Training to run a 5K

by Eszter Hargittai on July 31, 2005

Inspired by Chris’ posts about PledgeBank, I decided to set one up myself [password: running]. The silly part about mine is that my pledge has no collective action problem since one person making a decision to take on the action would achieve its intended goal, which is to add some additional exercise to one’s life. Nonetheless, I was intrigued by the service so I gave it a try.

My pledge has to do with training to run a 5K. I have been meaning to take on running, but have never had the necessary enthusiasm. I thought if I had a group of people training at the same time that would offer the inspiration I am lacking. I thought a dozen people training together – not in any geographical proximity per se – would do the trick.

I sent the pledge around to friends a few weeks ago. I have “only” gotten five to sign up. I need six more and the deadline is tomorrow. It’s not that my friends are lazy. It’s actually the opposite. So many of my friends are already running marathons (no joke!) that this pledge is irrelevant for them. I thought I’d see if any CT readers have been contemplating such an exercise regime and wanted to come on board. Any takers?



des von bladet 07.31.05 at 4:53 pm

I’d love too, but the linked programme is all in yards, and I have no idea what these are, nor the slightest intention of finding out.

I’m also somewhat baffled by the idea of training for a 5K at all, but I am after all so very Yoorpean that I commute exclusively on foot. (Albeit at no great pace – ask Chris B about the hills in Bristle some time. Shocking, they are, simply shocking.)


Gareth Russell 07.31.05 at 4:59 pm

I’m signed up. I’ve needed an excuse to get running again for a while…


Gareth Russell 07.31.05 at 5:00 pm

I’m all signed up!


Eszter 07.31.05 at 5:07 pm

I have no idea about yards either (although I probably learned them to take the SATs and GREs, but forgot them soon after), but the site also tells you in minutes how long you’re supposed to be doing stuff. Minutes you do understand, right?:-)

Gareth, thanks for signing up, just five to go!


Chris Bertram 07.31.05 at 5:32 pm

The pledge I posted about earlier failed, I’m sorry to say, due to having an overambitious target of 400 pledgers. Nicola, the proposer, has now started another one with the same content but a more realistic number (100): “pledge away!”:


Dirk Eddelbuettel 07.31.05 at 6:00 pm


You want a running group. You really do.

I run with folks in my neighborhood (OP/RF, half
an hour south/southwest from where you are), and
if you don’t stumble upon one (try the running
stores, Evanston must have some too) then
consider joining the CARA running groups.

Cheers, Dirk


ryan 07.31.05 at 7:44 pm

Wow, coincidence! My boyfriend and I just decided we would do this same training program. I think we’re going out to start tonight. =)

So yeah, all signed up.


Eszter 07.31.05 at 7:59 pm

Hi Dirk, thanks. A friend of mine recommended CARA, but I actually don’t want a running group, not right now. I need to do this at my own pace and at this point it would stress me out to run with others. I just need the companionship of running from afar.:)

Getting close to a dozen now, just one more person needed! Of course, more should feel free to join in.


Jonathan 07.31.05 at 9:16 pm

Estzer, a yard is three feet. A meter is 3.3 something feet. Isn’t it preferable to use nice round numbers like 12 inches, 3 feet, 5280 feet, etc. than the arbitary, bizarre, and communistic metric system?


Stacy 07.31.05 at 10:21 pm

I signed up for it too. I’ve got a friend who runs half marathons and is signed up to do the full Vegas marathon in December, and she’s been pestering me to try it out. The problem is that I can’t run a mile, but maybe with this program I can.


bob mcmanus 07.31.05 at 10:58 pm

When the weather is acceptable, I walk my two Carolina dingos 2-5 miles at a rate of 2 miles per hour three times a week(pedometer). Once did 7 miles.

In Dallas, we are above 90 heat index pretty early in the day, so although I might be able to handle it, the dogs are more vulnerable. So waiting for cooler weather.

Not very aerobic, too slow with water breaks. But holding the leashes of two 65 pound active puppies has built my shoulders up real good. :)


Eszter 07.31.05 at 11:55 pm

Thanks to all those who joined. (Ryan, want to get your boyfriend to sign up as well?:) We now have a dozen people (actually more by now:) and so this is definitely going to happen! I’ll wait until the end of the pledge to start so I’ll probably get going on Tuesday.

Bob, you’re right that the middle of the summer is not the most ideal time to start this, especially depending on one’s location. That said, it’s a time when people may have a bit more time so I figured it was worth a try. People can always try to do their bit at an early or late hour when it’s not quite as hot outside. And drink plenty of water!:-)


cleek 08.01.05 at 9:18 am

since the summer’s turned up the heat, i’ve started running at night. just waiting a couple hours after the sun sets makes a huge difference. give it a try.


Clayton 08.04.05 at 1:35 pm


I’m so happy that you set this up, I’ve been looking for people to train with but most of my friends don’t go for sports more gruelling than poker or online chess. This has helped with some much needed motivation. Hopefully I can run a 5K in the late Fall after I move to Dallas.

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