4 Tips for Planning Your Races

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.

Take-Down Weeks

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.

More: Recovery Tips for Runners

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About the Author

Pete Rea

ZAP Fitness is a Reebok-sponsored non-profit facility that supports post-collegiate distance runners in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. ZAP puts on adult running camps during the summer and is available for retreats all year. The facility has a state-of-the-art weight room, exercise science lab for testing, and a 24-bed lodge. Coaches at the facility include 2-time Olympic trials qualifier Zika Rea, 2007 USATF National XC Champion Ryan Warrenburg, and head coach Pete Rea. For more information, go to zapfitness.com or call 828-295-6198.

ZAP Fitness is a Reebok-sponsored non-profit facility that supports post-collegiate distance runners in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. ZAP puts on adult running camps during the summer and is available for retreats all year. The facility has a state-of-the-art weight room, exercise science lab for testing, and a 24-bed lodge. Coaches at the facility include 2-time Olympic trials qualifier Zika Rea, 2007 USATF National XC Champion Ryan Warrenburg, and head coach Pete Rea. For more information, go to zapfitness.com or call 828-295-6198.

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