5K vs. Half Marathon

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Up to now, I’ve been focused on 5K races.  The farthest distance I’ve run on my own is 4 miles.  So my running has been concentrated on getting faster with my goal of breaking 30 minutes at a 5K.  My PR is 30:44…I’m so close!  Now that I’m training for a half-marathon my thinking has to change.  Now I’m doing long distance running so I have to think about building my endurance.  It’s a whole different mind set.  So I’ve got a 5k race coming up in a couple of weeks and I really want to finally break 30, but, I’m in the middle of training for my half marathon and I don’t want to disrupt that.  Do I concentrate on my 5K and then when it’s over concentrate on my half-marathon?  I already know that answer to that.  Somehow I have to reconcile my 5K goal but not sure how.

In my free run days I just run as instructed.  I don’t look at my watch or try to keep a pace; I just run for the time I’m told to run.  I like the freedom of this.  I just go with how I’m feeling and monitor my form and enjoy the run.  With a 5K I’m constantly trying to run the 3 miles faster than the last time.  Each free run I compare to the last to see if I’ve improved.  Now, I just run and I keep in mind that it’s not about going fast, it’s about going the distance.

My break 30 goal has been on my mind for awhile now.  I wanted to achieve this goal during the Big 5K this year.  It was the one year anniversary of my first 5K.  Even though I beat my time by 15 minutes, I did not break 30.  I wasn’t too hard on myself though.  I forgot how crowded that race is.  It was so crowded that I had to walk the first half mile until the crowd started to spread out.  The minute I got in my corral, I hit me that this is going to be a slow start.  I thought maybe I could make up the time but those hills were just too much.  So I set my sites on the Santa Monica Classic which is where I achieved my PR and figured I could certainly PR there again.  But then I gave myself a new goal.

So the Santa Monica Classic is in 3 weeks.  I haven’t been pushing my time at all.  If I were to attempt my PR I would need to make a move now.  I would need to change the way I run my free-runs now.  I also have to consider the fact that I have my long run scheduled the day before the race for 7 miles.  Can I run my 7 miles on a Saturday and PR a 5K on a Sunday?  It seems like way too much.  I need to focus on what is most important to me and that’s the half-marathon.  I’m enjoying the training, my free runs, my group runs and I really just want to enjoy that whole experience.  I’ll do the Santa Monica Classic and just enjoy it as another free run day for myself and go at a comfortable pace so as not to risk injury for my bigger race.

I can still think about hitting that PR in the future if I want.  It’s still going to be there.

One thought on “5K vs. Half Marathon

  1. You’re right, that PR will always be there for you to get. But maybe just go to the race with no expectations-just have fun and do your best and let yourself be swept up in the race–who knows, you might surprise yourself and get it! You can always switch around runs as well if you need to. Sometimes if I am doing a shorter race but I need to get a longer run in for training, I will run to the race slowly as a nice warm up. That works great for two things, one, I get my miles in. But two, by the time I start a 5k I am nice and warm and usually run better/faster than I would starting at 0. Just a thought. Enjoy it all!

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