Skip to content
The "Don't Be Sh*t!" Series - What’s the point in racing?

The "Don't Be Sh*t!" Series - What’s the point in racing?

If I’m honest about my own running experiences, without a race booked in to my calendar to look forward to my training can only be described as lacking in consistency, missing in quality work and generally a “bit rubbish”

The beauty of a race to look forward to is it gives you the necessary focus and drive to push on with your training and make those fitness gains no matter what your original motivation was for entering in the first place. 

Helping to provide consistency to your training is only one of the many reasons why you should try racing if you haven’t already.

The satisfaction levels of finishing a race knowing you have given your all will far outweigh any runners buzz you’ve had from running on your own and chances are you will meet some new friends and possible “rivals” along the way.

The icing on the cake is you’ll also be rewarded at the end with various goodies and plaudits for your efforts, normally some of which you can eat! 

Never raced before?

It can be a little nerve-racking so make sure you choose an event that is over a distance you are already comfortable with and if you are a bit self-conscious then go for a big mass participation city event where you can guarantee that you can blend in with the crowds if you wish.

Once you get a little more confident though I highly recommend supporting some smaller local club organised races, as this is where you’ll experience the real characters and support of the running community. 

I still remember the first race I ever did, he Bournemouth Bay Half marathon.

The crowd support was awesome, the thrill of running with so many others was a great new experience and I found myself being able to run faster and harder than I ever thought possible.

That day I was ecstatic with my time and middle of the pack finishing position but little did I know that this was just the start of a wonderful journey which would involve me coming back to this race a number of times over the next 10 years and winning it. 

Racing has provided me with my most memorable running moments but they haven’t all been good ones.

One thing you quickly learn once you do start “toeing the line” with any kind of frequency is that race performances don’t always go to plan.

Everyone has bad races, I’ve certainly had some real shockers so don’t take it personally when it happens to you!

If there are lessons to be learned about your pacing or preparation then take them on board but don’t dwell on it for too long and move on.

Don’t forget, running is meant to be fun so pick yourself up and go find that next challenge.

Race Sharp Session

2K/2K/1K at 5K race pace 

A short but tough session this one. I find it’s a great way to find out what 5K race shape I’m in.

I like to do this session on the track with 400m jog recoveries in between the intervals but if you are trying it on the roads then a 3min jog recovery with work as well. 

Try and run all three efforts at your target 5K pace, the final 1K should be a real struggle!

Add the interval times together and it will give you a good estimate of what you can do under race conditions for 5K. 

Tip of the Month

Heavy Training 

Doing more mileage than you have done before?

Don’t worry if your runs have to start slower than normal. Ease into it and let the pace come as your legs loosen up, keep your eyes off the watch for the first couple of miles! 

Previous article The Role of Carbohydrates in Rugby Performance
Create your nutrition list
To start, click the button. Follow the prompts, and create your nutrition list.

It’s your choice - with our knowledge.