Revisit the 5km

If you are just starting out with running you will most likely start with a small race distance like a 3 or 5km race before working your way up the running ladder to the 10km, half marathon, full marathon, or if you are crazy enough an ultra.

I know when I first started out running, I had the goal of running a 5km race. That race was the Run for the Kids 5km run back in April 2012.

After completing that first race, I totally understood why those made their way up that running ladder.  Yes, I was on a runner’s high and was amazed at what I was capable of achieving. It’s totally understandable why people challenge themselves to go faster or to run further.

I have mentioned previously why the Marathon is not for me, but I do enjoy the half marathon distance and trail runs.

For a while, my road racing was all about bettering my time and achieving that personal best.

Now that my focus has shifted to the trail runs, I don’t stress about time, but just enjoy my surroundings while out running.

This is why I decided to revisit a 5km race.  Sure I have done 5km club runs and training runs, but it took 2 years before I would revisit a 5km event.

The 5km distance is highly underrated.

Most find it too short to get into a rhythm. While others find it too difficult to push themselves hard for such a short distance.

Five Reasons you should Revisit the 5km

You can train hard

You can push yourself further knowing that you can sustain a faster speed for a shorter distance.

It’s a great opportunity to focus on HIIT workouts like speedwork, fartleks, or hill repeats. These workouts yield maximum benefits in a short amount of time.

A beginner runner might run their 5km distance in 40 mins.  Eventually, that runner will want to bring it down to 30 mins, 25 minutes, and possibly even 20 or less.

Even if you are running 5km in 40 mins, it’s still over and done with within the hour.  That means you can get on with the rest of your day, and have the energy to go shopping, garden, or even hang out with friends.

This leads me to the next reason.

You don’t have a runners hangover

If you have been running long distances you know exactly what I mean by this.

  • Your body aches all over, and it hurts to move.
  • Your mind could be completely dead or be going a million miles an hour.
  • You want to eat, but the thought of food makes you fill ill or you want to eat everything in sight.
  • You are utterly exhausted.

When you are only running 5km, you don’t experience this.

Your weekends aren’t taken up by the long run

When you are a working parent you want to spend time with your kids, family, or friends.

Most long runs are scheduled for the weekend, as that’s when most events take place.  When your long run takes up a portion of your weekend it’s then difficult to spend time with your kids, family, or your friends.

If you do get to fit in your long run and get to spend quality time with your loved ones, you may still get to experience that runner’s hangover.

You get a fast recovery

The further you go the longer it takes for your body to recover. Sometimes it’s a day, a week, sometimes even a month.

With a 5km, you might take 5 minutes to cool down by walking or stretching.  Then you are off to do what you please with the rest of your day.

Your legs won’t feel like lead the next day and you could even go out for another run and it not hurt.

When was the last time you did a 5km race?
What’s your current 5km pb?
What’s your ultimate 5km time goal?

8 thoughts on “Revisit the 5km”

  1. Great post! You really got me to thinking on this one.
    I love the marathon and I have really only been one track minded as I am getting back into running, with the marathon as goal end in sight. But you just made me realize, there are other distances and right now technically a 5k is perfectly up my ally. I have some friends who are pushing me to get ready for a half marathon next month, but between you and me, I am not sure if I even want to push right now. However, a 5k or 10k, now that is different. I am really going to have to give some thought to that, we may have some fun 5k’s around here in the winter time and I haven’t ever looked into them:) Thanks for the post and ideas!!

    1. You’re welcome.
      Sometimes it’s nice to have a shift in goal.
      Now that I’ve cracked a sub 22min 5km, I’m going to concentrate on a 10km race. I have some trail half’s coming up in the next 6 months, but I know that I would like to do another half next year, with a time goal in mind. Using the 10km race will be a good prep and give me an idea of what I’m capable in the half. But all in good time.

  2. Another fan of the 5km here, especially with parkrun events popping up all over the place! Sometimes I just don’t feel like running, but having a regular 5km event available means that I can keep that up (at least) and know that it’ll be done without any real problems. And you’re totally right in pointing out that 5km won’t give you that hangover where you not only need time for the long run, but time to recover properly too!

    1. It’s great that parkrun is taking off, There has been talk of parkrun starting up here, but I doubt that would happen, as that would kill our running club, but we run more than 5km anyway.
      I still want to particpate in a parkrun event though… one day.

      1. I disagree that it would kill the running club – parkrun is more about encouraging people to become active, and celebrating progress (in the form of PBs). You might even find that the running club grows as more people get into running – I’m sure the five30runners in Newcastle never predicted they’d grow so quickly off the back of parkrun!

        1. The thing is Cecilia, we are in a very small town, and we struggle for numbers as it is.
          We also work on a handicap system, so it’s always about bettering your own time. Sometimes we start at the same time (sealed handicap) other times it’s a staggered start (so we end at the same time).
          Our running club is about becoming more active, we have people form all walks of life. The problem is that the current time for our run club is 2pm in the arvo, which sucks, I’m trying to get it changed to the morning.
          I know that a group have try to establish park run here, but it hasn’t taken off. Part of the problem is that people would rather do footy/netball that’s offered than go running.
          Oh well it is what it is.
          I’ll just do parkrun in melb when I visit next.
          It might take off in a few years time, but with some uncertainty with one of the biggest employers here (mine), we don’t know what is going to happen.

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