On 5k training

I have nothing but respect for athletes who train and run at the 5k and 10k distances. And middle distance track athletes. The same goes for triathletes. And those who eat hot dogs competitively.

This was my last workout before trying for a PR in the 5k on Sunday. Less than a week after Boston I jumped into a 5k training plan. I have a tendency to ask myself, “what’s next?”

Training for a 5k is hard. Running fast is really hard. It takes a ton of hard work and focus.

When the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, I was running a 50-mile trail race in Arizona. That was after coming off a marathon in January and another in February. When we got home and things were different, I asked myself, “what’s next?” So I ran every single street in my neighborhood.

“What’s next?” So I decided I’d try to break 5 minutes in the mile. The training to break 5 was brutal. It was so hard that I got really discouraged and I started to dread running. I valiantly tried to forge through but after a few weeks, I realized I was stripping myself of the fun I’d always had running. So I quit. Running a 4:50-something mile wasn’t that important to me.

Running 200 meters in 32 and 34 seconds is hard. It takes focus and dedication. And I don’t even know what the hell I’m doing. It probably takes more focus and dedication than I’ve given it. I have to focus on keeping my feet underneath me and what my arms are doing. There’s no time to let your thoughts wander or hear the leaves.

Training for a 5k isn’t as bad as training for the mile, but it’s not sustainable for me. Maybe I’ll do it once a year or so, just to change it up, get out of my comfort zone, and give the ol’ fast-twitch muscles a little zap.

Or I might just see how many hot dogs I can eat in one sitting.

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