Do You Race if You Know You're Under Trained?


Let's say you're fit enough to complete the race (say a 10k), but you've lost a month of training, so you know you're at least 2-3 mins off PB potential. Do you race? Do you do it simply as a training run? Or do you hate the idea of collecting a poor result, so volunteer to help at the race, go back to training and only race once fitness is regained?

I'm just curious. I guess the more competitive guys probably don't race unless totally fit. Those who are more into the fun aspect will.


  • If I only did races where I thought a PB was on the cards, I'd do very few races. 

    And I'd have missed out on a couple of PBs which took me by surprise image

  • I'm always under-trained.
    Train easy - race hard.
    I don't agree with training anyway, it's just another form of cheating.
  • If it cost me over £5 to enter then I race....
  • if i had paid and entered then i would probably do will give me an accurate benchmark as to where i am........if its a longer race then i will do it as a lower ace as a training run and just enjoy the day......bit like london marathon in a couple of weeks....not in good enough shape to race it but will walk/ skip and run it
  • I would run, but I wouldn't 'race'...
  • Pammie*Pammie* ✭✭✭

    I'm competitive, may not be fast  but am competitive

    I have done that just used the race as a hard training run knowing i wasn't at my best. Its good training. Probably not if it was a marathon (different beast) but 10ks and the like sure

  • I would run it as a tempo run.
  • I ran a HM last weekend and was nearly 15 minutes off my personal best.

    Having said that I did briefly consider not running. I was completely "under trained" but I did know I could finish so that didn't last long.

    I'm not sure what "doing it as a training run" means. I could rationalise it as a "training run" before the race and possibly after, but during the race I'm running as fast as I can.

    So - yes I'd run anyway and get the best time I can on the day.

    But maybe I fall into the category of a "fun runner" then. Actually...yup... I guess that is what I am. I have a full time permanent job and no chance of an Olympic medal - I'm only running because I want to. :-]

  • ChimneyChimney ✭✭✭
    LOL @ Ian M.
    +1 Weevil
    I have only not run in one race I'd entered, but that was because I couldn't walk, let alone run....Apart from that I go. It's all good.
    If reality matched intention I'd know I was dreaming
  • when i mean as a training means that i am not running full out race pace...........more like a pace in i am doing a training run but with company and support.....

    if you are not race fit..sometimes you can get yourself another race to aim for and then you do not want to risk injury or knackereing yourself in the current race....

    in London instead of trying to go sub 9 mm which i am not in shape for .....I will probably run it at 11 or 12 mmm.....and so finish but without stopping me from training the following week....

    if i tried to race full out I might be able to do 9.5 or 10mm but will be unable to train for a few days
  • ive never trained properly for a run yet

    For Birmingham half last year between september and October i did 2 x 7 mile runs and a 4 mile run and that was it, i ran it in 1.32 for only my second half marathon and played football the day before, you know your fit enough but it comes down to what your head starts to tell you also when you over think about the training and let doubt creep in. just got to get out there and give it your best on the day you never know what may happen you may break your PB

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    Trained or not, there is little or no chance of me placing in the race or even my age category. I do races for the fun of it, to spend half a day or so doing something I enjoy. If I bump into some acquaintances from this place then it's also time spent in good company.

    So if I've paid the entry fee and there's a medal to be had, I'll turn up and trundle round anyway if I feel I'm fit enough to at least finish without trashing myself.

    If I'm injured and it's a no-run then I might help out with marshalling etc if it's fairly close to home and it's a day off from work anyway. If it's a work day (I work shifts) then I'll go back to the office and cancel the day's leave and keep it for another time.

  • JFDI.....
  • Tim R2-T2Tim R2-T2 ✭✭✭
    Every race is different. Every day is different. Sometimes you perform better one day on the same course with no training than you did fully trained the year before. sometimes you've trained properly done all the proper preparation and it just doesn't happen on the day.

    But I'm talking half marathons and am always ready to race.
  • Yes,but I would adjust my targets accordingly.

    A friend won entry (thanks RW) for two to an overseas marathon/half and very kindly offered me a place. At the time I was returing from injury and thought with five months training a good half pb was on the cards, so I booked the flight. I got knocked off my bike a few weeks later, picked up a disc injury in my back and didn't run in three months prior to the race.With no runs over 10 miles in 9 months and none at all in three months prior to the race I was never going to get close timewise to where I was 12 months previously so I took the attitude of I can blag a half, run/walk if needed, I've paid for the flights, I'll burn off the post race re-hydration calories in the pub so a few painkillers, trainers on, and enjoy the day. Being on the start line for a race brought back that amazing buzz, I got a PW by a very considerable margin but hey, I ran, had a good time, got a very impressive medal and found that my club vest has shrunk in the wash a bit.

    As Monty says, JFDI, there's more to running than a pb every race

  • There's a school of thought which says it's better to toe the line slightly under-trained rather than over-trained.
  • I'd run it if undertrained but not run if was injured.

     I'd just be conservative with my pacing. 

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