Addicted to races

There are plenty of runners out there who run a couple of marathons every year, five or six half marathons and a load of 10ks. I never really got it. Why would you need to do so many races? There’s the training, the cost, the time and the travel to consider…

For many years, I just ran one race a year – usually the Cheltenham half marathon. I’d had a couple of years where I ran a half marathon in spring and another in autumn and I felt it was a bit much. I actually pledged to just run one race a year. I never gave up running in between, I just cut my running down to three or four runs of about four miles a week.

But in 2017, I ran Cheltenham half marathon and thought I might as well run Stroud half marathon three weeks later. Seeing as I was fit. So in 2018, I did the same again. And I ran Tewkesbury half marathon in the spring. I reached a point where I wasn’t letting my training slip back as far between races. I began to run a regular eight miles once a week in addition to my shorter runs, even when I wasn’t training for a race. I started to understand why people run more races every year.

Earlier this year, I ran my first marathon. I trained hard for it and I felt on top of the world. Fit and strong. I couldn’t keep up that level of training all year round, but I didn’t want to let my fitness go too far. I also didn’t want to miss out on Tewkesbury half marathon, so I ran it a week after the marathon. And it gave me almost as much of a buzz as the marathon did.

It was also a nice feeling to run a half marathon and not to feel remotely nervous about it, because my fitness was beyond what it normally is. I normally train well for a half marathon, but I do a couple of 12 mile runs beforehand. Not a 26 mile run.

Next on the agenda was Cheltenham Challenge half marathon, five weeks after Tewkesbury. This was a race I’d equally wanted to do and not wanted to do for a couple of years. It involves a proper big hill and it takes place in June, which means it could be very hot. (I saw some people running it a couple of years ago and it was very hot. It looked horrendous, but I knew I had to do it.) Cheltenham Challenge is what it says it is. It’s not a fast race, it’s supposed to be tough. But it’s a half marathon and a half marathon, however hilly, is never going to be as tough as a marathon, is it? (Spoiler alert – it nearly was! But it was so much fun.)

In the autumn, I will be doing Cheltenham and Stroud half marathons as usual. If anything else crops up between now and then, I may well run those too.

Nearly a quarter of a century after my first half marathon (really!), I finally understand the addiction to races.

Running, Runner, Races, Marathon, Half marathon, Addicted to races

Author: Sarah Mummy

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2 Comments

  1. Oh wow, you’ve really got into it haven’t you? I feel the same as you used to – I don’t really get the attraction of doing loads at the moment. I’m really glad you’re enjoying them though and it’s great to see how well you’re getting on with your running.
    Nat.x

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    • I totally get not seeing the attraction in doing loads of races, but now I also see the attraction in doing them too. I’ve always been motivated with my running, but it’s nice to have that extra goal too. x

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