Three reasons to race during marathon training

Even though my A race this year is the Eau Claire Marathon, I’m running two races before (and one after). Is there a benefit to racing while training for a marathon? There’s a couple that I’ve found for myself!

Paula Radcliffe Raceday quote.jpg

Confidence boost

There’s nothing better wehn you are training at a slow pace than busting out a PR at a shorter distance. I felt a huge confidence boost at the Valentine’s Day TC 5K when I not only ran a 2 minute 5K PR but ran 8:30~ish minute miles. It gave me that confidence boost that I’ve been getting faster since my last 5K even though I’m focusing on longer races.

Testing out marathon race strategy

I only ran one race during Twin Cities Marathon training, the Bear Water Run 20 miler, and it was specifically to test out race day strategies. Which probably wasn’t the best to try and run at race pace on a 20 mile run a month before the marathon.

This year, I’ll be running the Hot Dash 10 mile six weeks out from the Eau Claire marathon and testing out my race strategies. I’ll be talking about this more later in the week but this will include:

  • Fueling at race pace (haven’t been taking GUs on my pace runs)

  • Running with a pacer

  • Pre-race nutrition

  • Cutting out caffiene six days before the race

  • Race day clothing (weather-dependent because there’s rain in the forecast….)

Adding some fun into training

Race day is fun for me! I train solo so it’s nice to go on what feels like a giant group run. Plus there’s tons of extra energy that isn’t there when I go on my solo runs. There’s crowds out cheering, there’s a medal and there’s usually beer at the finish line!

Do you run races while training for a bigger goal? Let me know in the comments what you love about race day!