Can you race yourself fit?

Anyone here not do speedwork, but just races instead to get the fast stuff in?

If so, how often etc etc?



  • Pug - in the early part of this year I did just that. I raced every weekend from the middle of Jan through to the middle of April. I think I only did 2 `speed' sessions in that time.

    The rest of my running was very slow.

    At the end of the training block I hit 33:45 at Salford (you may recall) and then ran a 5 mile pb of 26:57 a week later.

    I don't think I could have gone much further on that approach though. It got me back to where I was pre-injury but now I'm trying to do more structured sessions to progress to the next level.
  • thats me to a t
    In fact, i barely train

    but i broke my mara pb twice during 1o maras in 11 weeks and came damn close to a half pb during that time-on a really hilly course

    My pbs are soft though
  • I do some speedwork during my weekly training and also loads of steady/easy running but find it difficult to do "tempo" runs so often run short races like 3ks and 5ks instead of a tempo run. Not sure I do them often enough to be of much benefit but at least they are short if somewhat painful.
  • Barnsleyrunner This is what I'm hoping to do as well mate, batter it and get the pace back in my legs. Ever since Edinburgh Marathon I've been going backwards, tired, injured and just running rubbish... lets hope it has the same effect on me, soin ggoing to race alot this month... something I haven't really done this year and I think it's had an effect.

    Did Penny Lane 10k on Sunday and died a death... went through 3 mile strong in 16:43, then at 6k, my legs just went... like someone had sapped all energy out of them... not good at all :-(

  • As BR says, you can use this method to get back to somewhere around where you were if you are coming back after a break, although it's a tough way of doing it, but there is likely to come a point when you need to do more structured training. I've just done this to get somewhere approaching normal for the track season after an injury in Feb-April, and it worked, but now I'm stuck and can't seem to improve (but hoping to change that this Saturday...)

    Well done on your PB, BR!
  • Thanks JFB - have you got a track meeting coming up then?
  • I've got Southern Men's League on Sat., doing the 'chase. I've been stuck in the 10.40s so far this year, which is disappointing, but I don't seem to be able to get past 20-25 mpw, which doesn't provide much of a background for improvement.

    Good to see you're back on form.
  • Pug,

    'Did Penny Lane 10k on Sunday and died a death... went through 3 mile strong in 16:43, then at 6k, my legs just went'

    I think if you just stuck to km or miles in one race it might help ;-)

  • I like the idea of racing rather than speed work..but doesnt racing too often have a negative effect ?
  • It's meant to because you can become stale, but I reckon you can deffo race as long as they're different distances etc etc... just wondered who'd done it etc...

    My 3rd race in 14 days is tomorrow with another on Saturday... time to rock and roll...

  • Pug - My only reservation about this protocol is that racing (for me anyway) is balls-out give it your best shot on the day. Naturally this has an impact on your body so too much of it will burn you out. This will depend on such things as age, distance raced etc.

    Also, it depends how you define speedwork. My interpretation is that it is training at different intensities which has different benefits - If all your speedwork is done at one intensity (i.e. race pace) you may be losing the benefits of a varied training program).

    Another thought Pug - I am not sure how long you have been training hard i.e. using a HRM/stopwatch but it may be time to consider periodisation and you may be coming to that time of your training cycle where you need to put the stopwatch and HRM away for 3 months and just run leisurely each day. Come back in October rested and fired up for the next level of performance.

    Good Luck
  • I’ve been doing the racing to get myself fit while getting back into thing described by others on this thread. I’ve raced 17 times this year (since late Feb) over distances from 2k to 10k. This was all the speedwork I was doing until about 3 weeks ago. I’ve now embarked back on a more traditional schedule with intervals and tempo sessions and cut back (but not completely cut out) the racing.
  • BR; Is the 'next level' reached by LSD runs or speed work?
  • VO2 max; us oldies can't manage race after race after race..... But did back to back races all the time in my 'youth'!
  • Treadmill - depends where you are in your cycle and what your goal race is. 800m or a 24 hour track race?
  • Treadmill - depends where you are in your cycle and what your goal race is. 800m or a 24 hour track race?
  • Treadmill - depends where you are in your cycle and what your goal race is. 800m or a 24 hour track race?
  • Re post 'tired legs'. Both of you have several posts which include 'get outs' claiming 'post marathon legs'.
    Harsh reply: you shouldn't have raced. Another reply: Why did you race? Alternative reply: Well you did pretty well anyway!!
  • Well, nice little 5k race tonight... 17:29 (5:38 m/m) so there's one of my speed sessions done :-)

  • Well done Pug - bet you wouldn't have managed 5:38 pace in a structured training run.

    Treadmill - I think we explained at the time that the 2 races I did were part of a series I needed to complete. Hilly did the extra one as it was her old stomping ground.
  • BR Cheers matey...Yeah, well, just about to top 100 mile for the week, so, to do that time, I'm chuffed... got my 5 Mile Road Race tomorrow... as it's a ncie course, should be able to get around 5:40-5:45 per mile... which'll once again, so me..

  • Just raced again, Burtonwood 5 miler... not the quickest course int he world and slightly down on what I wanted... but 28:56 5:49 m/m so that'll do me now for my second session...

    Next race... the Wirral Seaside Run 3.06 mle next Wednesday night...

Sign In or Register to comment.