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May 21, 2015

First or Fastest 5K | Week Three

Heather Stephens


Welcome to week three! Periodization is a key element in any successful training plan. Your eight weeks training block to your first or fastest 5k is broken down to three different phases to help you attain your goal:

1. Base Building Phase (Weeks 1-3)
These first weeks are all about building the foundation for the quality training that will occur in phase two. In the base building phase, the emphasis is on building muscular strength and continuing to the duration of your runs. Attention to these two elements will help reduce the risk of injury as higher intensity training bouts are introduced. The Dirty Dozen and Five-Step Circuit are crucial in laying the foundation for the weeks to come.

2. Speed + Strength Phase (Weeks 4-6)
The goal with this phase is to continue to increase the duration of your runs + incorporate some faster paced pickups to your week. These elements will facilitate physiological changes in the body, which will allow you to run farther and faster and with greater ease and efficiency.

3. Pre-Race Phase (Weeks 7-8)
While more mileage and more workouts allow for greater adaptation, the actual strengthening occurs during rest and recovery periods. During these two weeks leading up to the race, you’ll back off of workouts and mileage a bit to allow for strength adaptation.

You’ve made it through the bulk of phase one! Over the next six weeks you’ll learn some new tips and tricks and also continue to use the Dirty Dozen and Five-Step Circuit to keep you strong and flying fast for your first or fastest 5k!  




This is the perfect progression workout, gradually building from strength to speed. By starting with paces slightly slower than threshold pace and then sliding slightly below, this workout will help push you to the next level. It’s easy to get excited early on, so be sure to reign yourself in on the first 10 minute segment. If you’re not feeling quite ready for this one... try a walk recovery between segments instead.



It’s easy to blast out the door for a run without a proper warm up, but when you rush you run the risk of injury! Start your run or workout with 6-8 reps of this quick hit warm up routine.  

When training demands increase, it’s common to feel a tad overwhelmed. Try this video by Jasyoga to reestablish a balanced breathing technique and bring your mind and body back to a calm and focused state: Balancing Breathe

 “My motivation waxes and wanes just like anyone else’s. But unless I’m pushing myself physically, I feel less than complete. I had many years with near zero attention to my own body, and I felt like I inhabited the earth less. I was less feisty.” – Dr. Sarah Lesko


First Or Fastest Training Plans 
Week One
Week Two
Week Three 
Week Four
Week Five
Week Six
Week Seven 
Week Eight