Revisiting 5K photos - mom and me at 5K start

GT Pi Mile Race with mom

Confession: I’m revisiting 5K races, because I have only competitively run 4 of them in my running career.

When I signed up for my first marathon and started this blog, I basically began the journey from sedentary to long distance runner. Shorter races were just milestones as I increased distance and did not look back.

Sure, I’ve done a handful of casual 5Ks, but seriously running a 5K? 4. I’ve done 4.

My PR was during my early days in 2014. Despite having 1,300 more miles under my belt, I have yet to learn strategy or pacing for the 5K. Last year I attempted a PR,  and ended up taking walking breaks! That is one of the reasons this long distance runner is revisiting 5K.

5 Reasons I’m Revisiting 5K Races

Revisiting 5K PR photo

From my PR day

1. Check off a 2016 Resolution

I think without training and just some clear thinking, I could beat my current personal record. However, this year I resolved to EARN an accurate 5K best.

For 2 months, I am going to train specifically for the 5K. To monitor my progress, I am going to run a 5K before training, midway, and at the end.

My pre-training 5K is April 2nd (Update: Race Recap)!

2. Add a 5th day of running

Beginner marathon plans have graciously allowed me to run 4 days a week. But as I delve into more advanced marathon plans, 5 days is the norm.

I definitely want to spend this “off-season” adjusting to 5 days physically, mentally, and… schedule-ally?

Starting a 5 day plan with a shorter distance seemed like a good route – The Hal Higdon Intermediate 5K training plan has 5 running days.

Revisiting 5K mid race

Just out for a stroll

3. Add a speedwork day

The intermediate plan also has weekly speed work, consisting of 400m intervals and tempo runs.

I maintained pace runs for the last marathon, and have sporadically touched on intervals and fartleks, but this will be my first introduction to structured, progressive speedwork.

4. Keep my mileage low

Since I’m adding a running day and speed work simultaneously, I’m cutting way back on my miles. A 5K lets me do that. While I think that will be enough, I am not opposed to switching out a basic running day for pool running or cycling if it keeps me healthy. This is all part of larger experiment called “the off-season”.

Revisiting 5K photo bomb ending

First sub-30 5K

5. Get close to Boston Qualifying pace at a short distance

Qualifying for the Boston Marathon (BQ) remains high above my current echelon.

Even if I could maintain my current 5K or 10K pace for 26.2 miles, it would not be fast enough. So, I want to train for a 5K, do some speed work, and just see what speeds closer to BQ feel like.

I want to know what I’m working toward.

What do you like the most about 5K races? What do you like the least?

My answer is “crowds” for both.