Thursday, January 15, 2009

5K and 10ks

As 5K and 10Ks go, I'm much more of a fan of the 10K. In fact, I believe the 10K to be the best kind of race because it requires some speed but also endurance. Oh, and the entire world doesn't believe that they can run a 10K. You tend to lose the amateurs when it comes to a 10K, which makes for a bit of a nicer race.

As 5Ks go, I have tended to avoid them, unless they meet one of three criteria:
  1. They're local. No reason not to get a t-shirt if I have to travel less than 30 minutes.
  2. They've got a very interesting concept. (more on that below)
  3. They're in a city where I'd like to go and it's an excuse to go.
I'm really not a fan of 5Ks, though. They tend to be mobbed, which means that my times are artificially slow. Weekend runners who aren't too serious about the sport tend to flock to these types of races. And while I wholeheartedly applaud people running (including weekend runners), it tends to be more chaos than it's worth. Plus, I end up getting pushed into a slower or faster pace based on how the crowd is moving or the course is laid out.

My favorites

That said, my favorite 5K was the Lincoln Tunnel 5K in NYC. They close a portion of the Lincoln Tunnel and you run from the New Jersey side to the New York side and then back. The pure ridiculousness of it is what appealed to me. In what other time will you be able to do that? Very cool concept and raised a good bit of money for charity.

My second favorite (of two) 5Ks was the Concord 5K that I did last August. The best part about it is that it was only 15 minutes from my house. Oh, and I won a "trophy" (read: beer glass) in my age category with a time of 23:44 which I'm pretty sure is a PR.

As 10Ks go, I haven't done very many because they're just not as prevalent. I always enjoy them because it requires stamina and at the end of the day, you're running 6 miles, which is an excellent distance.


As a somewhat frequent reader of this blog may suspect, I don't really train for the 5K or 10K races. My times have been consistent, 24 min for 5K and 54 min for 10K, and I'm generally fine with that. My weekly mileage more than puts me in good enough shape to run those races without a problem. I suppose I could train for them, but, eh, I don't care all that much about how I do.

Plans for racing in 2009

At this point, I have no plans for any 5K or 10K races in 2009. They're out there and they'll probably show up as it gets into the spring. I'll likely sign up for them on a whim and will run them some Saturday morning. I tend to treat them as training runs for whatever I happen to be training for (which at this point is nothing). Either way, they just naturally flow into my running week.

This was written as part of the Runner's Lounge Take It and Run Thursday. This week's topic was "5Ks and 10Ks".


Marlene said...

I agree about the 5K and amateurs. I have only run one, but it seemed like anyone with a pair of sneakers turned up. That tunnel race sounds awesome!

Susan said...

I'm with ya -- I'll take a 10k any day!

No Longer Using said...

hi! found you thru runners' lounge tiart. i think it's CRAZY how many 5ks there are all the time everywhere. it's really everyone's race. i love running the local races, so i end up in a lot of 5ks. when i find a 10k i like that is nearby i'll def run that race every year (tufts 10k in boston). but you're right there are very few of these races! have a great day :)

ShirleyPerly said...

I agree I'd not travel too far to do a 5K in general. I've never done a standalone 10K so not sure what that's like compared to a 5K. My guess is that it'd hurt quite a bit too, if I ran it as hard as I could, which is usually the only reason I run short races (as time trials). Maybe this is why I enjoy marathons so much :-)

Maybe 2009 is the year for a triathlon for you?

Bob A said...

While my TIART post was mostly about a 5K, I like the 10K best, too. As you said, it's the right combination of speed and endurance.