I think that 5k’s are my favorite thing to run. They’re quick, relatively easy (depending on your terrain) and the best way to work on race speed and PR! If I could run a 5k race every weekend, I would! But then I would go broke, and that wouldn’t be cool. 😛
There’s this great park/golf course minutes from my house that I frequent for 5k training. The terrain is a mix of trail, pavement and cement, and has a couple different routes to take in case I get bored of the scenery. Which I do. It’s also insanely packed with other runners, walkers, dog walkers and whoever during peak times (just before golden hour and early morning) so I usually try and go just before sunset to beat the crowd.
Yeah a 5k might not seem like much to those who run and do races often (don’t get me wrong, I love my 8k-15k races), but they’re the best way to get fit fast, train hard for longer runs without sacrificing your entire morning, and walk the next day without being sore.
Here are my reasons on why 5k’s are stinkin’ fun:
10. Workin on dat fitnesss. Shorter, faster runs are better for weight management than longer runs are. Interval training is the best way to torch calories, train your muscles for speed, strength and power bursts. Plus, they’re an amazing way to stay in shape when you want to get out of the house for 30 mins, but don’t wan to drive all the way to the gym.
9. Race every weekend (and usually for a cause)! If you can spare $25-$45 bucks a week on races alone (I wish!) then by all means sign up for a 5k this weekend right meow! 5ks happen SO often and support all kinds of causes/charities — you can just google “5k races san diego (or whatever city you’re in)” and find at lest 7 smaller races happening that week. Help yourself stay fit while donating to great causes. Enough said.
8. Free time. What will you do with your weekends/weekend mornings now that you aren’t dead from running 2+ hours of distance training? The options are endless!
7. No bad race days. If you can run a 5k without walking, you’re pretty much good to go on fitness. Now aim for a new PR every weekend :] My fastest mile was 8:28 for the Mission Trails 5k I did in February, and I’m slowly working on decreasing my mile time. Goal time is a 5k in 18 minutes! Hip hip hooray!
6. Minimalism. No bouncy fuel belts. No hand-held water bottles. No Vaseline everywhere (it reduces chafing/blisters in case you didn’t know). No energy gels/blocks/bars. No problems! Just me and my hot pink Spibelt, on our merry little 5k way ❤
5. Style, baby! A 5k is hardly enough for me to break a sweat, which means I don’t have to worry about whether or not I should throw on running pants or shorts, a long sleeve, or a hoodie. My favorite 5k outfit to wear is shorts and a light tank, my Spibelt (holds my car key and phone), and a cute colorful headband like these or this one.
4. Competition vs. Completion. In longer races, you’re so focused on making it to the finish line that you may forget to stay in tune with your body and focus on your breathing, your alignment, and hydration. With a 5k though, you can forget about worrying because of COURSE you’ll make it to the finish line! Therefore you can focus more on upping your speed, feeling out your breathing, and lip-syncing to Uptown Funk without running out of breath.
3. More friends to run with. Not too many people would be down to do a distance run with me, let alone a half (shout out to Janelle! Except she’s the one who convinced me into doing my first half. Xo). However, once you say “oh it’s only a 5k” thennnn more people are like, “Oh yeah I can totally do that with you!” Running with a friend is so much more fun than running alone, even if you both don’t have the same pace. You can encourage each other, declare your pace per mile to each other (Janelle and I do that when we run together, haha), watch out for each other, and it’s just nice to have a running buddy. Most days, you both will end up running faster than you’d run alone! Which is always cool.
2. Two words: Fun Runs. The color run, mud run, obstacle course runs, and wine runs all fall under the 5k “fun run” category. Yeah the 8k’s and up have beer at the end of their runs, but I’ll be a wine girl til I die so I’m just fine with my 5k themed runs! This is also a great way to encourage friends to race with you (I got 10 of my best girls together for the color run in Portland 2 years ago!)
1. Runner’s confidence. This is so important in learning to LOVE running. Once you get moving and start a running plan, you’ll feel better about yourself as you develop into a runner. Your stamina will increase with every mile you log, and you will kick yourself for skipping out on run days (because personal accountability is always fun right). So what are you waiting for? Lace up those running shoes and hit the pavement (or trail…or sand, whatever)! ❤ Here’s me and my team G.I. Josie girls at the color run: