More successful thanks to smart competition planning

During our career as professional runners, we always knew how to get in top shape for day X. We succeeded not least because we deliberately allowed a trough once or twice a year. This, in turn, let the peak be even higher.

Follow the strategy of the most successful Swiss runners: Markus Ryffel, Viktor Roethlin and Christian Belz

In addition to the training break that led to the trough, the smart well-measured use of preliminary competitions helped us to achieve our peak at the right time. We would, therefore, like to give you advice on how to optimally prepare your main competition, too. Because there is something that cannot be brushed aside: if you want to be able to access your maximum power on day X, you need a certain dose of race intensity in advance. Ideally, not all the preliminary competitions are the same distance because when you run in different intensities, you build different skills that develop your performance level.

You should coordinate the timing of your preliminary competitions with your main competition. Otherwise, you won’t get the full benefit. Beware of making too many preliminary competitions because the actual training and the process of getting in shape would suffer.

Here is an overview of the nature and timing of preliminary competitions with regard to the standard distances:

5K

  • 2-3 preliminary competitions spread over the last 12 weeks of preparation.
  • Last competition 7 days before the main competition, maximum 3K.
  • Decrease race distance before increasing towards main competition. For example, 5K, 1500m, 3K, and main competition.

10K

  • 2-4 preliminary competitions spread over the last 14 weeks of preparation.
  • Last competition 7 days before the main competition, maximum 5K.
  • Decrease race distance towards main competition, shorter final competition. For example, 15K, 10K, 5K, 5K, and main competition.

Half marathon

  • 3-4 preliminary competitions spread over the last 16 weeks of preparation.
  • Last competition 14 days before the main competition, maximum 10K.
  • Increase race distance towards main competition, shorter final competition. For example, 5K, 10K, 15K, 10K, and main competition.

 Marathon

  • 3-4 preliminary competitions spread over the last 20 weeks of preparation.
  • Half marathon as “mandatory element”, ideally four weeks before main competition.
  • Last competition 14 days before the main competition, maximum 10K.
  • Increase race distance towards main competition, shorter final competition. For example, 10K, 15K, half marathon, 10K, and main competition.

We keep seeing that many runners make mistakes in their competition planning and in the week following the competitions. If you follow these 5 hints, you are on the safe side:

  1. Less is more: selectively search preliminary competitions that are appropriate for the main competition and do them with the necessary focus. This way, you get the motivation for the following weeks.
  2. Hold back when it comes to races longer than 15 kilometers.
  3. Take enough time to recover from a competition. If your race was longer than 10K, you should not race the following week.
  4. Let the intense (group) training be two to three days after the competition. Instead, do a recovery session or a steady run according to the plan.
  5. For all marathoners: do 2 per year maximum and prioritize them in the settings as “main competition”.

 

This post is also available in DE and ES.

About the author

admin

One Comment

Leave a comment
  • excelente , para dar los primeros pasos al rumner aficionado ,, muchas gracias ,cordial saludo y éxitos en todas sus actividades

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>