Some of the more enjoyable moments of the offseason are spent dreaming about, researching and planning the upcoming year's racing schedule.
Every runner has a different approach to this task. Some keep their race schedule loose and plan it week to week; others map out the entire year before the holidays are over.
Those who take the time to plan a well-balanced schedule have far more successful race seasons. What does a well-balanced approach look like? It should include races of varying distances that are spread out to allow for proper recovery.
Here are four tips to help develop your 2015 race schedule.
Go Long and Short
Work both ends of the spectrum in your racing. Focusing on a late spring 10K? Run some races that are longer and shorter. Perhaps open your spring with a half marathon or a 10-miler as well as 3 to 4 shorter races, such as 5K or 8K.
Avoid racing too much in the final 12 to 13 weeks before your most important race. While competing is the best way to hone your skills, racing takes a lot out of a runner. Races—like planned recovery weeks for training mileage—should be tempered with weeks away from the starting line.