Thursday, January 15, 2009

In Praise of the 5K

You know what's great about a 5K?

It is only 5 kilometers long.

I know, it may seem like I'm stating the obvious. But there's something great about running a race that's such a short distance.

For one thing, it just doesn't take very long. If I need to, I can hire a babysitter to hang out with Jack while I run and it doesn't cost me a fortune. And this year, I actually ran a 5K, then came home and hosted a birthday party for approximately one zillion four-year-olds. Try running a half marathon or more and doing that.

A 5K is also a great place to experiment with race strategies. Should I start off easy, then pick up the pace? Attack the hills and try to pick off people there? Or try running a really hard pace and see if I can sustain it.

If a strategy like that goes awry in a half marathon or marathon, you are pretty much screwed. But in a 5K, if you really make a bad choice and wind up sucking wind, hey, you only have a couple of miles to go. You can still finish.

Finally, a 5K can still afford you the all-important bragging rights. It's a short distance for runners, but to a non-runner, it can seem insurmountable. You ran 3.1 miles? Voluntarily? All at the same time? Unthinkable!

So, all hail the mighty 5K! And to see what other runners think of this race, and it's big brother the 10K, head on over to Runners' Lounge.


tfh said...

Great points-- I don't often feel the 5k love but this post has me reconsidering.

Andrew is getting fit said...

I still remember how a 5K was my ultimate goal in life. I love the 5K!

RunningLaur said...

I like the race strategy practice idea. Good 5k thoughts!

Shilingi-Moja said...

I love the bragging rights comment. So true -- a 5K is just a good tempo run.

merrymishaps said...

Great points!