiple races (and trying trail running), a 5K PB is my focus as well. A 10K will be in the spring I think. My favourite workouts are on the track too. Good luck on training! I will enjoy following your journey.

    1. ~Rebecca~ (Post author)

      I hope to chase you around the track at Masters in the winter 😀

      1. CathyV

        That would be awesome! I have a feeling I may be chasing you!


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