One of the best pieces of advice I ever got early when I started running went along like this.
Person X: So what what race are you training for?
Me: I’m hoping to do a half marathon!
Person X: Have you run a half marathon before?
Me: Yes I’ve done one, I’m hoping to better my time in the next one.
Person X: How fast can you run a 5k race?
I’m wondering at this point – hmm why does it matter how fast I can run a 5k if I’m training for a half?
Me: I think in about 25-30mins..
Person X: well, you should train to run a fast 5k & you’ll be able to run a fast half marathon.
And then he went onto explain why this is.
To run a fast half marathon, you have to be able to run a fast 10k, to run a fast 10k you need to run a fast 5k and in order to run a fast 5k you have to run a fast 1k!
The 5k distance is a good measure for testing your cardiovascular strength. I’ve been incorporating at least one 5k race into my training schedule week in week out to help get my legs speed up.
Since starting to run the regular 5k races my speed endurance has increased considerably. So if you are just starting out sign up for a local 5k race. There are lots of 5k runs throughout the year & for some events you only need to show up ( http://www.parkrun.co.nz ) there is no cost involved. 5k events run by some of the local athletics clubs charge about $5-$10 which usually includes a free drink post race & the chance to meet some other runners. I am regularly at the Wellington Scottish water front 5k in Wellington (Tuesday at 5:30) & Lower Hutt Parkrun (Saturday at 8:00am).
Hope to see you at one of 5k races & happy running!