How Often can I Race?

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How often can you participate in races?

A comment directed at me in Facebook caught my attention. A coach had said in a Facebook group that running two half marathons in a row was not recommended.

And then I remembered that upon posting my Racing Calendar for the year a polemic arise, people thought that there were “too many races” and that I was going to get myself injured.

Of course, it is not recommended that a novice runner who just raced his/her first half runs another the following Sunday. But it’s NOT a bad thing. It all depends on your own experience and personal capabilities.

Most people see the world through their own limitations and a wonderful thing about running is that little by little, you start to realize that you can do things that you previously thought impossible.

To those new to the world of running, breaking the 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, or Marathon barriers it’s a big challenge and a learning process of what you are capable of. The first time you cross one of this barriers you need a lot of rest to recover but with time it becomes routine.

Running two Half Marathons in a row can sound outrageous to a rookie but to me, it’s just another training day.

If I must run 26 km (16.15 miles) I would rather race  5k  or 10k on Saturday, followed by a Half Marathon on Sunday, and get a couple of medals than run like crazy around a small loop.

Being capable of pacing myself and not getting carried away by a fast pace race or runners passing you is key to be able to do that, and like many things, everything requires practice.

I pick one or two races per year where I give my all and go for a PR, all the rest are just a fun way to train.

There is a world out there where running 50 miles or 100 miles is normal, and the amount of training required to do that is well over 185 miles a month. A lot of people do it without any problems and with very few injuries.

There is a wonderful group of runners from all over the world called HALF FANATICS, (USA base club) the minimum requirement to join (besides paying your annual membership) is to run 3 half marathons within 90 days.

marathon-maniac

There’s also a sibling organization called MARATHON MANIACS whose minimum requirement to join is that you run 3 marathons within 90 days, it has over twelve thousand members worldwide.

marathon-and-half-maniac

Those groups have taught me to be open-minded to things that I previously thought were too far out or plain impossible.

There are lots of people whose challenge is to run a marathon on each of the 51 USA states or to run a marathon each month or even more.

It’s not happening yet in Mexico or Latin America, but the world’s biggest marathons and half marathons are adding a 5k or 10k race the day before the big event, and who do you think is racing that? The same people who are running the marathon or half marathon. It’s cool getting two medals instead of one.

One of the coolest Trial races is the Baja ultra in Cabo where you run 100k (65 miles) in 4 days. It is definitely in my wish list.

DOPEY CHALLENGE is Disney’s most popular run, you run 4 races in 4 consecutive days. 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and a Marathon all in one weekend.

Currently, the most popular challenge is to combine 3 races over the weekend. 5k,10k, and a Half Marathon. This format has been adopted by races like Runners World USA and many more like Rock & Roll series, by Competitor Group. Disney has more than five similar challenges along the year.

cincinatti-pig-marathon   

A properly trained body can achieve wonders and enjoy this challenges without suffering is within your reach.

Of course, it will take time, training and knowledge. Don’t try this in your rookie year. It’s important that you open up to a world of different challenges and training programs that will keep running fun for decades.

Next time you think something is impossible, think twice, because what can be impossible for some can be routine for others.

Ilya

RRAC Running Educator, Health & Mindset coach, content creator 22 years running, 200+ races & creating magic at Instarunners

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