Running is a great way to become more active, get fit or lose weight. It’s a sport you can do just about anywhere and requires nothing more than a good pair of running shoes and some comfortable clothing.

One of the beauties of running is that it’s easy to get started. It’s also easy to find the motivation you need to keep you going. If you are new to running or are just looking for something to inspire you to meet new goals, a 5K event may be just what you’re looking for.

5K’s happen all over the country and you can typically find one right in your neighborhood. A 5K race is 3.1 miles in distance, and although that may not seem like the most daunting achievement, completing your first 5K can leave you exhilarated, motivated and proud. And each subsequent 5K event you enter can leave you wanting more.

Here’s why so many people love competing in 5K races:

It’s an achievable milestone. Whether you have been running for a while or are new to the sport, completing a 5K race is something that’s within reach. Those new to running can train in order to be able to get through the entire 3.1 miles of the race. Runners looking for a bigger challenge can strive to beat a personal best time, finish the race without walking or set the bar using some other criteria.

It’s something anyone can do. You don’t have to be a seasoned runner to compete in a 5K. Just about any one, of any age or running ability, can do it. All you need is the willingness to train. Many people new to running follow “couch to 5K” programs as a way to become more active while setting their sights on an attainable goal.

It can give you something to work toward. Setting a concrete goal makes it more likely you’ll achieve it. So instead of saying “I’m going to run more from now on,” you can set a specific goal of entering a 5K race. And when you’re trying to work towards something that specific, you’re more likely to run even on days when you don’t feel like lacing up your sneakers.

It forces you out of your comfort zone. If you’ve never entered any type of running event before, competing in a 5K race can be just the step to push you slightly out of your comfort zone. And that’s not a bad thing. When you step out of your comfort zone, you make progress.

It keeps you running. Running has been shown to have numerous health benefits, from raising levels of good cholesterol and lowering risk of blood clots to increasing lung function and boosting your immune system. It may also lower your risk of some diseases, help you lose weight and relieve stress. Setting and achieving goals, like completing a 5K, can also provide psychological benefits, such as boosting your confidence and self-esteem.

Sources:

http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/06/training-tips/5-reasons-to-run-your-first-5k_41140#LdPF5svyJ16boRLE.97

https://www.nytimes.com/guides/well/how-to-start-running

http://www.active.com/running/articles/6-benefits-of-running