Tips For Running Back To Back Races
Sometimes we are half crazy and sign up for a half marathon. And then there are times we are just straight up out of our minds and decide to register for races back to back. But as runners, there is no better way to spend a weekend than by doing exactly what we love to do. And while we joke around, being able to complete races one day apart can seriously be done. Runners just need to know the best tips, tricks, and strategies to compete back to back days.
Just remember that we race as a way to enjoy our sport with others, and to stay motivated and on track with our health and fitness goals. Racing should always be fun—no matter how much hard work training is to get ready for the big day. That means not putting too much pressure on oneself to perform top notch at both races. One of the races needs to be done at a more conservative speed and effort in order to prevent injury.
With that said, it is totally okay to race back to back days if the runner is experienced and properly trained for the distance.
Tips For Back To Back 5ks
There are two reasons for running back to back 5ks in a given weekend or day. This is usually when the distance becomes a piece of cake for a seasoned runner and they are looking for a challenge. Or a more experienced runner found two different events they really want to race.
For those double dipping in the racing pot for a weekend, 5ks are the perfect distance. Many run an easy-peasy 3.1 miles multiple times a week and back to back. So racing it should be no major problem.
Many runners can tackle both races and run them as if truly competing. Others might want to focus on one of the races for their PR and use the second as a fun run or to just enjoy a leisurely run with no time expectations. This is often the case when running one with family or friends who aren’t as fast. This is a great way to run together and encourage them each step they take.
Just remember to hydrate before and after the races and to not do too much speed work leading up to the races.
Tips For 5k And 10k Weekends
When looking to run a 5k and a 10k during a weekend make sure that the runner is properly trained for the 10k. Focus on this distance and put all the efforts into completing this race.
If the 10k comes first it is more ideal since the runner is ready to tackle the race feeling rested and ready to go at the starting line. The 5k the following day can then be used as a recovery run. Don’t go into the 5k with any expectations.
For runners who are more experienced, running a 5k the day after a 10k race isn’t a big deal. This is because they probably feel strong the next day and not sore. Foam roll after the 10k to prevent soreness and get lots of rest before the next race. These runners know both physically and mentally they can run the 5k.
Those who are newer to running or the racing world should take a more fun and relaxed approach to the 5k. Know that if the runner can do 6.2 miles the day before, running a 5k is more than doable. Those who feel strong might even want to pursue their desired time.
If the 5k race comes the day before the 10k, use it has a recovery run part of that last week of 10k training. Take this slow and steady and full out force. Save the energy for 10k race day. That is if never finishing a 10k or wanting a specific 10k finish time. Then rest and take recovery measures post racing weekend.
Two Races In One Day
Some runners decide to run two races on the same day. Sometimes these events are split like a timed 5k first followed by a few minutes before the next event like a 10k. Finishers at this kind of events do so often to bring home not one, but three pieces of bling—one for each race plus the challenge award.
The best strategy for these type of events is to give it all you got for one of the two races. But be careful not to push too hard to burn out. Training should consist of double runs in a single day. This includes a 45 minutes run followed by 10 minutes of core training and then another 10 minutes of running.
Sometimes double dipping at races is because the runner wants to run multiple events that take place on the same day at different locations. Map out the locations first to make sure doing both is even an option. Then make sure to allow enough time to finish one and travel and get ready for the next one. Bring an extra pair of running sneakers and other gear in case it rains during the first race. That way the runner doesn’t have to be stuck in the same clothes or wet gear for the second. Try to snack in between to prevent fatigue. Of course properly hydrate before, during and after.
Long Distance Racing
There are events now dedicated to running multiple distances over the course of a weekend. Major marathons and half marathons typically have a 5k event the day before the bigger race. This serves as a great “practice” of race day courses if they are the same. It is also a way to “stretch the legs” before the big run.
Disney races include challenges that have runners compete in multiple races for that series over the course of a weekend. The Dopey Challenge, for example, starts off with a 5k Thursday, 10k on Friday, held marathon on Saturday and then a full marathon on Sunday. Racers got individual race medals, as well as two other bonus ones, include one specifically for the Dopey Challenge.
For those looking to run multiple distance races over the course of a few days like these extreme (and extremely fun) races, make sure to properly train for the longest distance.
One of the best tips is to make sure to include a trial run of the races during training. The runner doesn’t need to go the entire distance but focus on doing similar mileage within the same time frame. This would include running 3 miles, followed by 5, followed by 10 when the longest distance is a half marathon.
Even those running a marathon can still run a shorter race like a 5k. Just make sure to treat this is a fun run and don’t push the pace. Think easy running here to be able to focus on the longer distance. Running a 5k after a marathon isn’t a bad idea either. It can be used to recover post-marathon to prevent soreness and stiffness.
Back to back racing is a fun way to challenge a runner. It means pushing their boundaries and racing in a new way. It takes the pressure off shorter distances but teaches runners their bodies are capable of enduring more and going harder and longer than they think. Plus it’s a great way to quickly add to any medal collection.
- 5 Strategies to Nail Back-to-Back Races, Running Website, ,
- 10 Tips For Running Back-To-Back Races, Running Website, May 26, 2015 ,
- All You Need To Know About The Dopey Challenge , Running Blog, ,
- Should You Run Two Races On The Same Weekend?, Running Website, Sep 15, 2015 ,
- New Challenge: Two Races in one Day?, Running Website, Jan 27, 2015 ,
- 10 Tips For Running Multiple Races on the Same Day, Running Blog, Feb 13, 2013 ,