Nonlinear training has all runners, from milers to marathoners, do a similar mix of long runs for endurance, lactate threshold runs for strength, and intervals for speed throughout the "base" phase of the training process. With nonlinear training, you're less likely to be limited by lack of speed in a longer race or by fatigue in a shorter one. The key is to keep the challenge level of your key workouts moderate to avoid burning yourself out. Only when the next race is a few weeks away should you shift your focus to challenging event-specific workouts. This "peak" phase should culminate in your most challenging and race-specific workouts. "We train all of our athletes to have well-rounded fitness," says Brad Hudson, a Boulder-based coach and author of 'Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon.'

Training for All Distances:

Base Phase Long Run
1-2 hours at a comfortable pace

Base Phase Lactate-Threshold Run
2-4 miles at a comfortable pace + 2-3 miles at 10K-half marathon race pace

Base Phase Interval Run
1-mile warm-up
6-10 x (1 minute at 5K race pace or faster/2 minutes easy)
1 mile cool-down

Within a Few Weeks of the Race:

5K-Specific Session
5 x 1000 meters @ race pace with 90-second jogging recoveries

10K-Specific Session
6 x 1 mile @ race pace with 90-second jogging recoveries

Half Marathon-Specific Session
8 miles @ race pace