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
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.
3. Add a speedwork day
The intermediate plan also has weekly speed work, consisting of 400m intervals and tempo runs.
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”.
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.