Spring represents hope for triathletes. The long Canadian winter is over, and summer is on its way. Shorter road races such as a 5K are perfect events to test your fitness and get you in the racing mindset.

Karsten Madsen running at the Runner’s Den Pancake 5K in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Related: Break out of winter with a 5K road race

Training for a short road race takes less time than a half-marathon, and it means faster workouts that develop speed and strength. Also, having a race to train for before the triathlon season gives your training focus.

Jessey the Elf ran the 5K at Around the Bay in 16:59.

The following are five workouts that will set yourself up for a fast 5K.

Workout 1

  • 5 x 1,000m at goal race pace with 400m slow jog recovery

Workout 2

  • 10 x 400m at 10 seconds/K faster than race pace with 200m slow jog recovery

Workout 3

  • 4 x 1,200m at 5-8 seconds/K faster than race pace with equal recovery passive rest

Workout 4

  • 3 x 1,600m at race pace with 90 seconds rest + 1K at race pace

Workout 5 (pre-race: a week out)

  • 2 x 2K at 5K pace + 5 seconds/K with 400m jog recovery
  • 3 x 800m at 5 seconds/K faster than race pace with 90 seconds rest
  • 4x 400m at 10 seconds/K faster than race pace with 200m jog recovery

Related: Activation drills for triathletes

Remember to begin each workout with a warm-up consisting of 10-15 minutes of very easy running. Include a few minutes for dynamic drills, stretches, activation and strides. Following the workout, cool down with 5-15 minutes of easy running.

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