Guest Blogger Chris Kovalchick
Last August, I was thick in the middle of training for my fall marathon when the opportunity came up to race a 5K. I only found out about the race 2 days before, and was considering the merits of getting some good speedwork in during a race setting, rather than heading to the track. I was hesitant to enter, for fear I would injure myself by going out too hard. I was concerned that this race would adversely affect my overall training, as I had not planned to fit a 5K race in on this specific day. I had just finished running the Hood to Coast relay (www.hoodtocoast.com) the weekend prior, and was concerned my body was not recovered.
This predicament is another common challenge that runners face when putting together a marathon training cycle: training vs. racing. What amount of racing is ‘healthy’? How often should one race? How much racing is too much? What are the benefits of both training and racing? Fundamentally, training involves breaking your body down and building it back up again. This process makes your body stronger and faster, enabling you to throw down the hammer at a given point in time: a race. A crucial part of training is recovery, which allows your body the time to build itself back up after the hard work you put it through. Racing, on the other hand, is an execution of fitness. However, this execution of fitness does not have to be a single event or race. While your ultimate goal (your A-race) may be to drill The San Francisco Marathon in July, a few well-placed races as benchmarks will do wonders for reaching your A-race goal. It […]