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HM & Marathon more popular because they're easier than the 5K? (Read 195 times)

    Sure more people sign up for 5k's than marathons and HM etc... but in seasoned runners.... it seems to me that most seem to gravitate towards the Half and the Marathon

     

    I wonder is this because there is less pain? ie. how hard you must run a 5k, redline, make it hurt, instead of those longer more aerobic zone type runs?

     

    Also do people transition towards the longer stuff for less pain? or because older and can't run that top speed as well any longer?

     

    Or is it simply genetics and most of those runners are built more for endurance say than the 5k.

     

    Or maybe that's where the glory is....? "oh you ran a marathon? wow you're awesome!"

     

    I'm not putting those runners down btw, simply curious if there may be other reasons they run the longer more aerobic based races?

    300m- 37 sec.

      I run the longer distances simply because of more miles for the time considering the morning prep, drive, warmup, cooldown times.  I am sure I ran (when I actually ran races) at-least 3 miles of a Half marathon in about the same discomfort as a 5k.

      rlopez


        I'm not sure the numbers back up that they are "more popular", especially since marathons have been declining for 5 years, and halves for 3 years.

         

        As for "less pain"... riiiiiight.

         

        "because older and can't run that top speed as well any longer?"... um, you do realize that affects us at all distances?

         

        I dunno. I think many people who move up to halves and then marathons do it because it is a much bigger challenge than laying down a 5k. Yes, sure, you can say "but, aha! not a 14 minute 5k" and you'd be right, and so there are genetics and other stuff at play, but mostly it just collapses down to "the marathon is a bigger challenge than a 5K". The end.

        Except it isn't the end. One area of running that is showing growth is ultras. And really long ones at that. 100s and now 200s. 24,48, 72 hour events. "Last person standing" stuff.

         

        Yall don't limit yourself to road races.

        JMac11


        Benevolent Leader

          Meh, I think a lot of it has to do with the type of people who are seasoned are those who are looking for PRs, and it gets much harder to PR in 5Ks once you get beyond 30, whereas marathons you can PR into your early 40s.

          5K: 16:51 (8/19)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:16:21 (3/19)  |  FM: 2:44:43 (4/19) 

           

          Next Race: Suffolk County Half Marathon (10/27/19)

            I don't know what the data actually says but it sure seems like 5k's are way more popular than marathons or halfs. There are probably half dozen 5k's within 10 miles of me on any weekend for 9 months of the year (2 different weekly 5k series) and only a handful of marathons in the whole state in a year.

             

            Marathons and half marathons generate more chatter, because they tend to be "goal" races. I can't speak for anyone else but as a 40-something-year-old hobbyjogger and sole breadwinner of a family of 6, there's nothing that helps me focus and direct my training like having a marathon on the calendar.

             

            But I've run 3 times as many 5k's as marathons or half marathons.

             

            I certainly don't think I'm built for endurance ... I think my "ideal" range in my prime probably would have been in the 1500m to 5k range.

             

            And less pain? Yikes man, have you ever actually raced a half or thon? Which hurts more, shooting a nail gun into your thigh, or using a manual screwdriver to drill it in slowly?

            Runners run.


            an amazing likeness

              Sure more people sign up for 5k's than marathons and HM etc... but in seasoned runners.... it seems to me that most seem to gravitate towards the Half and the Marathon

               

              I think you may have backed yourself into assuming something which isn't aligned with what really happens. I don't have a good data set for you to illustrate this, with that caveat -- I think you'll find that seasoned runners (to align with your terminology) run a mix of race distances and the 5K is a big part of their distance mix.

               

              Take a look at the logs of some of the serious runners here and you'll see the 5K is a big part of their mix.

               

               I think it speaks to precicely the reason why 5k's are so popular and I don't see why all the debate.  The 5k is popular because anyone can run one.  It's an event where serious runners and twice-a-month joggers and the nearly totally sedentary and 10-year-old girls and new moms and dads pushing jogging strollers and...just about anyone else can all participate.

               

              And from an RD's perpective if you want cheap, simple logistics and the ability to attract numbers, it's tough to beat a 5k.

               

              Serious runners like them because "it's only 5k" and so the recovery is minimal and you can race them often.  Non-runners like them because "it's only 5k" and just about anyone can finish that.  And lots of people in betwen like them because "it's only 5k."

               

              I just picked a log of a person here who I'd call a serious runner and looked at the last 3 years of racing:

               

              57 races

              • 15 5K
              • 5 10K
              • 4 Half Marathon
              • 8 Marathon

              I've done my best to live the right way. I get up every morning and go to work each day.

                milktruck with some RA archaeology!

