To race or not to race

As always, that is the question.  Do I race?  Or do I train?


Reasons to race (or not to race)

I tossed and turned between racing this week and not racing.  The athlete in me always wants to race.  The coach (also me) says that I haven’t done the work I needed to do, and a race could potentially set the runner back.

What do I do?
Tweet: Choose your racing schedule wisely, as not every run needs to be race day via @marcpelerin

Here are my options:

Reasons to Race

  • I LOVE to compete.
  • I think I can break 4:30.
  • Racing breaks up the monotony of training.
  • Another short race distance will help prepare me for longer races in the spring.
  • I can build confidence off of a good race.

Reasons not to Race

    • I just got healthy after 10 days of a calf strain.
    • Being injury prone. Enough said.
    • Will this race benefit me in the long run?
    • Do I want to race at 10 pm and have to be at work at 7:30 am?

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As much as I WANT to race, I think better judgement will prevail and I will do a workout instead.  Races are great, and I love a great race.  But at the end of the day, if a race will not improve my health, which means I could get injured while racing,or my fitness and has no great benefit in my overall training plan, then a workout will do me much better.

When Training

Reasons not to race

In educational terms (I’m a teacher, what can I say?!), races are a lot like quizzes and tests. They tell you what you need to work on or whether you’ve done your work.  They’ll alert you if you’re on the right path or if you need to go back and relearn something.

Since my goals extend beyond this race, I know that I don’t need to race.

For this race, it wouldn’t help me decide what to do because I already know I’m lacking short-term fitness – and when I can put in consistent training, I’m at my best.  Since I know I’m not ready, there’s little reason to “quiz” myself and be disappointed, especially when I don’t have to.

Tomorrow workout will have 5 miles worth of work – most likely threshold with some speed work in there – and I’ll have a good warm up and cool down.  And afterwards, I’ll be having dinner and dreaming about what I could have raced a mile in.

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Still not sure what to do? Reach out to someone who’s had to make those decisions!  OR do some research of your own.




2 thoughts on “To race or not to race

  1. hersh2015 says:

    I’m always in that situation,i love to race 5k maybe 2 in in a weekend, but sometimes to much kinda burns me out and throws my running workout off track.
    If it’s a race close to my house I’ll race or if it has a good files of runners I’ll race.
    Sometimes I’ll pass on a race to rest up.


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