Longer repeats will improve your mental and physical ability to sustain 5K pace for a longer period of time—making them a valuable workout during the final month of training before your race. If mile repeats are your go-to workout to prepare for the 5K, 1200 meter repeats (¾ mile) offer a different variation to keep training interesting—which both keeps running fun and will help you break through a plateau.
You can do 1200 meter repeats on the track or run them as ¾ mile repeats on the road. The benefit of taking this workout off the track is that you can run on a surface similar to what you will race on. Training on the road for your road 5K will give you an accurate idea of your fitness and teach you how to hold 5K pace over slight changes in terrain and elevation.
Run these 1200 meter repeats at your goal 5K pace, which you should be able to set by the final few weeks of 5K training. Slow down for the recovery intervals so that your breathing settles down—you want to be able to push equally hard in each interval. You want to be careful to not start out too fast and then slow down by the last interval—aim for consistency with each interval.
- Warm up with 1-2 miles of easy running, followed by dynamic stretches and drills such as high knees and butt kicks.
- Run 4 repeats of 1200 meters (¾ mile) at goal 5K pace with a 3 minute recovery jog.
- Cool down with 1 mile of easy running.
Click here for the interval workout with Runkeeper’s helpful Audio Cues, so you don’t have to stare at your phone throughout the whole interval. Instead, you can focus on running hard and building the confidence you need for your 5K race.