When we are training for an important race, such as the London Marathon, we will usually do a few other runs to see how our training has been progressing and to put down a marker. People often ask how should they approach these inbetween races. If you keep tapering too often for these races you will lose valuable training time for the main event. These other races will also help to keep you motivated by giving you a shorter term goal, and allow you to practice such things as carbo loading the night before, race day breakfast and gel/drink taking during the race.
My advice is to divide races into A,B and C categories of importance.
The main event, so tapering needed. See Race Day Prep for more detail.
Only have one or two of these in the lead up to the main race as you don`t want to loose too much training. Make sure to practice breakfast taking and wearing of any new kit.
If its a half marathon you are doing then 4 - 6 days slightly easier should be ok to get a good performance without loosing out on training, if its a 10k then you should only need 2 - 3 days easy, but still practice the things you need to do.
No taper at all, just train straight through it. Often an evening local race is ideal for this, and can be used as a substitute for either a tempo run or an interval session.
Remember, also, these are training races and times will often be slightly slower than you might expect, afterall you will be running on tired legs.If you let us know when you have any of these races planned then we can can incorporate them into your personalised training schedule.
The important things to remember are
• to practice carbo loading
• to practice breakfast
• make sure you have all your kit ready
• allowing time to get to the race start
• gel/drink during the race.