Thursday, November 1, 2012

Racing Too Much

Yesterday the Pumpkinman Triathlon opened up registration for 2013.


And today Vermont City Marathon's 25th Anniversary registration opened.


I love love LOVE these races.  I have run Vermont the past four years.  Pumpkinman was one of the best races I have ever participated in.  So, why are these registration dates making me sad?  I for sure am not running Vermont this year, and Pumpkinman is a big maybe. I think registration will close before I will know if I can do it.

When I hired my coach this year, one thing she pointed out was that I race too much.  This was not something I wanted to hear, because I love racing.  But, I hired a coach because I wanted to get better at my sport.  My improvement has been slower than it could have been these past few years, partly because of all the marathons I ran.  18 marathons in five years.  That is a lot of racing and not a lot of recovery!  I have chosen to race less this year in order to hopefully hit some big goals in the races that I do participate in.  I have chosen my big races for next year and Vermont will not work no matter what, so that is a no for me.

The second thing that is frustrating is, how far in advance you have to register for races.  Pumpkinman will close early in the summer, too early to know if I will be recovered enough from Lake Placid to participate in it.  Year after year, I let the Marine Corp Marathon and Chicago Marathon go, because I can't decide in February if that is what I want to do in the fall.  I will probably never run those races because I am just too indecisive to make a decision within the small registration window.

As for racing shorter distances, I still am undecided on how many races I will fit in.  I have a handful of races that I love doing, but mentally I haven't learned to just run a race.  I toe each starting line with a PR in my eyes.  I plan on keeping my eye on my goals this year and will sit on the sidelines as I watch everyone around me racing.  I will also learn to be a spectator.  I may not be running Vermont this year, but I plan on being there cheering for my husband and friends.

Have you found that racing too much slows you down?  How many big races do you participate in in one year?

11 comments:

Michelle D said...

I'm still fairly new to racing and as I'm eyeing races for 2013 I've been wondering how many I can handle. I applaud you for being able to take a step back for the sake of bigger goals!

RunningMandy said...

I'm still new enough to racing that I generally race 2-3 big races in the Spring and again in the Fall. BUT, I keep reading about fantastic races on all these blogs, and can see how easy it would be to fall into the "racing too much" trap! Good luck at cutting back!

Brenna Kate Simonds said...

I do not race very much, but running a very hilly half marathon PR 3 weeks before my 1st marathon was likely not a good decision. I have run 4 half marathons in 10 months, but besides that, I haven't done a serious 5K or 10K in a year!

Amy C. said...

I have run a lot of races this year too, and have wondered if it is too much. I felt better this time last year when I hadn't run many races, especially long ones. But I love races and everything about races too...

Jen said...

I used to race all of the time....and i found A) I was getting quite poor B) I was fighting/competing with the husband about what races I would do/he would do and C) I wasn't gaining any speed. I've since scaled back and I seem happier and I'm getting faster! (not as fast as you....but faster for me!)

Bill Hurley said...

That is so true Robin. The registration is so early, and can close quickly on so many great races. It forces us to decied too quickly. Lake Placid is your A race and you are going to be great. I have already started to map out my year as well. I am going to be much more selective this year. Good luck with your training. I will be looking forward to the updates.

Laura @ Mommyrunfast said...

Wow! 18 marathons in 5 years is a ton... yes, you're definitely being smart. I know you'll see the pay off from this strategy, but I understand- I love races, too!

Robin Brunet said...

I think running too many marathons can slow you down if you have a marathon time goal in the future. I think shorter races can actually benefit the marathon time goal. I don't like to do speedwork so try and register for shorter races to get the speedwork in. I try to limit the marathon to 2 a year (unless there's a redemption race thrown in). Mind you, your training would bid you well if you want to run an ultra! I thought that I'd run more marathons in the future to prep for a possible ultra. So essentially, I guess it depneds on what the "big goal" is.

Amanda Loudin said...

I'm with your coach on keeping races to a minimum. And I am with you that races close too stinking early these days! It is crazy how far out you have to plan. Good luck figuring it all out and finding that happy medium!

Erin Gates said...

I am a running newbie-been racing for a little over a year! And I was like you-the more races the better. Which was ok at first b/c I was only running 5k's BUT then I decided to train for my first half and I began adding distance to my runs. While training for my 2nd half I totally messed up my knee running a 10K way too fast about 2 weeks before my BIG race. I do not train at race pace so when I race it really takes a toll on my body-and I'm not one to show up for a race and take it easy-just not my style-or yours by the times I see. I plan on running my first marathon Oct. 2013-so the plan is to be picky about the smaller races I run. So I think your coach knows what is best for your body-even though it is hard to pass up races you want to do-think long term. We want to it all-but I don't think we can achieve our best times by racing all the time. Good luck w/ training and choosing your races wisely:)!

elizabeth said...

i too, am the queen of the racing too much. by the end of the year it will be 5 marathons and 25 1/2 marathons in 3 years. my new coach seems to be okay with me running the 1/2s though-i swore to her that I would run them at whatever pace she suggested. I REALLY want to add vermont to the list! trying to hold off on any races after my goal marathon for the spring. i honestly haven’t found that racing too much is slowing me down. However, I haven’t exactly taken the time to see if it would. still pretty happy with how far i’ve come in 3 years.