June 18, 2013

How Many Races Are Too Many?

When we first started our running obsession, the goal was to complete the Princess Half Marathon 2011 and then move on to other pursuits besides running.  Clearly that is not how things turned out and we are now registering for many local races as well as the runDisney extravaganzas.  Several people who follow this blog have asked us if we would write a post about races and specifically how many to schedule and when.  This is a big issue for many of us, especially if you follow twitter and see some of the hashtags such as #runalltheraces!   We, like many other runDisney fans, would love to run every race each year that Disney offers and many other races too.  So here is what we think about scheduling races.

In 2010, we ran one race six weeks after we started our running.  It was a 10k on Thanksgiving morning and we ran strictly to get a time for corral placement at the Princess Half Marathon.  You can see this race recap here.  Nearly three months later, we toed the starting line for Princess for what was to be our first and last half marathon.  Obviously we got hooked, and Pam sooner than Christine.  After some careful review of running books and Runners World Magazine, Pam booked some additional races to prepare for the Disneyland Half Marathon in September 2011.  My race calendar that summer included a three 5k races and two 10k races that were all local to my area.  Those races helped me work on my goal of getting faster for the Disneyland Half Marathon.

Fast forward to 2013, and we both have raced many longer races this year and have many to look forward to this summer and fall.  This year, Christine has five eight half marathons so far and Pam has raced three halves and a full and we will both be running a couple short races too.  Part of what we concluded from scheduling so many races was that you could not "race" them all. A personal record in every race is not only difficult to achieve, it is also not reasonable if you do not give your body rest between races.  So, we choose specific races for "racing" and enjoy others as training runs.  It is hard to not go for a goal time, but when we ran the Princess Half this year, we had decided well before we arrived in Orlando that the race was going to be for fun.  We dressed in costume, and our focus was to enjoy the course, and the whole Disney experience.
As you can see, we had fun!

Running lots of races is not a problem and we enjoy the challenge of local races and runcations.  Do you participate in many race weekends or do you have just a few races per year?


22 comments:

  1. This year my goal was to earn a medal a month with a combination of different distances. It didn't work out that way, as I had a few chest colds in Jan/Feb and I have been sidelined with an injury for the last month. Next year I think I will be more picky. Registration costs are rising quite quickly and some races turn out to be a disappointment. Unfortunately, you have to DO them to know which ones you don't want to do again!

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    1. Jennifer, Agree that you need to try races to know if you like them and feel they are a fair value. The registrations can get costly and that is an issue for all runners.

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  2. Hi Ladies,
    I never came in to "running" to become a "runnner". For me it started out as a way to spend time at Disney with my family doing the 5k races just for fun. After several years of doing the 5K's I decided that I wanted to do the Princess half marathon. ( this was going to be my one and done) I've been preparing all this year and last year by doing races of various distance so far. I do enjoy it and hope that the Princess half isn't too terrible for me and that I want to continue to do more halves ( At Disney). So I guess to answer the question, this year I am trying to do as many race weekends as I can because I need the practice. Next year I will probably slow down a bit. I will still continue to watch my sister run the long distance races and may try to pick up shorter races that are in conjunction with her race weekends as well.

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    1. You will love the Princess Half and probably be hooked on future longer races at Disney. The medals alone are worth the long training runs! Good luck and enjoy the training.

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  3. So far I've only run one race, and that was the Princess Half marathon. I'm running a 5k in September, a 10-miler in October (at disney), possibly a couple other halves, but I haven't decided yet. I would love to run more, but I love the long distances and not the short distances, so I haven't signed up for too many races. I think I might change that next year though. I'm just gonna play it by ear and see how things go!

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    1. Rachel, While the shorter distance races are not our favorites, they do help alot towards speed in the longer races. Both of us have improved our speed alot from running the 5k and 10k races.

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  4. That is the great thing about running - you can't help but get hooked then you want to do all the races haha! :) This is really only my first year of running, but I will be trying to keep the half marathon races to about 2-3 per year, then as many 5K's and 10K's as I want! Who knows if that plan will stay in place though lol.

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    1. Good luck Lauren! Race weekends become addictive and it is hard not to push the register button on the computer.

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  5. Lol do I even need to answer this post? You know me, races keep me ACCOUNTABLE!

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    1. Yup Kat, you are awesome with your speed and training. We also agree that the races keep training in focus for both of us.

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  6. As I've started my training for my first half this coming January at Disney World, I've realized that signing up for and completing other races helps to keep me more motivated and focused on my training. Since I want to keep Disney as my first half I've been focusing on signing up for 5Ks and 10Ks. Just running for the sake of running isn't as much fun as preparing to cross the finish line, regardless of if its a PR race or not.

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    1. Good luck with your first half in January. The 10k's are great to run in advance of your race so you can get a good corral start for the Donald Half Marathon. Have fun training!

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  7. This year I decided to schedule my races based on "bucket list" or "PR attempt" meaning I would register for and run races that were either on my bucket list or where I put in the right training and was going for a PR. I'd love to do more races, but being back in school I need to keep an eye on my budget!

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    1. Danielle, We have watched you go sub 2 hours in your half and dedicate alot of time to other exercise than running. Obviously your yoga has helped alot and I have taken the hint and try to attend class twice a week! Races are expensive so everyone needs to choose those that fit their budget and schedule.

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  8. I don't have a specific amount of races I choose each year. I usually pick a couple by interest and go from there. I do have a bucket list of races for the future... Too many disney races? Never. :0) I do agree with your point about not running every race as a PR.

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    1. Ahh....the bucket list of races! We have one too, but the Disney races seem to be at the top of the list at the moment! :)

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  9. I am currently looking at five races for this year (I started with my first run on May 31). I have another 5K in August, Tower of Terror 10 Miler in October, the Space Coast Half and a virtual 10K. I will probably add in a Halloween run and a holiday run, which will be 5Ks. I like medals, and having the races is what keeps me interested in the sport. However, at this point, I am not always looking to PR. I'm just really enjoying the ride.

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    1. Jennifer, it looks like you have a great schedule planned. Enjoy the races and training.

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  10. I do a mixture of races - some I race, some I do as training runs, but my goal is usually to do at least one race event per month (any distance). Local races are great because it mixes up the training routine, plus oftentimes the smaller local races aren't quite as expensive, but I like to have at least one or two travel races.

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    1. Emily, I am a fan of the local races too due to the cost and also getting to sleep in my own bed. It was so nice to run a half marathon and not get up at a ridiculous hour!

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  11. I just got hooked on running and my sister-in-law inspired me as she has done the Disney Princess Half for the last 2 years. I signed up for the Tower of Terror 10 miler 1st and am currently training for that, but I found that after signing up for one....I wanted to sign up for tons!!!! I had 1 run every weekend for the past 3 weekends (Zombierun 5k, Urban Warrior Dash-5 miles, and The Biggest Loser 5k), I've also got the Rock n' Roll 5k in Chicago in July, then the Tower of Terror 10 miler in Oct., and a Chicago 10k in Nov. all before the Princess Half. I'm addicted!

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    1. Katie, All I can say is WOW! That is quite a race calendar but so nice that you have your sister-in-law to inspire you and hopefully run some of the races with you.

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