Ask Coach Bradley - Building A Summer Race Schedule
Whether you are part of our CARA training programs, working towards your next 5k PR, or a beginning runner CARA Director of Training and Head Coach Tim Bradley is here to answer your training questions!
Q: It has been a while since I have done any racing and I am ready to get back out there and schedule some races for this summer. How should I approach setting up a race schedule?
A: As numerous races continue to open up and it looks to be an eventful summer, now is a great time to get some races on your schedule and start planning a season. 4 different types of races to consider scheduling for yourself this summer include:
Rust Buster: If it has been a long time since you have raced at all, consider starting with a “rust buster” type race. Something short like a 5k – 8k where you are not so worried about the total race distance, but more about what type of pace you can maintain. This will get the race juices flowing and can give you an idea of where you are at fitness-wise.
Fitness Check: Once you have a few more weeks of training under your belt, you can schedule a fitness check race. These can be almost any distance from 1 mile up to a half marathon. Give yourself a modest goal, that shows improvement but still gives you room for growth as you get deeper into your training.
Final Tune-Up: This type of race is generally set a month to two weeks out from what your overall target goal race is. For example a 10k before a half marathon or a half marathon before a marathon. This is your last chance to tune up, assess fitness, and get ready for your target goal race.
Target Goal Race: This is the race you plan to train for long term and have your most ambitious goal. Typically 3-6 months of training will go into this type of race. This is where you put in a full taper and put all the pieces together on race day to achieve your ultimate goal!
Weeks 4-6: Rust Buster Race
Weeks 8-12: Fitness Check Race
Weeks 14-16: Tune-Up Races
Weeks 18 or more: Target Goal Race
Have a training question? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.