"Plan races so that you have a day's break from racing for every mile raced."
This principle is so important, it is a repeat of "Conditioning Principle #3" which appeared in a post on 4 June. Most injuries are caused by disregarding this principle. I don't know how strongly I should emphasise this, so all I can say is, disregard it at your peril.
Let's spell it out.
A mile is 1.6km. So after a 6k you must have at least four days break from racing.
5 miles is 8km – so you shouldn’t race in the next five days after an 8km race.
After a 10k race – always leave it for a full week before you race any distance again.
After a half marathon – two weeks.
A full marathon – you should plan a month’s break from racing. After a marathon it is also wise to avoid speed work in training for a couple of weeks.
These are guidelines and there will be individual differences. Mainly, some runners will need a longer break, particularly as you get older.
On the other hand, an assumption is that the racing is flat out. The principle does not apply if the race is run at training pace. An example of this is the two hour half marathon I ran this year; I ran slower than training pace, and recovery was pretty well immediate.
For a marathon however you should probably have the full month's recovery whatever the pace.
After any hard race, if you just keep on racing, as well as neglecting to allow your body and mind a complete and proper recovery time, you are also neglecting to spend quality training time building up to another level. Sure there is a time to race frequently: but there is also a time to have a break from racing and concentrate on training.
How much racing have you done recently? Can you risk ignoring this principle? Can you afford all the time it takes to recovery from staleness and injury? Could this time of year be a good time for you to have a break from racing? Or are you invulnerable?
Racing Principle #3 - Plan races so that you have a day's break from racing for every mile raced.
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