First, an apology... the blog's gone more than a little out of control of late. Time to get back to basics.
The 5K is a strange beast; it's the most commonly run road race, yet it's one of the hardest races to do well. Most plans for training to run a 5K are only a few weeks long and are aimed at those training to complete their first race, but the 5K specialist can spend years perfecting his or her craft. Unlike the marathon, where one trains for months and months for a single race, the 5K runner does several races, usually every week once in top form, using the races themselves as part of the training.
The 5K doesn't allow for any mistakes. If you make an error of some sort in a long race like the marathon, it doesn't usually spell disaster, but an error in a 5K means you start looking at the next race before you hit the finish line. A bad marathon will slow one down to a walk and make one's legs hurt for days; a bad 5K will make you think your chest is about to explode and make one wonder five minutes after the race is over what to do differently next time.
I'm going to do a series on 5K training, as many of the readers of this blog have no interest in such things as running 50 or 100 miles. For those who read this to follow the ultramarathoning community, it may be useful to learn that short races aren't just "run as hard as you can."
2 days ago