There’s something that happens on a regular basis all over this country, and in many others. Groups of people come together, and building comradery, and often doing so for a cause that’s close to family and friends.
5K. 5,000 meters. 3.1 miles.
This is not a marathon but a good distance for most people regardless of where you are in your fitness journey. The vast majority of people can walk this distance in less than an hour, while the super-fit among us may be able to run it in less than 20 minutes.
A 5K is For Everyone.
Many 5K events will also have a “Fun Run” for the kids, perhaps only a hundred meters or so, and some even have shorter distances, or different start times for those that may be walking the distance instead of running or jogging. These events are truly something that the whole family can participate in.
Should I train?
While taking some time to put on some mileage before an event like this is a good idea, it isn’t by any means required if you are in relatively good health. If you are working out with any kind of regularity, walking a 5K will take you around 45 minutes.
If you are planning on running a 5K, it’s a great idea to put some miles on your shoes and body before heading out. I once did a 5K with no prep, and while it didn’t kill me, I acquired some very sore calves and shins for the next few days. Taking some time to put on a little mileage before the event will help keep you a little less sore over time, instead of taking that whole beat down at once.
Many of you may have heard of the “Couch to 5K” program from the interwebs or some of your fitness friends. It’s a simple program that takes you from running a little, to walking a little each day to running more and walking less. Here’s a link if you’re interested in checking it out (scroll down a bit, it’s in blue). I think that it’s a pretty good program, assuming that you don’t have any major injuries that you need to consider. Even so, for many, you should think about taking on the challenge of attempting and completing a five thousand meter (about 3.1 mile) fundraiser with your friends.
Moving With a Group
5K’s also can be a wonderful social event. If you get a few friends involved, then you have training buddies that will keep you accountable in your training, while also fitting a bit of sweat back into your life.
Signing up for an “official event”
Sites like RaceWire or EventBrite have listings of many athletic events across the country and around the world. Being a popular event, there is probably a 5K at least one a year, and often more in every major metropolitan area. They’re often joined up with smaller races or walks for kids, as well as pairing with fundraisers ranging from helping the troops to helping cancer survivors. For many of these events, you aren’t just racing for yourself, you are also building awareness and raising money for another cause.
My recommendation would be to check out one of the above sites and see when the next event is happening in your area, then get to work!