Recovery Week With A Race?

Posted: October 13, 2011 at 7:03 am

I keep forgetting something. I have a 15K race planned for this weekend.

In the summer, Lee brought up a great 15K race that she loves running called the Peachtree City Classic. She has run it a few years and says the course is really nice and it’s a well put together race.

It sounded perfect to me! Nice race and a perfect distance to fit into half marathon training. Just a few weeks out from my half, I knew having something fun thrown into the mix for a long run would help a lot. Plus, I love doing races with Lee! She even accompanied me on my very first race ever.

And seeing your shirt, Lee, reminds me that next year I am so game to do that Pub Crawl 5K with you. Winking smile


I am really, really excited for the race – even if I haven’t exactly checked out information crazily about it yet. I just have one wee little problem.

I’m going to have to learn to race easy.

In both my 5K race and my 10K race, I wanted to see just what my body could do. So, I pushed myself. You may notice, I like pushing myself. I like competing against myself. I must remember, though, that I have a half marathon three weeks away.

Also, it just so happens that this week calls for a recovery week on my plan. The mileage for the race fits well enough (just a mile higher than a recovery long run), but I for sure know racing a race might not be the smartest idea. I want to save my A game for Savannah!

I get so caught up in the race environment and the adrenaline makes me push my pace. Believe me…it is too easy to run fast for a race. You may regret it halfway into it or later that day, but during it the speed feels so natural.

I’ve been doing good sticking to recovery runs for the week. On Tuesday, I didn’t want to risk getting sick running in the drizzle. I also wanted to keep my pace steady and run flat. So, I locked myself on the treadmill for six miles at a steady pace.

I plan on cranking out 4 miles on it today in the same fashion. And then I just have to save my energy on Saturday – focus on having fun and remember Savannah coming up just around the corner.

  • Do you have an inner competitive nature? I am so competitive against myself on fitness things. I love the challenge!
  • Thoughts/experiences to share on racing during training? Help me reign it in, friends! Or let me know if I don’t really have to!  Winking smile

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47 Comments to “Recovery Week With A Race?”
  1. Haha I like your winky face, but you probably should try to reign it in girly! But have so much fun while doing it! 🙂 I think I would love to try a 15k distance by the way!!

  2. I like controlling my pace in longer races by monitoring my heart rate but NOT pace – so, if you have a standalone heart rate monitor without a GPS function, use it. You can monitor your effort without freaking out about pace, which helps you race your own race without getting caught up in the crowd of runners around you who may or may not blow up later in the race.

    • Tina says:

      I like the idea of the heart rate monitor…but don’t have one. Boo. I guess focusing on effort could help too.

      • I don’t have a standalone heart rate monitor either. I try to ignore my GPS and focus on my breathing. If you can breath through your nose with your mouth closed, then your effort will be well an all out race-pace.

        I just finished my first half marathon and that is how I approached the first part of the race. It really helped me throughout the entire race.

  3. Amy Lauren says:

    You guys have so many amazing races there, I wish we had things like 15Ks and pub crawls. We mostly just have 5Ks. And they’re all small. And the shirts are always white and cotton and very bad unlike that girl’s cute pub crawl run shirt!

    There’s no way I can back off during a race… I’ve heard a few people can but when I’m there, my competitiveness kicks in and I run it all out. But if you do very easy training runs this week you should be fine even if you do run it balls-to-the-walls fast.

  4. Lee says:

    You are certainly welcome to run at my pace with me. It’s probably around a 10 minute mile. There’s also a way (I don’t know how to do it, but I know it exists) to set your Garmin to beep if you’re out of the range you want to be in.

    Looking forward to the race!! Last year, it was freezing. I remember being upset that I had to take my sweatshirt off. Looks like we’ll have nice weather on Saturday.

  5. I think I’m more competitive with myself than others too, but it’s probably healthier than comparing yourself. I’ve never heard of a 15k being offered around here, but that sounds like perfect distance on the way to a half!

  6. Lauren says:

    The hardest part for me is starting out fast in a race! I always do it, but it doesn’t always work out well. Maybe purposely start in the back, so you start running at a slower pace.

