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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Race or not to Race?

Race or not to race: that is the question. Many of us have registered for Scotia Half-Marathon this coming Sunday, June 26. Some of you asked me whether I would "race" Scotia Half. My initial answer was that I would "just run" it as part of my Sunday long run. But it is easier said than done. The excitement of thousands of runners getting ready for the race is contagious. The beeping sound of GPS watches being turned on and the adrenaline kicking in before the start may be simply irresistible.

On the other hand, I still remember a discussion our group had on a train coming back from Eugene in May when we talked about participating in other races such as Whistler Half in June. We checked Jeff Galloway's bible and learned that for each mile of running at maximum pace there should be a week of no-racing:

However beneficial this table may be for planning races of 26.2 miles, is it relevant for half-marathons? I had to search for other sources of information. In his book, Lore of Running, Tim Noakes recommends that runners should race no more than three 21+ km races per year and there should be 3-month interval between races of these distances. Counting 3 months from May, my next 21km race should be in late July and that would give me another 3-month no-racing break before my marathon in New York in November.

It looks like the science, the experts, and even my rational brain, all tell me not to "race" Scotia Half. But is my "other" brain strong enough to resist the excitement before the race? And what if you're a guy and a group of girls wearing pink is running fast in front of you? Do you have enough willpower to resist the temptation to pick up the pace and follow?

 Have a great race on Sunday.

Run Strong!

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