If you are just starting out with running you will most likely start with a small race distance like a 3 or 5km race before working your way up the running ladder to the 10km, half marathon, full marathon or if you are crazy enough an ultra.
I know when I first started out running, I had the goal of running a 5km race. That race was the Run for the Kids 5km run back in April 2012.
After completely that first race, I totally understood why those made their way up that running ladder. Yes I was on a runners high, and was amazed at what me and my body could do. I could see why people wanted to challenge themselves further and go longer.
I have mentioned previously why the Marathon is not for me, but I do enjoy the half marathon distance and trail runs.
For a while my road racing was all about bettering my time, and achieving that personal best.
Now that my focus has shifted the trail runs, I don’t stress about time, but just enjoy my surrounds while out running.
The 5km distance is highly under rated.
Most find it too short to get into a rhythm. While others find it too difficult to push themselves hard for such a short distance.
Here are 5 reasons why you should revisit the 5km.
You can train hard
You can push yourself further knowing that you can sustain a faster speed for a shorter distance.
It’s a great opportunity to focus of HIIT workouts like speedwork, fartleks, or hill repeats. These workouts yield maximum benefits in a short amount of time.
A beginner runner might run their 5km distance in 40 mins. Eventually that runner will want to bring it down to 30 mins, 25 minutes, and possibly even 20 or less.
Even if you are running a 5km in 40 mins, it’s still over and done with within the hour. That means you can get on with the rest of your day, and have the energy to go shopping, gardening or even hang out with friends.
Which leads me to the next reason.
You don’t have a runners hangover
If you have been running long distances you know exactly what I mean by this.
- Your body aches all over, and it hurts to move.
- Your mind could be completely dead, or be going a million miles an hour.
- You want to eat, but the thought of food makes you fill ill or you want to eat everything in sight.
- You are utterly exhausted.
When you are only running 5km, you don’t experience this.
Your weekends aren’t taken up by the long run
When you are a working parent you want to spend time with your kids, family or friends.
Most long runs are scheduled for the weekend, as that’s when most events take place. When your long run takes up a portion of your weekend it’s then difficult to spend time with your kids, family or your friends.
If you do get to fit in your long run and get to spend quality time with your love ones, you may still get to experience that runners hangover.
You get a fast recovery
The further you go the longer it takes for your body to recover. Sometimes it’s a day, a week, sometimes even a month.
With a 5km, you might take 5 minutes to cool down by walking or stretching. Then you are off to do what you please with the rest of your day.
Your legs wont feel like lead the next day and you could even go out for another run and it not hurt.
When was the last time you did a 5km race?
What’s your current 5km pb?
What’s your ultimate 5km time goal?