  7. Jen says:

    I have such a hard time racing for fun and not going all out! If this happens to you this weekend, try not to worry too much. You still have a few weeks before Savannah, so you’ll be recovered by then. Good luck Tina 🙂

    • Tina says:

      That’s a good point. If my nature get the best of me, I can just take it easier next week. I’ll still TRY to not go crazy though. 😉

  8. I’m running a 10 mile race in about a month and I wanted to sign up for a really fun 15K the week before that I heard about (chocolate involved…) but I knew I shouldn’t because even though I’m supposed to run 9 miles that day, I knew I would get too caught up in the race and go crazy and then be shot for my target race. I just can’t run slow! haha hopefully that will be a good thing.

  9. cindy says:

    Not sure about racing if its a recovery week…but you could try to run this at your half marathon planned race pace. It would give you an idea of how that pace will feel, and since the 15k is about 3/4 of the distance, you should still have plenty left in your tank at the finish.

  10. I am having the same issue! I’m super competitive and love running races to race them and push myself. However, I signed up for a 10 mile race this weekend as part off my marathon taper which is NEXT week! I know I can’t race this race, but I think it’s going to be really hard to hold myself back when I see everyone else taking off.

  11. I have no competitive drive. I mean, I like to work hard and push myself in workouts. Sure, I’ll hold plank for just a few more seconds or try for a PR if I notice I’m close. But I don’t really get mad if it doesn’t happen or push push push to get there. It’s like I expect PRs to just show up. I’m so weird.

    Can I borrow your competitive drive for Las Vegas?

  12. jobo says:

    Wow, I didn’t realize this race was so close to your half either! Taking it a little slower is a good idea, for sure! Save up for Savannah! For me, I am not uber competitive and racing is actually really tough for me, so I would run slow and steady anyway, whether I was running a race the following week or not 😉

  13. I read something recently about racing while training – it’s good practice for race day. Just don’t blow it out is all, use it as more of a training run. I don’t think it’s a bad idea at all unless it’s like the day before your race.

  14. I wouldn’t say I’m too competitive….but I did try to race golf carts on my bike this morning!

  15. I am competitive when on teams! I like to see how far I can push myself 🙂

  16. i am so competitive i really have to watch myself…i get so worked up and nate just laughs and thinks it’s hilarious!

  17. i think it’s okay to race, but just don’t go all out. i’m fine w/ training and racing… did it in HS/college cross country & track all the time. it’s just a new mentality to get used to…pushing yourself but not overextending yourself. 🙂

  18. Marcia says:

    I am competitive mostly with myself…getting the next PR at races, but I can be competitive with others as well. In a fun way! As in, if i know they are in my age group -that pushes me to BEAT THEM! 😉
    I think you can use this race as speed work. You can choose to take it easy or “race” it at tempo pace which would still be slower than your race pace. My running club coach calls it a Tune Up race. OR you can run it at your long run pace and add in a warm up and or a cool down to hit your mileage goals for this weekend……..OR do whatever the heck ya want! 😉

  19. Katherine says:

    Good luck on your race Tina! I just signed up for the Atlanta Thanksgiving Half Marathon next month, I’m so excited. Have you heard any reviews of the race (since you’re from the area)?

    • Tina says:

      Since this is my first year running I am still such a newbie to races! I haven’t even heard of that one! Otherwise i may have signed up for it. Already registered for one that Saturday though.

  20. […] turns out I’m not the only person running a race this weekend as a taper run (these lovely ladies are […]

  21. I’m not a particularly competitive person, really. I can be competitive with myself, though. When I trained for my half earlier this year, I was following a Jeff Galloway plan which calls for taking it s-l-o-w and even inserting walk breaks. It was so hard for me sometimes to keep my pace deliberately slower, but I credit that approach with my ability to do it without injury. Last year I had hopes of running a half, but it seemed like I couldn’t get beyond ten miles without hurting myself. Happened two years in a row right around 10 miles in my training. Now I feel like I could go farther, as long as I don’t push it. It sounds like this would drive you even crazier than it did me. 😉 I’m not sure I’d want to do a race as a training run for this very reason. I might try to push too hard and hurt myself, ruining the race that I was actually training for. If I didn’t have this tendency of hurting ankles and knees, though, I would probably feel differently.

