Dude. I get it. There is something about training and running super-long distances that gives you feels that nothing else can provide. I’ve been there. Usually once a quarter, I go, “I should totally run another marathon.” I look at race pics and dream races and I fantasize about having the time and energy to do 18-mile training runs on the reg. I remember fondly the days when I was eating like a horse, cat napping in the afternoon, running before or after work with no regard for caring for another person (because I didn’t have one). Ahh, the carefree life of a childless marathoner. Then reality sets in.
I read this article not too long ago, and have found a few others where runners were praising the 5k distance. People are rebelling against the strange trend you can see in running, other hobbies, diets, parenting, and basically everything people do at present—extremes. You can’t just be vegetarian, you have to be plant-based, gluten-free, soy-free, keto, and not eat anything that casts a shadow. Then you’ll really be healthy. And you can’t just not be a jerk to your children. You can never say, “no,” and literally have to say “thank you” for seemingly no reason. You’ve gotta be kitten me. Then there’s running. If you’re not running marathons, you’re basically just a mall walker.
What the shit is this?
Sorry, language, but for real. First, mall walkers are usually total badasses who dgaf about the weather because they’re inside, near water and bathrooms, like a bunch of bosses. Second, not everyone wants to run for hours on end. Or sometimes you do, but you also want to do shorter distances. Maybe you want to NAIL some 5ks and be one of those amazing people who actually WINS medals. Not just like the rest of us chumps who get them for finishing, like some elementary soccer league players whose moms demand they all to get trophies for showing up.
The reality of marathon training, and long distance training at all (yes, a half marathon is a long distance) is that it can be more trouble than it’s worth. Yes, it can be a lot of fun, but can you be fit as hell running some 5ks? Can you have time to do other things, cross train, not get injured, keep up with your running buddies, actually spend time with your family and still sleep and eat like a normal person? Yup! So let’s paws for a second and think about this:
Here are five glorious reasons you should run a 5k right meow! Er, soon.
You can probably do it kinda fast.
My 5k PR is like sub 9-minute miles or something crazy. My average pace for a longer race right now is like 11-minute miles. I don’t worry about pace because I just like being out and getting in miles, but does it feel pretty killer to go your fastest? Hell yeah.
You can train for it without being a road hermit.
You can do race pace runs, speed work, and junk miles if you want, on top of other types of training, and it won’t take 15 hours a week.
You can avoid injury.
There’s a reason that people often get injured while training for a half or full marathon: IT’S REALLY FAR. And it’s damned hard to train for those. You have to run several times a week, and your body (even with rest days—which are very important!) is usually a little beat, or even really sore and dog-tired. But if you’re training for 5ks, it doesn’t take nearly as much time, and you don’t have to be on the road constantly.
You can cross train.
Why do runners hate cross training? I don’t get it! When I’m distance running, it’s really hard to cross train because you don’t want to be sore from a weight lifting workout when you have to do a 12-mile run in a day or two. You can bike or swim, but it still feels like you should just be running, so many of us ignore the cross training aspect of distance running. Big mistake. When you’re training for 5ks, you can totally throw in cross training and not mess up your running plan.
You can really enjoy the race.
My favorite thing about running races under 5-6 miles is that I can bring my son with me. Running a race with a stroller is like top five most clawesome things you can do. Plus, he loves it, and I super love being that kind of role model for him. Then, when the race is over, we can go mow down on some snacks (even though we only burned 300 calories), hang out as a family, and walk around town without feeling like you’re going to die.
There are even more reasons! They’re cheaper, you still get a cool shirt, you don’t have to start as early, you still usually support a charity with your registration, you can get more friends to come with you—ahh! Now I want to run a 5k.