Short rant for today:
It doesn't matter what distance run you're training for: if you're running that distance as hard as you possibly can, it's going to hurt. Training will hurt and racing will definitely hurt.
I ran a 5k this past weekend and I can't tell you how much grief, however good-natured it was intended to be, came from my marathoning buddies.
Wimp...slacker...."only a 5k"....things of that sort.
Now, I know all of that was meant in jest. And in the past, I've been guilty of it to some degree too, especially as I was building in distance and had moved beyond the 5k to longer distance. The 5k didn't seem like a challenge anymore....when I wasn't running it for speed.
But the 5k takes on a whole new challenge when you race it. And if there is no difference between your 5k time and your 10k or 1/2 time, then YOU AREN'T RUNNING IT HARD ENOUGH. I had a good race but I still don't think I ran it as hard as I possibly could.
It is tough to make yourself suffer that much that quickly, even for a short time.
Go run 3 miles as hard as you can. If you're lucky and pace right, the first mile is moderately comfortable. Somewhere between 1.5-2 miles you want to poke your eyeballs out.
And if you don't pace right, well, sucks to be you.
As someone who prefers the slow burn of the marathon distance as my form of suffering instead of being lit up like a match at a shorter distance, I don't avoid the 5k because I think it's a wimpy distance. I avoid the 5k because *I* am a wimp at that distance.
I have a ton of respect for all runners going out and running as hard as they can at any distance. This is not a post to argue which distance is harder or better or any of that.
Just a reminder to respect ALL of your friends in their training and goals and to watch the words you use....my heart and soul are in longer distance running at this point, but I have the utmost respect for folks who excel at short distance.
Throwing in some speed work is not a bad idea for us marathoners, either.