Being part of a running community has many benefits, most of all the camaraderie that you experience among members and the friendships that form. We spend hours and hours training together, slogging away along roads, up mountain trails and through long training sessions leading up to our races. We hear about all of the events and think, ” I want to run that, I want to run them ALL!” Often it’s a fear of missing out on what others are doing, or that the event is really appealing. Participation and social interaction is a great thing, but is it a good idea to do them ALL? The answer is no, not really, and this is why.
There are simply too many races.
Your body needs adequate rest and recovery.
Training for certain events require certain types of training.
There are too many races
This is totally the case. In Australia there are literally hundreds of races to choose from. Short road races, community fun runs, track events, park runs, trail events, half marathons, full marathons and ultras- the possibilities and races are endless. If you wanted to do them all you: would have a very stressed out bank account; and a a dilemma on your hands as to how to train for them, fit them together; and recover adequately for the next one.
Your body needs adequate rest and recovery
Don’t underestimate this point. Your body needs adequate rest and recovery after all events but some take more than others. The longer the event, or the tougher the event on the body, the more rest your body will require. For example, It can take up to two months to recover adequately from a marathon, so to putting yourself through numerous marathons month in and month out is probably not a great idea. You know what your body can handle, so it is personal choice, but subjecting yourself to constant demands of training and competing in races all the time is a recipe for injury or illness. Use your discretion and be sensible about what you put into your yearly plan and how far apart your events are spread out.
Training for certain events require certain training
Training plans for marathons are different to 5 k events and similarly different for half marathons, therefore it is important to make sure that your training lines up with the events that you have put into your calendar. It may be a good idea to run a marathon leading into an ultra, or even a half marathon leading into a marathon, but these need to be planned and run a certain way to gain the best chance of optimising this training for your main event. You can’t really focus on increasing your 5k time at the same time as wanting to run ultras. You can work on both simultaneously, but one is going to require the focus of your training and you are going to have to choose which it is going to be. The main event is generally the focus of your training and all other training and races should be built around your main goal.
All in all, we all sometimes get a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out), but it’s good to know that sometimes missing out is just what we need to keep ourselves free from injury and on the road to running success.