About the5krunner

2010 ITU Sprint Distance Triathlon World Champ...
2010 ITU Sprint Distance Triathlon World Championships, Lausanne, Switzerland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I’m the one clapping on the left

How this site came to be

5k is a great and challenging target for an absolute beginner. It’s a heady mix of speed and endurance for the more serious athlete. 5k can all be over and done within 1 hour including showering and changing. 5km running is perhaps the best, extended, calorie burner per minute a normal person of just about any age can regularly get.

It costs relatively little and the health benefits are great and relatively easily achieved.

Or you could pay £/$600 for a gym membership and watch TV whilst cycling nowhere in an air-conditioned room of headphoned people.

My 5k Age Graded performance is around 80%. It goes up and down depending on how honest I feel! If yours is higher then you can take everything I say in this blog with a pinch of salt as you probably know better than me. Even if you don’t know better than me, whatever you are doing seems to be working…write a blog! If you help one person you will have done a fine thing.

I also talk about Duathlons and Triathlons on the basis that: Standard distance Duathlons have a 5k run at the end (10km run : 40km cycle : 5km Run); Sprint Duathlons have a 5k run at the start (5km run : 20km cycle : 2.5 km run); and Sprint Triathlons have a 5k at the end (800m swim : 20 km cycle : 5km run).

I compete for GB through British Triathlon in Age Group Triathlons and Duathlons at European/ETU and World Championships/ITU events. I compete in the sprint and standard distances – I occasionally do well and sometimes not. Again, if you’ve won an ETU gold medal for triathlon or duathlon then you probably know better than me and I’m still waiting for you to write that blog and share your experiences.

Naturally, I run at a lot of parkrun 5km events and have been spotted at a 10k, or two, where I seem to have had more glorious success than the 5k – having won a ‘gold’ medal (in a local 10k) as well as pair of socks in another race. I seem to remember almost winning a smaller parkrun event, or three, and have Age Group parkrun wins at larger events but, let’s face it: they are a bit of fun; handy local training; and my imagined glories there are not likely to impress you (or me) too much. But they felt good at the time.

Like many other people I put my time back into my sports helping with race organisation, marshalling and the like.

For me, 5k was a route into duathlon and then triathlon. Duathlon and triathlon gave me a chance of ‘achieving something’ as, with a bit of time and hard effort, many of us ‘normal’ people can actually get medals – sometimes even on the Age Group international stage – it’s hard, but not as hard as you might think.

Being a 5k champion is a little trickier, maybe ‘A’ triathlete would have been a little less self-aggrandizing website than ‘THE’ 5k runner? Oh well, sorry. the5krunner came several years earlier and I didn’t really think about what I was doing at the time – I only mention this as some people seem to take offence to the domain name.  Which is a bit weird IMO.

To avoid doubt: Mo Farah is THE5KRUNNER – I am the always-lowercased, much less significant version.

Gadgets are key to our engagement in the sport – even when injured 🙂 I started doing a few gadget reviews and it’s got a bit out of hand. Still, it’s good to do what you enjoy and hopefully, it will help someone, somewhere make an informed purchase.

If you are thinking of copying what I do with the intention of getting lots of free stuff, some words of warning “MOST GADGET COMPANIES USE PR AGENCIES WHO LOAN YOU DEVICES TO REVIEW – THEY EXPECT THEM BACK” – yes you can get trivial freebies but you won’t be getting a new aero helmet or bike or Edge 1000 any time soon by writing a blog – for example, Garmin have a strict global 2-month loan policy for EVERYONE. If you are dcrainmaker or 220-triathlon, you might command a freebie, and no doubt you would return such items to maintain your integrity and independence from the ‘big boys’ like Garmin.

I used to have a hilarious ‘pinch of salt’ phrase as part of the strapline – that meant please don’t take what this blog says as gospel truth, no one here claims to have a PHD in Sports Guruism & Gadgetry. If you don’t agree tell us nicely and we’ll argue our case or back down as appropriate.

It’s only a blog. I waffle too much, too often (take this concise post as an example). Sometimes I try to be funny (take this paragraph as an example), often I’m not funny; even when I’m sure I am.

Hopefully, this blog is written in a gender-neutral way. I’m not a raving liberal-egalitarian, I just want to take all that ‘other stuff’ out of what I am writing about. I do sometimes write about men-specific and women-specific issues. But not often. You may well assume I am a white, middle-class, atheistic, lycra-clad male living in Chelsea. Really; I’m not.

Actually, there are 3 of us who contribute to this to varying degrees. It’s not a commercial venture. It takes a relatively large amount of time and, other than infrequent beer money, we don’t make any money out of it worth speaking about and we try to help and sometimes to entertain…so “PLEASE be nice”. We all are.

The blog is pseudo-anonymous which helps to separate the5krunner from the day job. I might update things in front of the TV or over lunch but some people seem to think I spend ages at it. And if some of you have this impression then those I work with could also get the wrong idea too and, for the time being, less hassle means more content on here. This is frustrating as it often prevents more personal involvement and exchange but there are benefits; it is also a mechanism to ensure the blog is about running, triathlon & duathlon and not me. After all there’s a lot happening in running, duathlon, triathlon, sports watches, wearables, physiology, training and consequently this blog is more interesting than me and what I ate for breakfast, where I’ve been or what introspected photos of my navel I took at the weekend.

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