TotR | How often do you race?


I’m trying something new here this week by linking up with Erika, Patty and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, a blog linkup where you share running related posts or your thoughts on a specific weekly topic.

Since I am fairly new to race running, it’s difficult for me to answer the question how often I race. In the last 7 months I have only participated in two 10k-races. My first race ever was the 10k event at the Berkeley Half Marathon last year and the second race was the Pride Run for Equality. I’m signed up for another 10k and a half-marathon next month and I am contemplating throwing in another 10k in August and maybe another run or two this fall.

What is too much? What too little? Is running one race per month a good rule of thumb? Should you have more recovery in between or can you stack races back to back?

I am sure the answers will be very different for different people. It seems like some people race a lot (Is it kind of addictive? Do tell me now! I already have a sneaking suspicion), some pick carefully and make the rarer races count. I am just trying to get some experiences under my belt while keeping up training at this point.

I can see frequent racing going two ways… huge motivational boost and practice on one hand, burning out and overdoing it on the other. I have no clue which one it is and how to find the right balance, but I guess I will find out.

I am very curious to hear from other people how often they race and how they pick their races. I have yet to do a destination race (unless you call SF a destination, since I will be staying over night at my friend Susi’s place), but it’s definitely something I would consider in the future.

(No seriously, W H A T is happening to me?)


  1. Racing is expensive so I only did it a few times a year. It really depends on how in shape you are as far as how often you need to recover and that sort of thing. I guess do it as often as you want provided you have the money and don’t get burned out!

    1. Thanks for your input, Allison. Yes, racing definitely is expensive and I am going to have to be a bit picky about the races I attend… :)

  2. I think running is definitely addictive. But hey there are worse things someone could be addicted too. I am always training for a race is seems like.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lacey, and I agree, there could be worse things to be addicted to than running :)

  3. In my opinion, it depends on the training plan you are using. If you have a lighter week, I would maybe throw in a 5k as a speed workout. If one week calls for a 6-mile run, do a 10k instead. I would normally participate in at least one 10k race during my half marathon training. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks for your insight, Stefanie. Yes, I’ve thrown in a 10k race (instead of a 6 mile workout ) during my HM training… I like having that extra “challenge”.

  4. I only race a couple of times a year usually because I tend to do things like marathons and half-marathons and they are both quite spendy. My marathon days are over, so I think in the future I’ll do 2 halfs a year or something along those lines with one in the summer and one in the fall. It would be fun to do more races but the more I do, the less ‘special’ they feel. Plus, the expense of them adds up so fast and I don’t really need any more race shirts since I already have too many!

    I love doing a destination fall races but it’s harder to plan those these days as of the girls I travel with, most are married and 2 of them have kids so it’s trickier to find a weekend to get together. But hopefully we will be able to finagle something next year!

    1. I agree, if you attend half-marathons or marathons… two per year are probably plenty (since you also have to keep up training!) and I think I’d rather do fewer “special” races than more mediocre ones… having said that, I am trying to take advantage of smaller, shorter races in my area to get more experience.

  5. When I was a newer runner, I rarely raced. But my racing habit has grown over the years. Mostly due to pressure/encouragement from friends. It’s so much fun to make a girls’ weekend out of a race.

    1. Oh, I’d love to make a girls’ weekend out of a race destination… one day!:)

  6. I “race” a lot, but not every race is an all out effort. Some races I do for fun, sometimes as a training run, sometimes I feel awesome and really push it. I rarely have a specific race that I train to run fast, but rather look for that rare day when everything falls into place.

    How often you race is very individual – I don’t need much recovery time, but that’s unusual. I also don’t push all out very often, so one might say I very seldom really race.

    1. Yes, I think that “rare race when everything falls into place” is something to look for… right now I am mostly doing it for fun and to be able to say “I did that” :)

  7. I love racing! I used to race almost every weekend although often I wasn’t pushing myself to a full-out race effort), but these days I’m trying not to spend so much money on races. If they’re just going to be a fun run, sometimes I have to say no!

    1. I can see how racing every weekend can get expensive and one has to become more picky… fun runs are cool, but if you pay to just do a “training run”, it probably gets old quickly.

  8. I don’t race a lot, but I know plenty of people who do! Totally individual choice.

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