                Runners run.

                  Data set from 2018 from a "seasoned runners group" here on RA:

                   

                  93 Runners ran 681 races in 2018 at these distances...

                   

                  Distance Unit Count
                  5 km 185
                  13.1 mi 80
                  26.2 mi 73
                  10 km 68
                  5 mi 26
                  Ultra (> 26.2) mi 22
                  1 mi 19
                  8 km 19
                  3 mi 18
                  4 mi 17
                  10 mi 16
                  15 km 16
                  various various 122
                  Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
                  We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes

                    Some of us are cheapskates, and want to get "more for our money". Since almost every race is $100 now, would you rather spend that on 15-20 minutes, or 1-4 hours? 

                     

                    I don't know about the half and full being more comfortable than the 5k (I dislike using the word "pain", because it's not really accurate as a limiting factor. If it were, then all you'd have to do is shoot up with painkillers to get a PR or win the Olympics). An hour to 4 hours of pushing the aerobic envelope and pounding on hard pavement seems more uncomfortable to me than 15-20 minutes of dipping into anaerobic territory. I'm coming from a miler's perspective; to me the 5k seems tedious, and the mile easier because it doesn't last as long.

                     

                    But, I fall under the "older people can't run that top speed as well" category because fast paced stuff makes my achilles angry. So now for me, 5k is the "short" race. I did a 50k trail race about a month ago, the first "real" race (entry fees and staff, not a charity fundraiser fun-run) I've done since the mid 1990's. I liked it, and could see doing more ultras. I've never raced a half or marathon, and I don't think I'd want to, because of the hard pavement for hours, that's just brutal on your body.

                    55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

                    JMac11


                    Benevolent Leader

                      Isn't it a bit self obvious that more people run 5Ks than marathons, just because marathons take more out of your body? I'm not sure that proves the popularity of them, but rather that they're easier to run. I consider myself almost exclusively a marathon runner now, but I still run more 5Ks and 10Ks than marathons.

                       

                      A better question would be how many people "peak" for a 5K vs. a marathon. You can't find that data on RA, but I think that's what the OP was getting at. I doubt many people over the age of 25 are doing 5K training, whereas there are a ton doing marathon training.

                      5K: 16:51 (8/19)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:16:21 (3/19)  |  FM: 2:44:43 (4/19) 

                       

                      Next Race: Suffolk County Half Marathon (10/27/19)

                        I doubt many people over the age of 25 are doing 5K training, whereas there are a ton doing marathon training.

                         

                        Hot take: the training is basically the same for both. Though the m sure you mean training with a marathon in mind.

                        Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
                        We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes

                          Isn't it a bit self obvious that more people run 5Ks than marathons, just because marathons take more out of your body? I'm not sure that proves the popularity of them, but rather that they're easier to run.

                           

                          The fact that more people run them is literally the definition of "more popular". The fact they're easier to run is most likely the reason that's true. This doesn't have to be complicated.

                           

                          And I think the idea of peaking for races is only even a thing for a small subset of the universe of people who run road races,. Like the weirdos who post on running message boards.

                          Runners run.

                             

                            Hot take: the training is basically the same for both. 

                             

                            Also, this.

                            Runners run.

                            JMac11


                            Benevolent Leader

                               

                              Also, this.

                               

                              Actually no. This was a garbage take. You think the top 5K runners in the world have the same training as the top marathon runners in the world? Or even for what I quoted. If I told you to go peak for a 5K, you’re going to train the same as if I told you to go peak for a marathon?

                               

                              If you think they’re the same, just...yikes.

                              5K: 16:51 (8/19)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:16:21 (3/19)  |  FM: 2:44:43 (4/19) 

                               

                              Next Race: Suffolk County Half Marathon (10/27/19)

                              JMac11


                              Benevolent Leader

                                 

                                The fact that more people run them is literally the definition of "more popular". The fact they're easier to run is most likely the reason that's true. This doesn't have to be complicated.

                                 

                                And I think the idea of peaking for races is only even a thing for a small subset of the universe of people who run road races,. Like the weirdos who post on running message boards.

                                 

                                Disagree with the first paragraph. 1 mile runs are even easier, and those are never run. I don't think it's just an ease of running question.

                                 

                                I agree to an extent with the second paragraph. But even of the casual runners I know, they try to hit a couple of "big" races a year. They may not be peaking, but the end is the same.

                                5K: 16:51 (8/19)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:16:21 (3/19)  |  FM: 2:44:43 (4/19) 

                                 

                                Next Race: Suffolk County Half Marathon (10/27/19)

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