Friday, August 3, 2007

Summer Racing

The temptation to race over the summer is hard to resist with all of the local road races and cross country series. When tempted to lace up the racing flats or spikes, one must remember that they are in a base phase for the upcoming cross country season. During the base phase, it is very important to do base specific workouts, which do not include racing. Three main reasons to not race in the summer are:

1) You are in endurance shape, which means that you will not be race ready. In turn, your time will most likely disappoint you. This may take away motivation for the remainder of the summer. Or, it may make you want to run harder and faster during the remainder of the summer, which defeats the purpose of base training.

2) When you race, you need to recover. If you are putting in high miles and continue to do so after races, you can cause fatigue and/or injury. For example, lets say you ran a 5k road race on Saturday. You wake up sore and tired on Sunday, but have a 14 mile run planned. Instead of running only 10 or 12 (which cuts down your weekly mileage), you run the full 14 and further damage your body.

3) During the cross country season, you will race anywhere from 1 to 3 times a week. You may also have speed sessions 1 to 3 times a week. This is anywhere from 2 to 6 hard runs a week for 8 to 10 weeks. That's a lot of pounding on the body. Why add more to it by racing over the summer?

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