This Is Why Long Distance Athletes Should Do Short Distances Too

For marathoners and triathletes the words “5 kilometres” mean how much distance is left in a race. It’s not normally associated with a full race. However, athletes and sports enthusiasts should consider the many benefits that come with running short distances. Here are some examples:

More balance integration

Balance is everything, especially when you are on your feet. If you want to build your balance at a high heart rate over time, you should add high aerobic workouts in preparation for a short-distance run.

Keep up a 10% rule to build up your regime. This means, that if you worked out at high intensity for 10 minutes in the first week, do the same for 13.2 minutes during the second week.

Aerobic capacity

Training yourself for short distances can have significant benefits for your aerobic capacity. When preparing for a 5km or 10km race, you will be required to do speed work, and, as you do so, your body will utilize more oxygen (aerobic capacity). When you consume more oxygen, you will be able to do more physical work.

Greater speed and efficiency

With the help of an intense aerobic workout, you can become a more efficient runner and improve your leg speed. You will teach your body to mitigate large amounts of lactate over time by putting your body in a high lactate state.


Running short distances and the training that this requires can improve the flow of oxygenated blood to muscle tissue and the mitochondrial density. Mitochondria are muscle cells that help in the production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).

The former is the fuel that supplies muscle contractions. This is highly beneficial since, when you improve a muscle’s ability to use oxygen for shorter distances, you can see a significant difference for a longer race.

Endurance will remain

Opposite to popular belief, running short distances doesn’t lead to athletes losing the ability to be strong over time. In fact, runners who train for a mix of events usually have a superior running economy.

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