Five reasons to try a 5K this summer!
02 August 2014
If you're new to running, trying a local 5K can provide a great challenge to keep you on track.
Read why with five great reasons to try a 5K this summer below and then join in our summer of celebrating #whywerun! Find out more: www.runengland.org/whywerun.
1. They're manageable
Even if you can only run a few steps when you start running, 5K is relatively short and a realistic target for most ages and abilities. What's more, most local events welcome all ability levels and there will be plenty of people mixing walking and jogging, mums pushing buggies and so on that you needn't worry about 'not being fit enough'. There are no prizes for winning in parkrun - just participation - so you can be sure you'll feel comfortable taking part whatever your ability.
2. They're convenient
Thousands of 5Ks take place around the country every weekend. parkrun and Great Run Local offer well organised 5Ks that are free, weekly open to anyone, so chances are there will be a 5K near you this weekend. There are also plenty of locally organised events. Many also welcome - and even hold specific events for - children so you can bring the whole family along! With so many local events to choose from you shouldn't have to travel far and many are finished nice and early meaning you'll save money, reduce your carbon footprint and it won't take up your weekend.
3. The social element
Events such as parkrun and Great Run Local are all about coming together and having fun. Park cafes are often swarming with participants enjoying a chit chat over a coffee after their events, and this social element means that they are a great place to have fun, make friends, find running buddies or even get some useful tips to help you improve next time.
4. Track your progression
Weekly, timed, local 5Ks which take place on a set, measured route are a great way to track how your fitness is progressing. Some routes are also marked out with Run England 3-2-1 markers so you can even try them in your own time during the week. If you're completely new to running, then setting yourself the target of completing 5K in two to three months time is the perfect challenge to keep you motivated. Many Run England groups run as 8-12 week 'walk to jog' programmes with a local 5K as the end target and the NHS Couch to 5K running plan is a great way to get from being non-active to being able to handle the 5K distance.
If you're not looking to track your fitness, then perhaps setting yourself a fundraising target is the challenge you need. Race for Life is a series of fundraising events for women only, organised by Cancer Research UK which involve running, jogging or walking a 5K course and raising sponsorship for doing so.
5. The atmosphere
With so many endorphins (those 'feel good' vibes you get from exercise) in one place, it's not surprising that the atmosphere at local 5Ks is so happy, friendly and full of energy. You'll be supported all the way by your fellow runners, volunteers and spectators and the sense of achievement you get at the end will leave you buzzing until you lace up your running shoes for next week's event! The motivation and support you receive before, during and after the event will have you coming back for more!
- Find a parkrun: www.parkrun.org.uk
- Find a Great Run Local run: www.greatrunlocal.org
- Find a Race for Life event: raceforlife.cancerresearchuk.org
- Find any licensed event: www.runbritain.com
- Find a Run England group: www.runengland.org/groups
- Find a 3-2-1 Route: www.runengland.org/routes
- Couch to 5K: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k.aspx
This summer Run England is inviting everyone to give running a go and celebrate #whywerun! Visit www.runengland.org/whywerun.