Thursday, January 10, 2013

Running Multiple Races



One of the most frequent questions coming up with 13 in 2013 (and by many other runners) is How do I train and plan for multiple races? Since I began racing in 2003 my yearly (typically March through November) has grown from 2 a year to 20+ a year. How do you find that balance between over racing and racing enough? Through my own learning experiences I can share some advice, I once ran (attempting to BQ) at 6 marathons in under 18 months…

Pick a goal race (or a few spread out) and fill in with others later to supplement the schedule and help with training for the goal races. Schedule some shorter races at pertinent times in the training to do some speed work at a short race or run a half marathon at marathon pace as training.

Schedule in low times to recover. Without recovery you won’t be fully prepared for the next race. If you schedule a second race too soon make sure to run it for fun. Don’t overdo it or you’ll risk injury, over training and burnout. Make sure every 3-4 weeks you are planning (and following) a week of lower intensity and decreased mileage.

Find some fun races to add in as non-goal races with so many newer fun races: Color runs, obstacle, night runs, etc there are many options out there. These are great opportunities to get new runners involved and run with them.

Learn what your body likes and LISTEN! If you can handle back to back marathons, great but many can’t and only you will know this. The longer you run the easier the recovery will be but it will still be tough to give it all as back to back races. Remember my 10K attempt 6 days after a near PR marathon? Yikes!

If you are new to running don’t expect back to back long races to be easy. It has taken me years to get to the point of comfortably running multiple races, yet I still get frustrated when I can’t fully race them all. The worst part is the let down after a race where you couldn't achieve your goals. Make the race goal realistic based on everything else you are doing.

Get friends and family for support. Ask others to join you in a race to either push you to a goal or hold you back in a non-goal race. Join a group to train to get support and advice.

Budget for multiple races. Decide how much to spend and pick goal races first. There are many options to save a little money: small local races are often cheaper (I just registered for a $40 marathon!), watch for discount codes and specials offers, many virtual races are free.

We want 13 in 2013 to be a fun challenge to keep people active and healthy. Stay injury free and enjoy the year. Remember I’m always available for more advice and coaching.
Want more running advice? Check out my post today on From Florida to North Dakota

And some fun news, I am excited to be a Ragnar Ambassador. I’ve run 2 Ragnars: Great River in 2008 and Northwest Passage in 2012 and loved both. I’m excited to be back and likely aiming for an ultra team in 2013! Other fun Ragnar news: Watch NBC Today Show today for talk about the Fat to the Finish Line documentary

 

17 comments:

  1. Excellent advice Jen!!! Congrats on being a Ragnar ambassador! I'd love to run Ragnar one day!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ragnar is so much fun, do it for sure!

      Delete
  2. Congrats on the Ragnar ambassadorship! I'm also hoping to do it someday. Great tips, too. My body definitely can not handle back to back races without getting injured. I choose my "A" goal races where I will taper and have a full recovery, and then fill in with some shorter "tune up" races leading up to that one to test my fitness, but without much tapering. Of course, this is assuming it's longer races. Short distances are easier to do week after week, but it also depends on your endurance level. I could not handle more than 1-2 marathons a year. Impressed that your body let you do that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure my body was very happy about that many marathons, I dealt with multiple injuries :(

      Delete
  3. Congrats on Ragnar!! I really want to do that one day! My friends did the TN one a couple years ago but I was in the process of moving and couldn't join :( And great advice! I plan my BIG races then supplement with fun and relaxed races in between the BIG ones!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great tips and so relevant to the 13 in 2013 challenge, especially for the new runners out there:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I think sometimes we get caught up in racing excitement too much to think.

      Delete
  5. Good tips. I love the part on budgeting! There are ways to do this and not spend a ton of money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love finding race discounts and small local races with less bling and less cost :)

      Delete
  6. Great tips and congrats on the ambassadorship! BTW - $40 marathon? That's awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, there was no way I could pass it up especially when it is only 45 min from home!

      Delete
  7. Congrats on Ragnar :-)

    Great tips! I often wonder how to strike a good balance. I am hopeless at doing 'easy' races. I have to learn...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is something I am working on too!

      Delete
  8. Congrats on the Ragnar ambassadorship! Thank you so much for sharing your tips and sharing on my blog! Your advice is so needed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Happy to share and help others

      Delete

  9. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you


    Injury Claim

    ReplyDelete