The autumn marathon season will soon be upon us. Those of us who are training for a marathon will be well within our training programs (and if you’re not, then it really is too late by now). But there is more to training than just running mile after mile.
Every marathon training schedule should include a number of shorter races. Ideally, there should be a 5k early on, then maybe a 10k, and a half marathon about 4 weeks before your target race. It doesn’t have to be exactly like that, though. If there are races within your vicinity of slightly different distances, then participating in them will still be beneficial.
Taking part in a race will get you used to the atmosphere, and the organisation of a race in general. It might teach you how to drink from a cup, or how to pace yourself correctly. Most of all, a race is always a great workout. I don’t know about you, but I can always run faster and at higher intensity if there is a number pinned to my chest. And in the days after a race, once I have recovered, I generally feel a fitness boost.
The rule of thumb is that it takes about a day per mile raced to recover. You should not race again before that time period has passed, but your own rate of recovery might be different, of course. Check how you are feeling, and act accordingly. When the time of the marathon arrives, we all want to be in best shape: not over-raced and not under-trained either. Don’t we?
Photo courtesy of Kris.