"Only a 5K"
5 ways to mix up your next 5K
If you hang out with runners very long the phrase "only a 5K" will come out of your mouth at some point.
You may start with run walk intervals, build up your distance over time, complete a 5K then another and another. Many runners give a 10K or half marathon a go but decide that’s not the distance they love. Or as the case with many mamas, we want to keep moving but 2-3 hour training runs aren’t going to fit the schedule/mom guilt game plan.
So a 5K it is. Awesome! How do you rock another 5K but continue to challenging yourself? Here are a few ideas to keep you moving:
Mixing up your speed during training or even during an event will give you a good challenge and even get you to the finish line quicker. The control freak part of me says to get out your watch and decide on an exact interval. You can even download a “simple interval timer” to your phone so it will beep when it is time to switch.
30 sec of moving faster every 5 min will get most of our hearts beating fast, if you’re in excellent shape do the 30 sec every 3 min.
Keep moving tip: Watch idea to much preplanning? Wing it by increasing your speed at every light pole, tree or us competitive gals might pick it up to pass someone in front of us at an event.
Picking an event that has different terrain than you’re used to adds a new dimension of fun. Pick a trail run, an event with a super hilly course, something in an area you’ve never run before.
Keep moving tip: Start a race towards the back of the pack. That way you are bobbing and weaving through the crowd…another change.
3. Run at a friend’s pace
Bringing a friend along to chat with mixes up the race day experience too. Especially if her pace is different than yours. A walking or slower friend will allow you to talk more and enjoy not pushing your limits for once. A faster friend will challenge you to keep up…while you let her do all the talking so you can focus on breathing and occasionally pretending your shoe is untied.
Completing a destination event is a whole new spin on running. New scenery, surfaces and swag.
Build an event into a trip. Look up an event that’s near your inlaws while visiting or one that’s near that business conference you’re at all week.
OR plan a destination event as a weekend away or a day away with friends. Hang out before and after and chat it up. www.active.com is a great source for events, a quick google search will do it too.
5. Make a goal
I PR’d today! What the heck is PR and why do I want that? PR is abbreviated for Personal Record….so you’re best time. Making a goal of finishing your next 5K faster than your previous can keep you motivated to push a bit more on race day and during your training.
Aiming for a pace 30 sec to 1 min per mile faster is a challenging but doable goal in a 5K. Ran a 32:51 last time? That’s a 10 minute 34 second per mile pace. Shoot for a 31:16 next time shaving 30 sec off each mile. Check out this pace calculator on cool running to crunch some numbers in a jiffy. www.coolrunning.com
Whatever you do, keeping it interesting, fun and engaging will keep you running. That’s the goal after all right? To keep moving.
1/22/2016 12:14:40 pm
I was mortified when I said "only a 5K" in a group and someone called me on it! While I have raced / run about every distance between a 400 and a marathon, the 5K is my absolute favorite distance!
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