5k Level 2.5?

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    I have recently finished the level 2 half marathon plan which was my first step into 80/20 training and enjoyed this style of training.

    I’m now going to step down to training for 5k distance and torn between going for level 2 or level 3. Level 2 feels like it might not quite be enough volume, but I also think the double runs of level 2 might be too much.

    Has anyone customised the Level 2 or 3 plan from the book to make a plan somewhere inbetween the two levels? Any tips?


    As always I will defer specific advice to Matt and David and restrict my comments to my personal experience.

    You ask a great question, how should one decide when to move up in level, and are you better served by adding strength work or milage to your efforts?

    I am currently following a modified (by me) maintenance plan. By modified I mean that I am taking the lessons learned from my recent experience with the Stride Academy plan and altering workouts to include cadence and shoe cue work and adding a stride and drill workout to the stock maintenance plan. In addition I am following the strength program and have formalized my mobility work by including it on my Training Peaks calendar.

    These additions add several hours of work each week and taking the extras into a Level III plan would be a burden, but for an aging athlete such as myself I feel I am getting better results than additional milage alone can deliver. I suspect for a younger athlete it would be better to follow the plans as developed since they are designed to get you to the best possible running form in the shortest possible time.

    David Warden


    Thanks for using our plans. We also cover how to customize a plan in Chapter 8 of the book 80/20 Triathlon (this process applies to runners as well). That will give you some great ideas for how to customize a plan.

    Our updated online run plans offer cross-training on days where there are two workouts a day in the Level 2 or Level 3 plan. Alternatively, you can always combine the two workouts into a single workout.



    Thanks Charles, I agree that adding strength work and mobility, form drills, etc. are certainly helpful. I was following a different strength/mobility routine but going to try out an 80/20 strength plan this time round.

    I’m torn between sticking with level 2 (maybe not quite enough, conservative approach) or customising level 2 to add more volume or jump up to level 3 but maybe cross train all the double runs.

    Thanks David, I have the 80/20 Running book, not the Triathlon version. Thanks for the advice.


    I decided to purchase the 5k level 3 plan which has quite a few changes compared to the book version. Appears to have fewer double runs and structured a bit differently. I think it should be a good fit with using cross training for some of the runs.

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