Are you looking for a 5k training program? When you start looking you see many program offering beginner programs and advanced programs. What is interesting is that most beginner programs are too many miles for the average beginner. The key to effective 5k cardio plans is for every person to have their own heart rate profile. With optimal heart rate training every workout will be optimized for the greatest impact for your results. Heart rate training is for advanced and beginners; the difference is the heart rate profile not using a heart rate monitor.
The most effective cardio workout for running faster races and burning fat is interval training. Interval training is short durations of high intensity followed by short durations of low intensity and then repeated. Most programs only offer interval training for advanced programs though effective programming is good for all levels. The key is a person’s heart rate profile. The most advanced you are the higher heart rate you want to train at for your interval.
Each person has a different level of fitness associated by their heart rate. As you run the energy required needs a certain consistent heart rate produce the energy. The more fit you are the lower your heart rate is for a given speed. This is why heart rate training is so effective. By finding a person’s targeted heart rate profile you can make sure each workout is training in the right zone to optimally improve your performance. Often, people’s lack of results comes from not training hard enough, or very common with cardio runners is overtraining by running with too high of a heart rate on every workout.
What is important for your metabolism and race speed is the rate at which you burn calories not how many calories you burn. This is why walkers and people who run mile after mile seem to never achieve their results. The more calories you burn the more calories you need to eat to restore energy back to your muscles cells. It is challenging your muscles to burn more energy by going harder relative to your fitness level forces your metabolism to improve and than makes you fun faster and burn more fat. People after completing an interval workout burn more fat 24 hours after their workout than any other form of cardio or strength exercise.
Though the interval workout is important it isn’t the only workout that makes an effective 5k running program. Two other key workouts is a threshold workout and a long day. The threshold workout is a medium intensity workout that almost no person does. The reason why is people can always go harder and there is this myth that you have to push yourself in every work to your max. The other reason is people go on their slow steady pace never picking up the pace for a shorter run. An optimal threshold workout is between 15-30 min. If you can last longer than 30 min. you should run faster. When you run at your threshold level you are at the max at what your aerobic metabolism can burn for energy. When you go harder your anaerobic metabolism is kicked in to produce the needed extra energy. A threshold workout trains your body to burn energy the most effectively utilizing oxygen. It is the best workout for creating a good race pace.
The long day is the last workout you need every week in your 5k training program. Having running session that go for slower speeds and longer durations trains your body to burn fat and increases effectiveness of burning energy while running. You only need to do one long day a week and spending hours doing cardio during every workout may be a key reason why you are no longer seeing results.
To truly see your results you want a program that creates a personal heart rate profile. The charts on most treadmills are not accurate and the doctors who came up with the charts admit they made them up as a best guess for insurance companies and were never supposed to use as training heart rates. The other major key as you continue to run is a 5k program that uses specific and multiple threshold and interval workouts. The workout that worked for the first month won’t work for the second as your body needs a new stimulus. With proper heart rate profiles you will be running your first or fastest 5k in no time.
Copyright (c) 2007 Charles Carter