Most people when training for a marathon do not see the value of training for a 5k, after all, a marathon is 42k which is a lot more than a measly 5. I have a 50 mile race coming up in less than 3 months, yet I'm training for a 5k that is for a month. Why am I doing that? The reason that I'm training for the 5k is because I need to work on my speed. When doing a 5k, I'm running faster miles, and since I'm also training with long runs, I'm working myself to a point where I'll begin to run long distance at a faster pace.
Without training, my 5k time was a little over 19 minutes, and with training, I am planning on going as far under 18 minutes as I possibly can. As a long distance runner, this is going to be rather difficult, but it's also going to be exciting. As I am doing intervals more often, I'm able to push myself harder than usual in order to reap the benefits of having a constantly harsh training. As I've trained myself by running only long distance, I've developed a lazy and slow pace. Although I could run long, because of my training, I'm not able to run as fast. With this 5k as a speed foundation, I'm planning on using that to make my long runs faster.
Today, I ran intervals, jogging for a minute, then running hard for a minute, switching back and forth 10 times. Because I wanted to push myself hard and not exhaust myself, I kept a fairly decent pace, however, towards the end, I still slowed down, but after I pushed the last minute, I was glad it was all over. As a whole, I ran 2.87 miles in 20:01, an average of 6:57 min/mile. Although it was a short amount of time, it is one of the hardest workouts for me... but because I see the difference it makes, I'm excited to do that again, and little by little, shorten the break time and lengthen the fast running time. As time goes on and I start adding more to the training, the speed will pass onto the longer runs, resulting in me running a good race in Atlanta... but first, the 5k on August 25th.