  22. I’m super competitive with myself, so I’m not sure how I could handle doing a race on a recovery week.

    I think I’d probably use it as a way to “practice” for the half, meaning get mentally prepared, warm up the way I would during the actual race and see if I could keep a pace that would be similar to what I would run in the actual half.

  23. cheryl says:

    I’m jealous you get to play with Lee. I wanna come on one of your play dates to meet ypu and see Lee (whom I met on an online forum many years ago).

  24. I’m the SAME way!! SO competitive..with myself and with others! Just can’t help it!
    Maybe you should pick a slow BPM music list??

  25. Khushboo says:

    Awesome about the race and I’m just the same as you…even during my ‘recovery’ runs, more often than not my intentions to take it easy go to pot and out come the big guns! I have become better at following my plan, ie stopping after a certain distance despite how into my run I am at the time! GOOD LUCK for the race, Tina!

  26. I am extremely competitive against myself. Especially with races. At first I thought every single race had to be a PR. Then I became more realistic and realized it wouldn’t. But still, the competitive edge is there.
    I’ve heard great things about this race!! (I think I’ve already talked with you about it? My girlfriend runs it every year!)

  27. Kara says:

    Go for it and race it, you have plenty of time to recover before your half. It’s good training! 🙂

    I’m an enabler in case you were wondering.

  28. I’m SO competitive….with others and myself – it runs in our family. My husband thinks its funny….i keep score during Jeopardy…seriously. 🙂 Good luck on your races….

    xoxo from Trinidad

  29. What a fun way to break up training! I’ve never done a race while actually trianing, so I don’t really have much advice except to not really push yourself (which seems so weird in a race!). Have fun!

  30. Errign says:

    I never thought I was competitive, but then I realized I just didn’t like team sports, I like to compete with myself on fitness and academics.

  31. I am VERY competitive with myself. I had to run my last half marathon as a “jog” for an injury, and it was really hard for me to take it easy.

    the best advice I can give would be to listen to your body and your gut. If your body is telling you it needs a break, heed that advice. If your gut is telling you it’s a bad idea, I’d say that wins out, though. 🙂

  32. Enjoy the race! I know what you mean about being competitive with yourself though. I push myself pretty hard, but I like it that way (most of the time)!

    Oh, and I need more info on the pub crawl 5k…

    • Lee says:

      It actually wasn’t a pub crawl during the 5K (which would have been fun though!) It was a regular 5K in an area with lots of bars and after the race, they put you on teams and you’d basically just go bar hopping. After a certain time at each bar, someone would be like Team So-and-so, it’s time to move to the next bar.

  33. Racing “easy” would be such a challenge for me. I’m super competitive, especially with myself which is usually good for independent sports like running unless it’s a case like this. If you succeed you’ll have to pass along your tips 🙂

  34. Kiah says:

    Hey Tina! I’m curious what kind of weekly mileage you’re putting in for your 1/2 marathon training, as I’m running my first in mid November.

    • Tina says:

      I’m doing one 3-4 miler, one 5-6 miler, and then my long run which is 8-12 depending lately. I find 3 days of running plenty for me. 🙂

  35. I’m SUPER competitive (with myself). Even when I was trying not to “race” my last race last season (IronGirl Half) – I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of desire to go as fast as I could!

    Paula is trying to convince me to run a 5miler + 2 next weekend and I while I really want to – I’m not letting myself because I wouldn’t just causually run it and the last thing I need during taper is an injury!

    That said – a marathon is a completely different beast than a half — and if I were you, I would kick it up and RUN. If anything it helps you develop a strategy for your half! Good luck and have!!

  36. I am easily my biggest competitor – I LOVE pushing myself to see if I can beat previous times, etc. Since you are still 3 weeks out from your half, you should probably be OK if you do race it a little bit. 3 weeks is plenty of time to recover. But, if you really want to take it easy, Garmin all the way! Check your pace to make sure you’re not going out too fast, and make your next 2 weeks of long runs a little slower to recover from a race! Good luck!

  37. […] my race today. I promise to be back later with a recap! Wish me luck! <— luck meaning that I stick with my plan of not killing myself of […]

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