Despite our many definitely-not-half-baked opinions on what it means to be athletic, we at the Gentleman’s guide always thought that a full marathon was among the pinnacles of human physical achievement. It is a torturous, grueling ordeal that, once completed, surely never fails to impress your friends, your coworkers, and especially those people behind you in traffic:
Lucky for all you readers out there who were probably never going to attempt a marathon in the first place, our friends at FiveThirtyEight News (one of the most credible news sources on the internet by the way, in case you haven’t heard of them) are flipping this thinking on its head by suggesting that the 5K, not the marathon, is almost always the better way to go. It’s a really great article, we highly suggest you go check it out.
Buuuut since we’ve established that you’re lazy already, here are 3 key takeaways:
1. While literally any type of running is better than no exercise at all by far, the fitness benefits of adding more distance to your run level off above 5 km – in other words, being able to run at least a 5K is good for your health, but being able to run a marathon isn’t that much better for you, fitness wise – the benefits overall are about the same for regularly doing either event.
2. Less distance means a smaller chance for injury. It’s mainly about the amount of time you spend punishing your joints, you heartless bastard.
3. The 5K provides more opportunity for more types of people to compete. It’s short enough that the barrier to entry isn’t too high for your average bear; yet it’s long enough that both speed and endurance training can equally help you win, which is good if your body is naturally shitty at distance running. Or whatever your excuse is.
Want to sit on your ass and read more instead of running? Check out more of the Gentleman’s Guide to Being Active:
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