When you starting looking at potential road races the choices can be overwhelming. There are so many different distances 5K, 10K, 10 mile, half marathon, marathon and many more. At least where I live, you can’t pass a weekend without finding at least one run somewhere in town. Out of all of the possible races, I like the 5K the best. A 5K, or 5 kilometer, race is 3.1 miles, 16,638 feet or 196,416 inches if you really want details. Five kilometer races are my favorite for these reasons:
1. Reasonable training times fit in with work and family. If you have limited time to train but want to find a race length where you can complete and try to lower your time, you may like a 5K. Generally, your longest runs for a 5K are no more than 10 miles and if you are more of a casual runner, you may not even run that far.
2. Not too long for speed. If you like to get your speed up, a 5K is short enough to feel like you can push your speed without having to conserve too much for later miles.
3. No need to carry water bottles or energy foods. 5K races usually have at least one or two water stations along the route which is plenty for the distance. Also, I’ve found that unless I’m running more than five miles that I do not need water for training runs. (This may change when temps skyrocket in summer months.)
4. It’s the easiest distance to learn to run without walking breaks. Since a 5K is typically one of the shortest road races, it is the easiest to learn how to run the distance without needing to walk. If you are a beginner, it may take 12 to 16 weeks to work up to a full run for a 5K, but you definitely can achieve the goal.
5. They are fun! 5K races are fun. Most runs have a theme or a charity attached. Some people dress in crazy clothes and costumes to fit the theme. During Christmas runs, some races even give prizes if you run the race wearing antlers. Most races have awards and some bigger races have food vendors and music for an after party.