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Why You Should Run Your First 5k

‘If people ran more 5ks, I’m positive the average life satisfaction of humans would increase dramatically.’ If you’re not convinced by the words of professional 5k runner, Lauren Fleshamn, and still think a 5k is either out of your reach or just not for you, then read on below to let us change your mind.

1. They are for everybody

Nobody is excluded from a 5k. You can walk or run it, be old or young. It is short enough that no matter how long you take it is never too long — for the runner or spectator. Whole families can take on the challenge together, or they could just come along and watch. Either way it’s a nice family activity for the weekend.

2. They are convenient

There will always be a series of 5k running events near you. Plus, whether you choose a parkrun or another 5k run, they will be affordable or free (and often charitable). They are also short — so you can run one and still get home in time for a late breakfast.

3. You can do any kind of fun run

Fun runs, mud runs, obstacle runs, bubble runs, colour runs. There are so many of them. And most of them are 5k. They happen all the time and they will be something you haven’t done before. And your kids will love them.

4. You’ll get into the habit of running

If you fancy running a bit more, then committing to a race (by booking it, not planning it) will source you some running motivation to actually do it. It isn’t easy forcing yourself out of bed on the weekend. But once you’ve got something to work for and are officially training for a 5k you end up without much of a choice.

5. Everyone has to start somewhere

You’ll need to be able to complete a 5k run if you ever want to run anything further. So it’s a fairly natural place to start — you can ease yourself into running and have a shorter term goal. Even if long-distance running in no way appeals, it’s worth trying out a simple 5k on even the off chance that you’ll love it and want to carry on.

6. You’ll feel great

Endorphins, exercise, physical well-being. They all come from an energising 5k run. Already you have a pretty perfect package for a happier life. Releasing a bit of pent-up energy by running massively helps destressing. Exercise will help you sleep better. And a toned body will make you feel better. It’s harder to find reasons why you shouldn’t run a 5k.

7. You’ll see quick improvements

Whatever your running fitness levels, you will see the training pay off. Whether you couldn’t run at all and suddenly can run half of it, or you are working to improve your speed by interval training, there will be a sharp turn in your fitness.

8. You’re less likely to get Runner’s Knee and Shin Splints

Only running a 5k means that you are so much less likely to get a running injury related to overuse. Both Runner’s Knee and Shin splints are much more avoidable when you’re not training for long-distances, so you can do the exercise you want without risking walking pain the next day. Plus running helps prevent bone fractures by increasing bone density. So you will actually be making yourself more resistant to future running injuries by starting off on a 5k.

9. 5ks are good for your health

It’s not just weight management that a 5k can help with. Running even short distances will help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It is also suggested to work as disease prevention. You’ll be more motivated to make better dietary choices. And sweating is great for you and your skin.

10. Whatever the weather

Your 5k is short enough that it is probably not going to be cancelled last minute because of bad weather. It’s a massive plus. It means you can train in all likely weathers (if you really really want to) and also that you won’t psych yourself up only to be disappointed.

11. It’ll be an achievement

Whether you’ve never run a 5k before, you’ve broken your personal best, run just one more race, or just managed to get out of bed to do it, there will be an achievement to running a 5k. And everybody loves to achieve things.

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