Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How long is a 5k? DUHHH lol :) I feel like such a dufus.

I was having a chat with a co-worker/running buddy yesterday and she was trying to tell me how she hit a certain 5k time on the treadmill. She was starting off way lower than I expected and I finally told her it is not mathematically possible to run that speed for the majority of the time and still hit that certiain 5k speed. After discussing/arguing for a few minutes... we finally realized the issue... a 5k for her is 3.1 miles, a 5k for me is 3.2 miles!

Apparently the officially accepted 5k distance for most races is 3.1 BUT some races, and apparently the military?, use 3.2 as the 5k distance. I can only assume that I must have seen 3.2 on a 5k race description at some point and got it into my head that 5k= 3.2 and 10k=6.4.

We both had a good laugh about the misunderstanding and it makes me happy to know that when I ran a 30:18 "5k" I actually was faster than my goal of a 30 min 5k because I ran .1 extra. To most people that isn't a big deal but to me that is about 50-60 seconds depending on how fast I am running - which is a big deal when I'm trying to hit a PR!

I was sooooooooo close to hitting 30 min for 3.2 miles, I'd still like that to by my goal, espec. since that means I could probably hit an actual 5k - aka 3.1 miles - in around 29 minutes - another new goal.

I think a 30 min 5k was a 30 before 30 goal of mine tho... so on the treadmill, I've done it, woo hoo! I think my fastest outside 3.2 speed was around 31:30 so I've been pretty close to hitting a 30 min 5k (3.1) so I'll keep working on that this Fall now that it is finally cooler and less humid out (thank goodness!!)

So how about you... 3.1 or 3.2 what is your 5k training distance?

...... we also had a little chat about time goals since I realized I'd hit mine for the 5k. We were discussing friends who run marathons and what our personal time goals are, based on perfect race conditions (aka flat and cold!). I guess I just figured I should be able to hit a 2:30 1/2 marathon if the course isn't super hilly and the weather is cooler (so hopefully this Winter because my first one next weekend is def. not going to be that fast with all those hills!) and therefore I should be able to just double that and have a 5 hour marathon - right? WRONG! My 5k pace in good weather is still around 1 minute faster than my long distance pace - so to assume that going from 13.1 to 26.2 and staying at the same speed the whole time is a little nuts.

Good to realize this NOW before I start training for a half next year because I would have been pushing myself for an unrealistic goal the first time around. Sure, one day I want to run a 2 hour half marathon and I'd sure like to hit a 5 hour marathon or under... but for my first one, I'd say 5:30 is a good goal and I'll work my way down from there.

I had this same issue when I was giving myself a time goal for the 1/2 marathon because I kept getting so mad at myself when I couldn't keep to a 10-11 min/mile pace in spite of the distance, hils, temperature, humidity, etc. It was REALLY frustrating until I realized I need to slow down a little to run longer, espec. in the heat and humidity, and it is OK. Definitley don't want to go through all that again by having unrealistic goals for my first marathon, so I'm glad to get that little eye opener in advance :)

Thank goodness for this running friend and her words of wisdom... I've been enlightened this week lol.

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