Why The 5K Is Bet­ter Than A Marathon

Short is un­der­rated.


I’m a run­ner, they never fail to ask the same ques­tion: have you run a marathon? In the past, I’ve an­swered this with some vari­a­tion of “Not yet, but I prob­a­bly will soon.” The truth is that I’m a bald-faced liar.

In all of these in­ter­ac­tions, it’s what I felt I should say. Be­cause some­where in my mind, I re­ally didn’t think I’d be con­sid­ered a ‘real’ run­ner if I wasn’t at least plan­ning on rac­ing 42.2km. Maybe it was be­cause I was afraid of be­ing judged, but I wanted to do ev­ery­thing I could to make my­self seem le­git­i­mate and fit in – fit into what, I’m not even sure. In re­al­ity, ev­ery time I gave my an­swer, I knew I wasn’t go­ing to go home and find a marathon to sign up for.

There’s a ten­dency to think that the marathon is the pin­na­cle of run­ning – some­thing that be­gin­ners should work up to, and some­thing that those who’ve been at it for years should have un­der their belts. The as­sump­tion is that the longer the dis­tance, the harder the race – ef­fort is of­ten for­got­ten. And I’ll ad­mit that when I was first start­ing out, I fell into this way of think­ing be­cause it’s easy to see the 5K as no big deal. It’s a dis­tance that peo­ple usu­ally think of as a ‘fun run’, or ‘great for some­one who’s just be­gin­ning’. And it is. I’ve run many lo­cal 5Ks where there’s

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