Run It...to Nail a Time Goal
You're guaranteed a PR if you're running your first race. But for everyone else, the 5K is an opportunity to nail a good-for-now time. "You don't have to race for your best finish ever it could be your best this season, your best this year, or your best this decade," says Boldon. If your ultimate goal is a PR in a longer distance, use the 5K to gauge how your speed is progressing. "You'll get instant feedback on your training so you can make adjustments to meet your goal," says Rewick.
Train for it In pursuing a fast-for-now time, plot your races strategically to allow for sufficient recovery and buildup. After an event, run easy for a few days, then begin another three-to four-week training block before your next 5K, using your most recent race time as a baseline. If you're training for a speedy half-or full marathon, schedule a 5K in the beginning of your plan to establish a baseline pace for your workouts, then run another in the middle of your training to see if you're still on track, says Boldon.