Why the 5K is great for experienced runners

Running up that hill

Whether it’s running or another life goal, we believe it’s essential to start with WHY. That’s how we find the oomph to take action when it’s face-numbing cold or sweltering hot outside!

With the U&R Worldwide 5K coming up on Sunday 8 February, we’re looking at why a 5K is a great idea for different levels of runners… and walkers!

We begin today with why the 5K is awesome for experienced runners. These tips not only apply to the Worldwide 5K, but to “real” 5K races too.

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Back when I first organised a 5K race in my town, the most common response I got when inviting my runners to sign up was, “Only 5K? Sorry, that’s just too short for me.”

No matter how experienced you are, the 5K is never too short for you.

A habit I often see in endurance runners is treating every distance equally. Whether they go out to run 30 minutes or 90 minutes it’s always at the very same pace. They place quantity over quality and inevitably end up running slower. Even professional marathoners race shorter distances in order to keep their legs fresh and their motors revved.

If you’re a fan of endurance training here are some great ways to take advantage of the Worldwide 5K:

Use the 5K as a “sandwich” run

Warm up with a slow 30 minute then line up for your 5K. You’ll want to run and race at near threshold pace. Once you cross the finish line grab something to drink and then continue running another 30 minutes at a slow cool down pace.

What’s your 5K PB?

There’s a direct correlation between your short distance speed and your long distance speed. So if you want to improve on that half marathon or marathon time, work on your shorter distances first, starting with your 5k.

Experiment with a new way of running and racing

A short race is a low-risk opportunity to experiment. Try running in progression – starting out slow and finishing at your top speed. Alternate between speeds at various distances. My favorite is 3 minutes “fast” and 3 minutes “slow”; repeat until you hit the finish line.
Up & Running Worldwide 5K

Pace another runner

Anyone who has ever paced other runners in a race declares it to be the most gratifying running experience of all. Offering your time and energy, helping someone else accomplish a goal, what could be better than that?

Tune in Friday to find out why the 5K is awesome for walkers.

The Up & Running Worldwide 5K is on Sunday 8 February, in celebration of the publication of UP AND RUNNING, our beginners running book. Click here to find out more about how this virtual race works and the great prizes you can win!