Speed or Endurance?

Obviously you may want to be successful at both.

But which is more important to you? Speed or Endurance?

Which distance race do you prefer? 5k or Half Marathon/Marathon/Ultra?

I’ve struggled with this issue for years.

For a while, I think I preferred 5ks for the following reasons:

  • Minimal training required.
  • A myriad of 5k opportunities most weekends.
  • Race takes up little time in your schedule.
  • People of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities participate.
  • I got increasingly faster and often won age group awards.

Once I started running half marathons, I started to question my preference. I still ran both …

but I was enjoying the longer races more.


  • Long runs (and brunches) with friends.
  • Race-cations.
  • Bling.
  • Scenic courses.
  • Feeling of achievement.
  • No pressure of a specific finish time.

Maybe because I feel less successful at the 5k distance.  The pandemic or getting older???

Whatever the reason, currently I feel less motivated to sign up for 5ks.

to run o

That is the question.

I’m linking up with Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner) and you should too.

I’m also linking up here:

with co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running.

Happy Running! Which do you train for – speed or endurance or both? Which type of race do you prefer – short or long or both? Please share.


35 thoughts on “Speed or Endurance?

  1. Oh, I’ve thought about this question a lot, Darlene.
    I love both. I alternate between training for marathons and shorter distances. Right now I’m training for a 10k time trial in August.

    Why stop signing up for 5Ks? You’re doing so well, you should continue to do them!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I definitely have more endurance going for me than speed, but I do like a 5K once in awhile just to shake things up. I’ve gotten somewhat “faster” for my age group (which is all relative), but I still prefer the longer distance races.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I may disagree. You seem pretty fast to me. Look at your 1 mile time trials.

      But yes even with doing halfs or longer, it’s good to stick in a 5k.


    • That’s great if it works for you. I get bored without a goal or race on my schedule. I do race all distances. I have a 4 miler on Sat. And the last one was a 10 miler. But you can concentrate on one over the other even you like all.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I normally train for endurance, but I started training for speed too (I hate fartlek workouts so much), and it has been great for me. Still I can longer than I can go faster 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I prefer longer distances, but shorter ones are so much more convenient in may ways. I can only do 1-2 long distance races a year but I can do alot more shorter ones. They’re less expensive too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am not speedy but I do have endurance. A 5K is my least favorite distance. It takes me a few miles to get warmed up and find my stride. I do like a 10K, 10 m and a few half races a year. Can’t wait to actually do one again!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Even when I was a kid and ran on my school’s track team, I had more endurance than speed. I feel more pressure to go faster for 5K’s and have always felt like they’re harder than half marathons so I’ve always gravitated toward the half marathon. The elite runners that have both speed and endurance amaze me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. I am shocked when I read that a runner who ran the Olympic trails for the 5k now can run a marathon.

      I agree. It’s hard not to be fast in a 5k race. But’s it seems ok just to finish a half, marathon or ultra.


  7. I think I’m an endurance gal; I actually did the Inside tracker DNA test and am waiting the results to see if my DNA says I’m more one than the other 🙂 But I love the marathon distance. Though if I were a real endurance gal, maybe I’d be inclined to go further than 26.2 and I’m not, ha!


    • That is an interesting test. I wonder what the results will show? Good for you on the marathon
      distance…that one is long enough for me…I doubt I will ever go longer.


  8. Ah, great question! Endurance definitely comes easier to me. And lately, it seems like every time I work on speed I get injured. I’m starting to wonder if I should just focus on distance from here on out. Great idea for a post, because I think it’s something a lot of people think about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a tough one to answer. I used to think speed was easier but now I’m not sure. and injuries? I think you’re right. it’s safer to go slow and long.


  9. I love endurance running – mostly because I take long to warm up and really find my stride! Just as I find it, the race is over! So I prefer Half Marathons. I’m training for a marathon and I’m interested to see how much I enjoy that or whether the Half will always be my preferred distance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good luck. I enjoyed my first and only marathon. Not sure if I will run another. It helps to have company in the training and the race.


  10. When I use to run 5k’s i was never really fast. I ran them to beat my last time but never won any awards. As you may know I posted about going back to 5 and 10ks for the same reasons you mentioned.
    I do love a racecation though. It seems weird to travel for a 5k.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Right now I am going for speed. The thought of running longer miles exhausts me. Maybe cause I run everyday that I don’t want to run longer miles. Eventually I would like to run another marathon and/or ultramarathon but we’ll see what my body says.

    Liked by 1 person

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