How do you plan out your race schedule?
Do you plan your race schedule months in advance? Or do you just sign up for races willy nilly with the plan to figure it out later?
And perhaps the real question is does it even matter?
In a word, maybe.
Honestly, determining whether or not you should worry about how you schedule your races comes down to you and to your goals.
- Chasing a specific time goal like a PR or a BQ?
- Knocking another state/country/continent off of your list?
- Are you running specifically for the bling?
- Raising money for a cause?
- All of the above?
All of these reasons, and probably a dozen more, are perfectly valid reasons for signing up for a race.
If you are thinking about running multiple races in a condensed time frame, you need to really dial in on what your most important goal is.
And once you’ve done that, your race schedule can really start to take shape.
Something to Remember Regarding Your Race Schedule
There is nothing wrong with running multiple races in a short amount of time.
There is, however, something wrong with RACING multiple races in a short amount of time.
If hitting a certain time goal is important to you, you can’t plan on running every race hard unless your races are at lease several weeks apart.
Doing so is going to do one of two things: result in injury or result it sub-par finish times.
You can definitely have one or the other, but trying for both is asking for trouble.
Schedule Your Races Intelligently
A little bit of planning goes a long way, y’all.
When you are looking at what races to add to your calendar, do yourself a favor and think for a few minutes before you put in your credit card information and hit the registration button.
I had a coaching call a few weeks ago with someone that had a list of races she was thinking about running this year, but wanted to get my perspective on things as a coach. Was she being too ambitious? Should she reconsider her plan?
The first question I asked her after she told me the dates of the races she was thinking about running was to ask her what her goal was.
She’s thinking about making a serious run at a BQ this year.
So we need to focus her race schedule on quality and not quantity this year.
That doesn’t mean she can only run one or two races.
When we looked at the different races and race distances that she was considering for this year, it turned out that she could definitely run almost all of the races she was thinking about running this year because they could serve as workouts on the way to her big goal of qualifying for Boston.
If she collects a PR or two along the way, that’s fine. If she gets some awesome bling, that’s cool too.
But by being clear on what her goals are for 2017, we were able to put together a race schedule for her that gives her the best chance at being successful with her number one goal.
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