Plan for your Race Schedule?

QT: Planning Out Your Future Race Schedule Intelligently

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?

Plan for your Race Schedule?

And perhaps the real question is does it even matter?

In a word, maybe.

Know Thyself

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.

Know Thyself

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.

Basically, when it comes to your race schedule you can't have both quality and quantity. #runchat Click To Tweet

You can definitely have one or the other, but trying for both is asking for trouble.

Schedule Your Races Intelligently

An Intelligent Race Schedule

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.

Does the planning of your race schedule influence how successful you may be? Absolutely! #runchat Click To Tweet

How Do You Maintain Balance in Your Life Between Running and Everything Else?

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Finding Time to Run is an Exercise in Futility

Quick Tip: Finding Time to Run in Our Ridiculously Busy Lives

Have you ever complained about how difficult it can be finding time to run as often as you’d like?

Lord knows I have.

I'm a Little Busy

Between work, family, work, eating, work, sleeping, and work, it can be tough fitting in a run some days.

And running is kind of my job!

Is the Attempt at Finding Time to Run an Exercise in Futility?

In a word, yes.

Finding Time to Run is an Exercise in Futility

Finding Time to Run is an Exercise in Futility

Let’s be honest for a minute, we rarely just “find time” for anything.

We make time for the things that are truly important to us, and the things that aren’t fall along the wayside. And sometimes the thing that falls along the wayside for me, and I’m going to assume that it does for you as well, is running.

I wish that wasn’t the case, but it is.

As important as finding time to run might be for you, and it’s definitely important to me, if we fail to make training a priority our runs start to get crowded out of our agenda by the other elements of “life”.

Schedule Your Priorities

I was listening to another podcast a couple of weeks ago, and the guest was talking about the struggle with finding time for everything in our lives. And then he dropped a line that kind of blew my mind.

He said we need to place a priority on the importance of scheduling our priorities instead of prioritizing our schedules.

Think about that for a minute.

Instead of being hopeful in your ability to find time to run, why not schedule your run instead?

What are Your Priorities?

I’m not for one second insisting that running needs to be a priority for you.

I don’t know all of the details of your life, and while you may really enjoy running it may not be one of those top priorities.

That’s fine. If that’s the case, there’s nothing wrong with running when the opportunity presents itself.

And if you want to add a little more running to your week, there are a number of ways to increase the amount of opportunities in the day so finding time to run won’t be too difficult.

But if you are taking your running a little more serious, stop worrying about finding time to run and schedule those miles instead.

How Do You Go About Scheduling/Planning Your Runs?

Make It Work

Quick Tip: Running & Dealing with a Time Crunch

If you run long enough, and run long enough races, there will inevitably come a time where you have to deal with trying to fit a long training run into a small time window.

But you don’t necessarily have to try and squeeze your run in when you’re dealing with a time crunch.

Make It Work

Make It Work

Make It Work

You have options.

Sure, in an ideal world if your training plan is calling for a 20-miler it would be great to have the time to run 20 miles.

But if you’ve only got a couple of hours available on the day you’re supposed to log all of those miles, what are you supposed to do? Just run 10? Not run at all?

Fortunately, you’ve got some options. Read more

Quick Tip: Maintaining Flexibility

I’ve talked a lot about the need for runners to improve their flexibility.

As a whole, we are incredibly inflexible.

And as it turns out, our inflexibility often relates to more than just our hamstrings and calves.

Your Training Plan Shouldn’t Be Etched in Stone

Etched in Stone

Etched in Stone

Another area where we as runners need to work on maintaining flexibility is our training schedule.

Be honest for a minute, how many of us (myself absolutely included) are in such a routine when it comes to running that we almost don’t have to think about it anymore? Read more