My recovery from 2015 Munich marathon was a pain. It wasn’t the training or the race itself - it was my sheer stupidity that pushed my immune system over the edge.
Cross-atlantic flight with lots of sneezing and coughing travelers on the plane, immunization week (read, more coughing around), jet-lag, three intense training sessions during second week of recovery.
Yes, that last bit did it.
I woke up the following Saturday feeling off. Low fever, and other symptoms pointed me into only possible direction - course of antibiotics.
Why do I tell you that? 7 days later, I raced 5K and finished 3rd in my age group, 13th overall, finishing in 22:11, 7:09 m/min. My new personal best 5k yet.
In my training I never run 5k or 3.1 miles. 5.5 miles, 8.5 miles, 16 miles, 20 miles, 2-mile and 1-mile repeats, tempo runs - yes, but I never run 5K.
5K is not long enough to settle into a consistent pace without going anaerobic. If I’ll be given a choice, 5k or 10k, I’ll do the later every time.
Mile 1: Three, two, one - GO! Ok, hold on to the front pack. Run and learn with leaders. 5 minutes later - crap, I started too damn fast! Breath, can’t catch my breath! Keep the pace, this is just the begining.
Mile 2: Where is that f&%ng water station?! There it is. Can’t drink - splash of water onto the face. Ok, that’s better. 5 minutes later - damn, I’m out of breath again, slow down a bit - it feels like last 10K of the marathon. Really? Already?! Who knew 5K is more difficult than 42K! Just keep pushing it, only 1 mile to go!
Mile 3: Ok, I’m settling down with this pace. You’ve done it before - keep up with the pace. Ok, another splash of water - good. It’s time to make my move. Hills? Beautiful! There you are, tired leaders, I’m coming to get you!
Mile &^%$&: What, wait!!! Is that the finish line? Noooooo! I just found my rhythm. Second place runner was just within my reach! Oh, well. Did you say, 3rd? Ok, I’ll take that.
5K - is like a piece of cheesecake, it lasts for a little bit, but you regret it for a long time later.
Recovery is more difficult, and it’s not like you’ve done a lot of work too.
I get that - 5K is a short tempo run, it’s good for you, it increases endurance and one's ability to run on low oxygen supplies. And every time I do it, I go anaerobic. It feels like mile 20 without nutrition on a long run.
Maybe this will change as I progress, but at the moment - 5K is my least favourite distance. It always has been. Even after I shaved 10 minutes from my personal best same time last year.
5K - I don’t like you!
Yes, you can do 5k in 22 minutes, maybe even sub-20 minutes 5k. It doesn’t guarantee you can do sub-40 minutes 10k, or sub-1:30:00 half, or even sub-3:00:00 marathon. For all you know - you can run fast 5k.
It’s short, it’s lame, it puts you into no man's land ‘it’s not a sprint, it’s not endurance distance either’ category.
I don’t like short. Any kind of short in fact. Distances, projects, engagements, deals. Short - was never meant to be good.
But I guess, I’ll see you soon, 5k …. only because I can’t skip you, when my goal is - 42k.
Go long. Good night.