Coach Mike Nawrocki with MDRA’s 2009 Fall Marathon Training Class had some good words to say about tune-up racing for the marathon.
You may be asking, what is a tune-up race? It is a race you run between now and Labor Day weekend to simulate the race day environment of a marathon. I recommend some of the bigger races with fast fields, because that will be closest to what you will experience when the marathon comes around.
Why do a tune-up race?
a. Fourteen weeks is a long time to train without racing. A tune-up race helps break your training up into smaller pieces, so this training process won’t feel like such a grind.
a. Tune-up races may not be for everyone. If you are recovering from, nursing, or managing an injury, a race could very well be too risky in terms of aggravating this injury. Remember everyone’s second goal for this class: get to the starting line healthy.
c. No races after Labor Day. It breaks my heart to not recommend the MDRA City of Lakes 25k to everyone, because I serve on the MDRA board and have MDRA pride. But it’s just a tad too close to the marathon. Talk to Marty or me if you are interested in the City of Lakes race and we can decide together if it is a good idea. If your competitive streak is such that you are prone to racing hard no matter what, City of Lakes or any post-Labor Day race is just too close to the target marathon, as you may put wear and tear on your legs without enough time to fully recover.