As someone who is not what people would call a ‘natural’ runner, I am always in awe of those who run and really love doing it. When looking at the sport in general, I have always felt running a marathon was basically as good as it gets, especially being in Massachusetts – the Boston Marathon is a sacred event. However, if I am being honest with myself, the possibility of me convincing myself to run a marathon is very, very low. I won’t say non-existent because you know anything is possible, but it’ll be a leap to say the least. When I look at the running world, a marathon just seems like the greatest of accomplishments, the fun fact that would gain you instant respect from people at a party. Saying you just ran a 5K doesn’t produce the same amount of awe, but in my opinion, 5K’s are the perfect competitive running endeavor for runners who appreciate the sport but see it as a vehicle to be healthy and fit vs. those who do it because they have an incredible amount of passion for the sport and the health aspects are just an awesome bonus (although if that’s you, you’re incredible)!
One of the great things about 5K training is it involves shorter interval training, which is the ideal type of workout if you are looking to shed a few pounds and get fit. One of the many fitness tips I’ve heard is that confusing your body is a great way to lose weight. While long runs can be great for decompressing and increasing your aerobic fitness, they aren’t always the best method to lose weight. Along with this idea of flexible training plans comes the ability to protect your body from overuse injuries! Obviously there are many things that we have to do to protect our bodies (like investing in good running shoes!) but the flexibility to vary your training can help you protect those body parts that sustain a lot of wear and tear while running stay happy!
Training for a 5K is intense, training for a marathon is intense, training for any running event is intense. Commitment to your training plan is important regardless of your end goal but the time commitment involved in training for a 5K is smaller than the time commitment involved in training for a marathon, which gives you more time to pursue a passion, maybe you want to take up knitting or salsa, or maybe you want to spend more time with your family or you just really love napping. Whatever it is, do it, the world is your oyster.
Time is money, right? Even better money is money. The entrance fees for a 5K are generally much less expensive than the entrance fees for marathons, or in this case The Road to Wellness 5K is free for community members! 5K’s are also everywhere, in Massachusetts alone there are close to 400 5K events in 2016. In theory (if dates work out), you could run one a day, although we wouldn’t recommend it. The wide availability of these events ensures that there are 5Ks nearby so you don’t have to travel to some distant land just to race.
To preform or not to preform, that my friends is the question. If you don’t want it to be a big deal it doesn’t have to be. If you wake up the morning of your race not feeling great, it’s ok, there’s the other 300 and something other 5K’s this year. And pushing through 3 miles of running seems much more doable then pushing through 26 miles of running. On the other hand, if you want to make it a thing, then make it a thing! Compete with yourself, compete with the guy in the neon shirt, see how fast you can go once that burn starts and how far you can push yourself.
Along the lines of making it a big deal or a short weekend stop, running a 5K doesn’t necessitate fuel belts or special gear. One of the winners from their age group at The Road to Wellness 5K ran in jeans! And while I personally would over heat, anything is possible. Whether you run in a gorilla costume or running shorts, like most things in life it’s all what you make it.
If I haven’t convinced you to run, then here’s another 10 reasons to sign up for a race!
If Coach Gael has convinced you to run, check out this blog post about Strategy for 5Ks.