How to plan your race season?

How to plan your race season

By now, you’ve probably implemented a running plan that helps you reach a clear goal – run a certain distance or achieve a desired time. Running alone or in a group, with or without a coach, you know that you need to prepare your body and mind for the race. Various programs are available to everyone to help with this. But how to plan your race season?

Planning is half the battle!

Should I have a race plan in addition to my training plan?

If you train regularly and enjoy going to races, creating a personal race plan is also a great tool for reaching your goals.

Do you register for races “spontaneously” or according to plan? Read below what you should pay attention to when planning your race season.

Do you have your goal?

For example: This year I decided to break my 10km record. This race season I will run a half marathon in less than 01h50′. I’m planning to run my first ultra. I want to place high in my league.

Although these statements are not measurable in the same way, they can be the basis for determining personal goals. It is important that each goal is clear and realistic for you. Then you’ll know if you just need to be in shape to finish the race or if you need to push yourself to be better than you are now.

The goal doesn’t have to be just one. But you shouldn’t set too many different goals at once. A goal should constantly motivate you.

Why is it useful to have a plan (race season) in advance?

Better results require even better preparation. And good preparation takes time. Another time we must count on is recovery time! Both are important because of changing the possibility of injury and overloading the body.

In short, if you balance your activities on time, the realization will be of better quality.

In addition, if you like to fit as many races as possible between your work and other obligations, it will mean that you plan your time and finances and logistics in advance.

And finally, with a plan in place, you can measure progress and results as you rush toward your next goal!

Determine your priorities in race season

Of course, according to your own criteria and wishes, and for the purpose of achieving your goal. For example: If your goal is to reduce your half marathon time, you can do this by training and running shorter distances. You can also reach that goal through marathon preparations. Or you will run several half marathons and reach your peak at some point.

The bottom line is to prioritize races that can help you get there.

You can put all the races during the year in your 3 categories.

Category I – priority races, the achievement of your goal, the moment towards which you direct your training, the races where you want to reach your maximum.

There should not be too many such races if you devote 8-12 weeks to thorough preparation. A few days before the main race, the training intensity will decrease. If there are more, the time between them should be enough for rest and recovery.

Category II – second in importance to you, but they participate in the preparation for the main races. They are good for testing the current preparation.

These races do not even have to be the same format as the main race. They should not feel pressure because of the results. These are, so to speak, training races, where you definitely give your best. And of course, they’re far enough away from the priority race that you don’t use up the energy you’ll need in the main race.

Category III – races and various sports events that have nothing to do with your intended goal, but you enjoy them and the result is not important to you. Here you can recharge your batteries, make friends, maintain your enthusiasm, get to know each other… And it’s a kind of training.

Create your own race season calendar

What you put in the third category is no less important than the first two. The essence is that races from all three categories are spread over a longer period of time. First the main races, then those from the II and III categories, so that the III category does not threaten the first, i.e. it is not too close to the main race.

(Avoid) Overdoing the races

There is no ideal number of races. Just like the number of training sessions during the week. Both are individual. If you rush to every race you can get to, you risk losing the enthusiasm that will benefit you in the main race of the season. Because every race is as much a mental activity as it is a physical one.

A few more details

Before the race – Find out as much as you can about your main race (and other races as well). Find out about everything – from the field to mandatory equipment and rules, to refreshments and other information. This way you will avoid unpleasant surprises and be better prepared.

After the Race – Learn something about yourself after every race. Maybe your plan needs to be adjusted?

Before and after – Leave room for spontaneous decisions. Leave room for rest. Leave room for exploration.

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