It’s no secret that I love racing in 5k events! More so than any other distance. This is what separates me from all my endurance junkie friends who can’t wait to run their next marathon or ultra race. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the challenges running longer distances brings, but there is just something about the 5k distance that keeps me coming back for more.

Perhaps it is the need for speed as the wind flows through my hair. Pushing the limits as I experience the feeling that I am about to puke. And just when I think I couldn’t possibly run anymore; I cross the finish line, out of breath, relieved, and happy. Participating in 5k events not only helps me assess my running fitness, but also is a fun way to add speed workouts to my long distance training. Since the distance is short, the recovery time is even quicker!

Not everyone has to run all out at a 5k though. Just completing a 5k race is an excellent goal for first time runners, or those looking to lead a more active lifestyle. Not only a physical challenge, but it can provide a great feeling of accomplishment as well as a sense of a community.

For a beginner, getting started is easier than you think. Signing up for a race is a great way to keep motivated and track your goals. Find a 5k event in your area six to eight weeks in advance to give yourself plenty of time to train. The The Fabulous 5k is just seven weeks away! I’m not being bias, but I truly feel that this would be a fantastic first 5k event!

To train, start by running at an easy pace for just 30 minutes every other day or just three times a week. No worries if you are not able to run the full 30 minutes as you can start by alternating 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking to build from there as the running becomes easier. Keeping track of how far and how fast you run during the training cycle can be very inspiring to see your progress. There are other 5k training plans available if this one does not work for you, find one that does. Just don’t give up!

Running 3.1 miles for the first time is a big deal! Not all runs are going to be easy. Just keep pushing through and try not to compare yourself to others. Remember this is your running journey and no one can take that away from you! Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun and smile!