Planning Races

Monday 8 January 2018 by

January usually means a lot of plans and promises. Whether that’s New Year’s Resolutions or just plans for the year ahead. When it comes to fitness, that usually means races and competitions. When I made a plan last year of what I wanted to do, it felt a long way off, and I’m not ashamed to say that things fell through fairly quickly. So with the benefit of hindsight, I have changed these goals and given myself something more achievable. With that, here are my top tips for planning races…

Be realistic

Be honest with yourself about what you think you can achieve. There’s no reason to overload yourself with races if you are never going to manage it all. Start small. I have picked two races I am going to do, and I will build all my training around that.

Think about timings

Space your races out. Setting all your goals in one month is all well and good, but you risk injuring yourself or exhausting yourself and finding that you have to drop out of later races. I have given myself five months between my races to make sure I have enough time to recover and then bring my training back up to speed again.

Plan your training carefully

If you have one race in mind, build a training plan towards it. This might seem obvious, but if you train really hard early on and then drop out, you’re going to find you’re not ready when the time comes. Create a training plan that builds nicely and factors in some time before the race to recover and prepare.

Find something that has importance

Any old race is fine, but you’re going to be much more motivated if it means something to you. For me, I’ve chosen two races that will mean something to me, and I will be raising money for charity for each. It’s much more encouraging when it has importance to me.

Practice makes perfect

If you’re going for a big race, like a marathon, try some smaller and shorter races to get yourself used to racing – especially if you’ve never raced before. Race day is quite different to a training run, and it all works towards your final goal. I always try and get at least one half marathon in before I go for the full marathon.

What do you do to plan your races? Have you got any big goals this year?

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