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How much racing is too much?

Published on December 29, 2016

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2017 is just around the corner and that has many of us setting new goals and picking races to conquer in the new year. There are so many awesome races out there that it’s hard not to want to do a race every single weekend. So where do you draw the line?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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There is no straight answer. We always tell our athletes that races have to be prioritized, usually ranked A, B and C; A is the ultimate goal race, B deems an important race, but not as significant as the A race; and C sits pretty low on the priority list. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Once the races are ranked, it makes it easier to determine how many races you can do. There are really only a few times per year that you can gear up properly for an A race, so don’t try to plan 10 of those next year. You need to make sure you plan a proper taper before an ‘A race’, to perform optimally. So if you tried to do an A race every few weeks you’d just be in a constant ’taper’ phase and never putting in any proper training or gaining any fitness. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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But, you can string together several C or B races in a row. This is mostly because you won’t alter your training as significantly before a B race or at all before/after a C race. So you can keep the training going as planned. One of our biggest gripes with racing a lot during a marathon buildup is that they can take away from your long run. That is valuable training that shouldn’t be missed. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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However, B and C races can also be used in place of workouts. This can often be a fun environment to get in a great workout. So we don’t like to deter people from doing that, if that’s what motivates them. The thing to keep in mind with these races is that you aren’t necessarily going to knock it out of the park every time. That is certainly the goal with your A race, but it’s much less likely with a C race. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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So at the end of the day, if you have a plan and you place appropriate priority on certain races it is okay to race frequently throughout the year. Just be sure you’re keeping your eyes on the prize, that big goal race for the season.⠀

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