Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tuning in to tune-ups.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I'm looking for upcoming races in the near future. Well, it looks like I really need to get on that! According to an article I read after receiving the Running Times e-mail newsletter yesterday, those who don't race often enough don't perform to their potential in their goal races. It's an interesting article and you can read the whole thing here. Let me just give you a quick peak at some of what jumped out at me:

"While the serial racer might never reach her potential because of overexposure, the overly occasional racer also often falls short, because of not enough exposure to the physical and mental demands that occur only in a race.

"Anyone hoping to pop a PR needs tune-up races. They’re the rustbusters that teach your body and mind to race effectively. They’re the place to practice your race, before, during, and after the actual event."
Um, that would be me, right these in that first paragraph: "the overly occasional racer." Overly occasional! I should get shirts emblazoned with OO on them, that's so me.

I don't race enough: I've run only three races this year. Three! That's it! I'm overly occasional!

But maybe not for too long. I'm going to get serious about my race hunt. There aren't too many of them between now and September, and most of them seem to fall on days when I'll either be away or would otherwise not be able to participate. I'll find some, if not ones that take place soon, then you'll definitely hear about me toeing the line in September in anticipation of my goal races later in the fall.

Any thoughts about tune-up races?

* * *

I've fallen off on the complaining. I complained a few times over the past few days and, man, do I wish I hadn't. Oh, well. The good thing about being aware of my complaining is that I'm also taking the time to think about why I'm complaining. And one of the things I've complained about over the last few days is something that I just haven't found a way to deal with in a productive way. So, I've complained. Now I know that I must figure this out so I can get to that fully complaint-free place.

Have a great day!

~ Felice

19 comments:

Marlene said...

I definitely think that racing often can make you stronger... just have to be careful not to overdo it and treat every single one as an "A" race. Good luck finding some that work for you!

Meg Runs said...

Wow, this is a great article, thanks for sharing. I ALWAYS get pre race jitters so I think I just need to do it more!

B.o.B. said...

I wonder what the definition of OO means. I think 3 races is fine. Uh-oh, better make me one of those shirts too!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Still a newbie...I am just trying to get a time for each of the distances.. Think once I have more running years under my shoes (LOL) I will have a better opinion.

What I know is that I LOVE the start and finish line. I LOVE having roads closed for me. I LOVE being surrounded by other people with the same passion. I LOVE races...that is why I sign up :)

I am going to complain about the race fees...I understand why the costs is there, I just don't have enough money to do many... SAD!!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

interesting take on racing, now if only i could come out of a race uninjured to do more! :D

Denise said...

I totally buy that re: racing often.

sounds like you learned something valuable from the complaining challenge. Good job!

lindsay said...

i am totally OO too! i just have a hard time finding races that are nearby on a weekend i can do them... i've only raced 3 times this year too and 2 of them were the goofy! i need to get on it. i definitely think my nerves are a bit much on race days, i should probably run some races with less pressure to work on that.

J said...

Honestly I think racing is good for you! Im sure you can find some races so you can get out of that overly occasional racer category!

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Ooh! There's a 5K in Grafton on August 9th. Run For The Roses. I ran it last year. Its at the Grafton Lakes State Park. A very nice race. There's a bit of hill at the end, but that can only make you a faster runner. :)

The Happy Runner said...

Jon -- thanks. I would do that race but I'll be in VA for a wedding! I've heard it is a lot of fun. Grafton is a nice area.

macnic said...

All the best in your race quest! I find its the only thing that keeps me training. I may be doomed come winter!

X-Country2 said...

Good luck on your race quest. The big ones are hard to come by this time of year, but it seems there's always a 5k popping up some place. Keep your ear to the ground for one of those.

Quix said...

I've done 4 this year, that's not much more than 3. I'll take an OO tee as well.

I've made the executive decision to take the summer off even with Austin's 4000 races per weekend, because it's just so darn hot. Heat training for my half just killed my motivation to run in the heat anytime soon. I've got a relay planned in Sept, and will probably do a 5k and 10k training for the next half in Feb.

I'm ok for this (my first) year being an OO. :)

Tina at Gotta Run Now said...

I wish I could race more often, too. You learn so much in a race. It's just not the same as running a 5K down my street! Thanks for the article link!

Laura said...

Interesting post. Maybe I need to race more.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

I like the idea of tune-up races. I do think it is important to identify which races are your A races and make sure not to have too many of those, though

I Run for Fun said...

I am OO too! More than you, in fact...I've only done 1 this year! That's not good. Good luck in finding the right tune-up races. I need to find a few too!

RunToFinish said...

you know I don't race alot and I guess I don't really mind that it works for me and I still PR a lot. so I think it depends on the runner and what your long term goals are

NY Wolve said...

I've run a bunch of races this spring and it has really helped on a couple fronts. Mainly, pacing. Not going out to fast. Learning to slow down even if the pack I am in is going too fast for my pace. And to listen to heart rate relative to pace relative to distance left. Now I have some comfort about how to get to the end in goal times with an intelligent strategy rather than just go as fast as I can and hold on.

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