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5 reasons to enter a 10K

Here's why everyone, from new runners to seasoned marathoners, should race a 10K every now and then

Photo by: Mark Bates/Canada Running Series

You should run a 10K this spring or summer. Not just run it, but race it, whether in a virtual event or an in-person one (if you’re lucky enough to find a live race this year). Why is a 10K a good race to enter? Thanks for asking. We have more than just one reason to give you, and we’re confident that, by the time you reach the last one, you’ll be ready to find a 10K to race in the coming weeks or months. 

lululemon Edmonton 10k 2019. Photo: CRS West

A stepping stone 

Just as the half-marathon can act as a stepping stone to the marathon, the 10K can be a stop on your way to running a half. If you’ve stuck to 5Ks your entire running career, it’s not a bad idea to test your endurance in a 10K before diving into a half or full marathon. After a 10K or two, you’ll have a better idea of what it takes to pace a longer run (although there will still be a pacing learning curve when you move onto 21.1K), and you’ll be better for it when you enter a half-marathon. 

RELATED: 5 reasons to try a half-marathon

A chance for speed 

If you’re a marathoner, the 10K is a great chance to inject some speed into your life. The marathon can certainly be a quick race in which you hit blazing-fast paces, but there’s no denying that your 10K speed will be even faster. Shifting your focus from the marathon down to a shorter event like the 10K can help create a little more variety in your life, which makes training more enjoyable. Everyone likes going fast, so why not pick the 10K to do so? 

Easy route-planning

For virtual races, you have to create your own route. If you’re racing a marathon or a half, it can be tough to find a loop that’s long enough for just one lap. Even if you choose to run multiple laps, it could be tough. For the 10K, though, creating a course isn’t that difficult. You could find a nice 2.5K or 5K loop and you’re set, and it’s much less tiresome than running eight laps of the same course for a marathon. 

Photo: 2018 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

Convince friends 

You’ll probably have a tough time trying to convince a friend to run a marathon with you. Unless they already are a marathoner, getting them to run 42.2K will be a big ask. Running 10K, though, is much easier to wrap one’s head around, and even non-runners might consider trying one out. Plus, if you can convince them to run a 10K, they might get hooked on the sport, and soon enough they’ll be the one asking you to enter a race.

RELATED: 5 reasons every runner should try the marathon

It’s pretty quick 

Unlike a marathon or even a half-marathon, you’ll be done your 10K fairly quickly. In longer races, you could be on the course for hours, enduring a mental battle step after step. In a 10K, it’s much easier to convince yourself to continue to put one foot in front of the other, because when you tell yourself it’s not much farther until the finish, you’re not lying. After 3K in a 10K, you’re over a quarter of the way to the finish line. In a marathon, that’s not even one tenth of the race gone.