5K or 10K? Charting the best course for your first race

So you’ve decided to go the distance and run your first race. But one thing you need to decide before you register is what that distance should be: 5K or 10K?

The answer depends on you – your experience, your current fitness level, your running goals.

“If you can already run 5K, I would suggest you start training for the 10K,” says Phil Marsh, Regional Manager of Running Room Canada, “particularly if you’re gearing up for a longer race in the fall, like a half-marathon. If you’re learning to run or haven’t run in a few years, I would say to focus on the 5K.”

Another factor to consider is the weather. Unseasonably warm temperatures can impact performance, so it’s good to be prepared and choose a distance that you can handle, even in above-average temperatures.

Train for success

Whichever distance you choose, it’s important that your training plan incorporate more than just logging kilometers. For any event, you should focus on strength and core training, as well as good running form

“Maintaining strength and improving biomechanical efficiency helps to minimize potential injuries that come up from having a weak core or muscular imbalances,” says Marsh.

There are many Ottawa running groups that can provide the support and guidance you need to develop a comprehensive training plan, including the Running Room, Run Ottawa and the Ottawa Running Club. Running with others also offers a great way to help you work through the ups and downs of training, stay focused on your goal and keep the big picture in mind.

The best motivation of all, of course, is to simply sign up for your first race.

“One of the best things about Race Weekend is that there’s a distance for everyone, from 2K to the full marathon,” says Marsh. “For most people, starting training now and following a program for 10 weeks or so will get them ready to run 5K or 10K.”

(Find a Running Room 5k/10k program).

So, what are you waiting for? Weigh the options, choose your distance and then go for it – register for the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend!

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more articles about training for your first race.