In the second month, we’re going to build on what you got done the first month. To recap: at this point, you should have one race under your belt to indicate your current fitness levels, your long run should be around 60 min, and you should have developed some sense of pacing through your 400m repeats. This month is all about building around the capacity you’ve built so far, and the next four weeks will look this:
1) 800m (that’s a half mile for you imperial types) repeats. Just like the 400s, the track is the best place to develop pacing, but you can simply find a flat stretch of ground somewhere as well. Week 1: 4-6 x 800 w/1:30 rest at current 5k pace. Shoot for six, but if your pace falls off significantly after four, then cut it off there. Week 2: 6 x 800 w/ 1:30 rest at current 5k pace. Week 3: 6-8 x 800m w/ 1:30 rest at current 5k pace. Week 4: same as Week 3.
2) Tempo runs. Just like last week, add 15-20s to your 5k mile pace. Week 1: 25:00 tempo. Week 2: 30:00 tempo, but slow it down by about five seconds per mile. Week 3: Same as Week 2. Week 4: 35:00 tempo, pace slowed by 5-7s per mile.
3) Long runs. Week 1: Take ten minutes off your Month 1, Week 4 long run. Week 2: 65 minutes. Week 3: 70 minutes. Week 4: 75 minutes.
4) Try to find a race somewhere around the second week of the month – that will have given you six weeks of training to absorb and adapt to training. If you run faster than your last race, that’s your new 5k training pace. If you run slower, go with the faster time as your 5k benchmark — you probably had a rough day, or conditions were less than ideal.
5) RACE WEEK CAVEAT: Take it easy. If it’s a weekend race, just do one speed session, preferably 8 x 400m at goal 5k pace with equal rest. If you can, tack a few miles on after the 5k and count the total distance as your long run for the week.