Contributed by Tim Flahaven
Racing is a great way to test your conditioning and to gain confidence. Often we worry about how racing affects our overall training schedule. The question often becomes - what part of my training schedule should the race "replace"?
For a shorter race like a 5k or a 10k, you can train right up until the race. Let the race mileage then supplant mileage on your training schedule. Let’s say you are doing a 5k on a Saturday when you have a 12 mile run on your training schedule. In this case you should do 3 miles slow, run the 5K, and then do 6 slow miles afterwards. If you have a 5k on a Sunday and your training schedule calls for a rest day, you would still do your full Saturday mileage. Do your 5k on Sunday and then take an extra rest day - probably Monday and Tuesday.
A lot of this all depends. It depends on where the race falls in your training schedule and the length of the race. Anything longer than a 10k, such as the Scioto 10 miler on Sunday, should fully supplant anything that is on your training schedule for Saturday. And for most, complete rest on Monday and complete rest on Tuesday would be in order. For runners on our ATP plan, we presuppose that racing will be part of training and have built the adjustments into the schedule. For others in MIT and especially for new people, we encourage you to toe the line but give you the flexibility to choose your races. In terms of schedule adjustments, please allow your coach or myself, Jeff, or Jenn help you mold your training schedule to your race.