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B-Races: What are they and how can you make the most of them?
B-Races: What are they and how can you make the most of them?

Adding races into your plan can be incredibly useful, but quite challenging! Here's some advice about how you can go about doing so.

George avatar
Written by George
Updated over a week ago

Training for a big goal such as a Marathon can feel like a long time, especially if you're used to turning up to a start line more frequently, such as a weekly parkrun effort! We recommend prioritising your training as hard race efforts too frequently can be detrimental, but smartly incorporating additional races into your plan can pay dividends! In this article, we'll cover what a B-race is, how you can make the most of them and how best to schedule these into your plan!

πŸ€” What is a B-race?

A B-race is a race you'll use in your training block for a bigger goal, known as your A-race. The A-race is the big one, whether this is a Half or Full Marathon, or tackling a 5k aiming for a big PB, you'll be putting all your focus on this goal at the end of your plan!
In contrast, a B-race is a more relaxed affair, where you might be lining up at the start line with friends or using this as a dress rehearsal to practice pacing or test out your fuelling and kit well in advance of your A-race. We'll dive more into how you can approach a B-race below, but first, why would you want to race before the big day when you can be training to prepare?

πŸƒ Why run more races in training?

As runners, we love to run! Chuck in some company, a medal and a T-shirt and what's not to like?! B-races serve as a great way to break up your training, keep motivation high and be supported through some of the harder efforts! A great way to complete your longest marathon runs and sessions, for example, is with a race where you can have crowd support as well as aid stations and a nice, marked route!

Races within your plan allow you to assess your progress, and can check that you're on target or help adjust your paces for interval sessions or your goal pace! Local 5km races can replace an interval session or tempo, and the known distance works as a great 'Time Trial' effort that can be compared easily! Hitting a PB at a shorter distance or along the way to your A-race can skyrocket your motivation too!

πŸ“† How to schedule and choose B-races?

It's important to take into consideration the duration, distance and difficulty of the race you would like to incorporate; ensuring that you have enough time to prepare for it without compromising on the rest of your training block which could consequently lead to injury or burnout. It's also important to make sure that the race fits well into your overall training plan and doesn't conflict with other important workouts or races. The type of race you should incorporate into your plan is very dependent on your end goal. For example, completing a half marathon race is beneficial to do at least 1 month before a full marathon. We recommend you complete this instead of your long run rather than in addition to. If you need further advice on this, please reach us via the support tab and we'll be happy to help you from there.

Some general guidance we can offer is to avoid a race too close to your A-race, so that you can adequately taper and complete the key sessions to help you meet the needs of your ultimate goal. Including an easier effort race to practice your pacing, fuelling strategy (for longer races) and even just gaining experience with the pre-start line nerves, bag drops and eating ahead of time is always helpful!

πŸš€ Training run or all-out effort?

There are two main ways you can approach your B-race; 1. Run this as a standalone hard effort, or 2. as a practice race where you judge your pacing and test things like your shoes, kit and fuelling strategy.

For the first option, replacing a workout or adjusting your week to provide a 'mini' taper is helpful to ensure you are fresh for your race and won't overly stress your legs and body! It's important not to miss sight of the bigger picture for your A-race when planning in B-races, but a PB in the build-up of your plan is a welcome victory! πŸ†

If you approach your B-race in a mindset to practice and prepare for your main event, then using this opportunity to the fullest can include wearing your race shoes and socks, a charity vest (and a great way to fundraise some more charity donations!) and then practice your pacing. This will help to prepare you and increase your confidence ahead of your 'A' race, or revaluate and adjust your plans! It can be very easy to get carried away and set off too fast in a race scenario, so practising this is beneficial. Another easy mistake is holding back too much and consequently having energy to give at the end and so not reaching your potential. You should have a race plan and a rough idea of what your race splits should be and see if you can stick to this. We're here to help with this if you need. Incorporating a race within your training plan can really help to push yourself and consequently improve your fitness; ultimately helping to achieve that end goal.

So, if you've read this far and are now scrambling to hit sign up to every upcoming event, or your friends are asking you to join them for a race whilst you're already training for something else, you can make informed choices to schedule these into your plan! Reach out to our Customer Experience Team for top coaching advice if you're unsure how to squeeze these into your plan, or adjust your weeks around!

B-Races scheduling is our most requested feature, and we're working to bring this into our plans for the second half of 2024!

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