How to run a 5km Time trial

A 5km Time trial is a great way of finding out where your current running fitness levels are.  A simple max effort over the 5km distance can set you up for big improvements for the coming season. 
Why? The 5km time trial is a great way to find out your Threshold Pace and Threshold Heart Rate. From these two numbers, we are able to calculate your training zones. This then means when you begin building up the speed work over the coming months you are in the best possible position to see some improvements. As you will be running at the correct pace and will see results. (not going too fast so that you cannot complete the reps consistently)
The second and some would argue more important is that it will also tell you your “easy zone” so when you are running easy, you are again running easy and not too hard. A common mistake when structured training is running at a pace that is harder than it needs to be, this increases the training load and increases the risk of burnout and injury. 
It’s important to remember all tests are a snapshot of where you are today, it’s not about trying to get a PB (if you do, that’s great, but don’t let that dictate to you if the test has been a success or failure). It will give you an accurate set of training zones and that is the most beneficial thing. 

Warm-up

15-minute warm-up
5 mins easy (Chatting pace)
5 mins tempo (6/10)
3 mins medium/hard (Build up to around 8/10)
The last few minutes do some 10-second strides, not sprints though! Walk back and repeat.

5km TT

Run your best 5km, think about pacing, try to negative split (run the second half faster than the first)

Cooldown

Gentle jog followed by some stretches. Around 2km bringing the HR nice and low. 
Post-test most smartwatches will give you the threshold pace/hr data – alternatively use – https://runsmartproject.com/calculator/

Stuart Hall – BTF Coach

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