2023 is just around the corner. Are there some bucket list events you’re dreaming of? It is never too late to pencil in a date in the calendar and make it a reality. Here are our tips to plan a fun, exciting calendar for 2023.
How soon can I race?
When signing up to a race, it might be an exciting thought to cross a finish line in the next few weeks, your knees and feet might regret a too early decision. Getting ready to race, whatever the discipline, takes time – considering you want to enjoy D-day as much as possible. Make some time to build up a base mileage, find out a coach if you prefer to have one, and train for your race. If you’re training without any club or coaching support, you should also consider taper time ahead of the race. While some runners get the itch to run again, bouncing with mysterious energy, and others enjoy rely more on their social calendar, your body will need taper to absorb all training benefits and get ready for the big day.
How much time in advance do I need to plan?
It depends. Most training plans are 12-week long considering you already have a solid running base. But if you have less running experience or if you’d like to attempt longer races such as multisport challenges, ultra-marathons, or triathlons, you might need additional time to get your body and mind ready for these races.
How will I know I am ready to race?
You’re planning to run a marathon: congratulations, signing up is the hardest step! Now it is time to plan your training. During your 12 to 16 weeks of training, think about setting up milestones to check your progress and train for racing. In the example of a marathon race, it is common to try out half-marathon distance about half-way point in your training, as well as a 10k race. This will help you get used to racing with other people, find the right pace, maintain it for several kilometres; and of course, train yourself not to start off too fast – we all know it is very tempting to lead the pack in the first couple of kms.
After successfully completing a milestone, you can then estimate your time of your final race. You can simply enter your times in this calculator and get an idea of your finish time – they do the maths, then it’s your time to perform!
How can I know this is THE race for me?
Technically, there is no right or wrong race; it will depend on many factors:
- What you are looking to achieve: a distance, a PB, an experience, a new sport, a specific terrain, a bucket list item?
- What your previous experience is: are you new to the sport or are you familiar with this race type or even specific race?
- Where your comfort zone is and whether you are looking to get out of it or instead, have fun without any additional pressure.
- What your physical barriers or future commitments are – it might be more difficult to train for an Ironman if you don’t have any access to a pool or water or if you’re expecting child around race day for example?
These answers will help you determine what the ideal race for you is. The right answer for you might sound very differently to someone else depending on their responses and personality. In general, when runners seek a new challenge, it might also get scary – not necessarily a bad sign, but this might be a great driving force during training. We cannot stress it enough – sign up to something that scares you, that gets you eager to race,
I fear getting injured…
Injury is not a necessary milestone in a runner's journey. However, you must have heard that running is bad for your knees, ankles, joints. With the right feet protection and shock absorption, there is no reason why you have to be injured.
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