Good morning and Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend.
On Saturday, I ran the Black Cat Road Race in Salem, MA as a Boston Marathon training run.
I did not run the full 20 mile distance, but cut it to 15. I’m trying to avoid injury given that Phoenix marathon was only two weeks ago! It was a great local race, and so great to run with my speedy sister and Mark! The race circled the historical town north of Boston, made famous for the 17th century witch trials. I decided to make this my long run for the weekend.
Pre-race with Mark and my sister:
Incorporating races into marathon/other distance training is a good way to maximize your training. Some reasons why:
- Getting through a long run alongside fellow runners is much more fun than solo!
- You can explore a new area and change up your typical running route which can be uplifting.
- Races can be great “dress rehearsals” for your actual race in terms of race attire, fueling, and hydrating. They can allow you to rehearse your pre-race meals and race day routine.
- In terms of fueling/hydrating, there are so many products to choose from including gels, shot blocks, bars, jelly beans, and drinks like Gatorade/Powerade. As runners connects recommends, it is important to test out these products and determine which ones you like best. Some may sit well in your stomach, whereas other products may make you gag. Waiting to test out the various fueling products on race day may greatly affect your race.
- Speaking of hydrating, it takes some skill to take in water via a small cup, so more water-station practice before race day the better.
- Three words: post-race food (note that this may or may not be good depending on a race, but enjoying some food and possible beverages post-race with friends is always a win in my book!)
- Races are a great way to test your fitness during marathon training. Keep in mind that if you are running a tune-up race, you should adjust your training schedule and include some taper/easy days- otherwise it may not be possible to run a fast race mid-training (even with all of the race day adrenaline). If you do push yourself, remember to give yourself some extra time for recovery before jumping back into marathon training.
Runners connect suggests that you can confidently execute this type of “race long run” every two to three weeks in place of a fast finish or up-tempo long run. But they caution not to do a fast finish long run (or any hard long run) and a “race long run” back-to-back if you’re not an experienced runner or you run the risk of overtraining.
Start of the Black Cat Race in Salem:
Photo credits: @jazzman0718
Post-race party included a DJ and dancing (can’t say that I’ve seen this before, but it was great!):
The rest of my weekend involved celebrating my wonderful Dad’s birthday, and also included spending some time with my favorite lab puppy Rio :).
Lastly, I was able to gallivant around my favorite city a bit yesterday (and visit with my friend’s adorable baby boy Ollie!). We lucked out on the weather with two back to back 55-60 degree sunny days, and I only hope that it stays this perfect (particularly for marathon Monday!).
How was your weekend? Any long runs/races/good workouts?
Have you incorporated any races into your marathon training routine? Tune-up races before a race? Do you think they helped with your goal race training?
What are you looking forward to most in this week ahead? Enjoy your Monday!! xo