FitBloggin’ 5k isn’t only for Newbies!

No matter how many big long races you’ve done, a 5K is fabulous distance to tackle. Julia Jones, coach at Up & Running online running courses, explains to add sparkle to your training at with the Fitbloggin 5K…

Julia Jones Running Festival

Happy 5K runners at the JJ Running Festival

In my grand scheme to get every woman on the planet to try running at least once, I organized a race. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, there’d be politics and red tape involved (I live in Italy after all!) and sponsors to be found. But I knew it would be worth it if we could inspire other women to start taking care of their health through physical activity.

I chose to create a 5K race. I wanted it to be an approachable distance for all of us. For the race organization: we wouldn’t have to close down the entire town. For the participants: it would be an invitation for beginners to try running. For the more experienced runners: it would be a good workout and a way to inspire others.

Or so I thought.

The most common response I got when asking my runners to sign up for the 5k was, “Only 5K? Sorry, it’s just too short for me”.

No matter how experienced you are, the 5K is never too short for you.

One habit that I see many endurance runners take on is treating every distance equally. Whether they go out to run 30 minutes or 90 minutes it’s always at the same pace. They place quantity over quality but then inevitably end up running slower.

Even professional marathoners race short distances in order to keep their legs “fresh” and their motors revved. Here’s some great ways to take advantage of the Fitbloggin 5K for endurance training:

Use the 5k as a “sandwich” run.
Warm up with a slow 30 minute then line up for the Fitbloggin 5K. Run the race at near threshold pace. Once you cross the finish line grab something to drink and then run another 30 minute cool down at a slow pace.

What’s your 5K PB?
There’s a direct correlation between your short distance speed and your long distance speed. So if you want to improve on that half marathon or marathon time, work on your shorter distances first, starting with your 5k.

Experiment with a new way of running and racing.
A shorter race is a great way to try something different. Try running in progression – starting out slow and finishing at your top speed. Or alternate between speeds at various distances. My favorite is 3 minutes “fast” and 3 minutes “slow”; repeat until you hit the finish line.

Pace another runner.
Anyone that has ever paced in a race declares it to be the most gratifying running experience of all. Offering your time and energy, helping someone else accomplish a goal, what could be better than that?

Julia Jones lives in Italy and alongside Shauna “Dietgirl” Reid created Up & Running online running courses (@runningonline). They offer e-courses for super-new and seasoned runners tackling 5K, 10K and half-marathon runs with expert coaching, awesome training plans and vibrant community support.

Want to join them? Their next e-courses begin 3 September. Get 20% off with code FITBLOGGIN – visit them at