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Purpose: Tune up races? (Read 997 times)


Interval Junkie --Nobby

    I'm in the middle of my second marathon training experience.  I missed a "tune-up race" (a 10K) because of out-of-town company.  So I'm eyeing the rest of my 6 weeks and looking for workouts to swap-out for a tune-up race.  But the thing is, I'm not sure what the purpose of a tune-up race is.

     

    I realize, that since I'm training, I might as well use these legs for something other than one big race.  But other than that, I don't quite see the training benefit over say a 8x1mi Tempo run.

     

    Anyone throw me a clue here?

    2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

    Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.

      I fundamentally don't agree that a workout like 8 x 1 mile has the same physical benefits as a 10k race but even putting that aside, racing is also a skill that requires practice.

      Runners run.

      xor


        A 10k at 10k pace is not much like an 8x1mi (at tempo pace... so a bit slower than 10k pace for me) workout.

         

        Anyway, of the various goodnesses that can come out of a successful 10k "tune up" race, one is a number that you can then plug into a variety of charts or calculators (Jack Daniels' charts, the McMillan calculator, the work of good ol and dearly departed jim2, etc)... this will give you a bit of a check-in on your current fitness and, as you approach your goal race, a valuable data point to help you pick an appropriate goal for that goal race.

         

        But I suck at training threads so I will shut up.

         

          I fundamentally don't agree that a workout like 8 x 1 mile has the same physical benefits as a 10k race but even putting that aside, racing is also a skill that requires practice.

           

          Perspicacious even after having sailed off into the sunset.


          Interval Junkie --Nobby

            Okay, the 8x1mi tempo was a shot in the dark about an equivalent workout, but not the thrust of the question.  Since srlopez claims the primary purpose of the tune-up is to help estimate your fitness to plan a more accurate MP, perhaps Yasso 800s are a better equivalent.

             

            Would other agree that this is the main value of a tune-up race?  To assess fitness level, rather than to affect fitness level?

            2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

            Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.

              Okay, the 8x1mi tempo was a shot in the dark about an equivalent workout, but not the thrust of the question.  Since srlopez claims the primary purpose of the tune-up is to help estimate your fitness to plan a more accurate MP, perhaps Yasso 800s are a better equivalent.

               

              Would other agree that this is the main value of a tune-up race?  To assess fitness level, rather than to affect fitness level?

               

              I agree with what MikeyMike is saying. Racing is both a different effort level than a regular workout (or should be) and helps practice racing skills. It is a side benefit that you can also estimate fitness level but one bad race doesn't mean you are out of shape either.
                I agree with what MikeyMike is saying. Racing is both a different effort level than a regular workout (or should be) and helps practice racing skills. It is a side benefit that you can also estimate fitness level but one bad race doesn't mean you are out of shape either.

                 

                This.

                 

                It's a reality check. Have you reached the level you thought, surpassed it or to aggressive with your anticipated level of fitness. Race day magic and all of that. It can be a huge confidence builder.

                  Would other agree that this is the main value of a tune-up race?  To assess fitness level, rather than to affect fitness level?

                   

                  I don't think srlopez is claiming that the predictive value of tune-up races is their primary purpose, only that that is one of the many benefits. And if he is claiming that, then I will respectfully disagree.

                   

                  To me the primary value of tune-up races is as workouts in and of themselves. The second biggest benefit, as I stated earlier, is just in practicing racing. The predictive value is a nice side benefit.

                   

                  Yasso 800s have about as much value in predicting your marathon as max pushups or how many donuts you can eat, by the way.

                   

                  You seem fairly determined to rationalize skipping tune-up races for this go-round, which is probably fine. You are in such a different space fitness-wise from your last marathon that we're really probably talking about details you don't need to worry about at this point: if it's not a hundred degrees or snowing and you just stay upright you are likely going to PR by a large margin. But just know that as your PRs get faster and it gets tougher and tougher to keep improving, the details will matter more.

                  Runners run.


                  Feeling the growl again

                     

                    Yasso 800s have about as much value in predicting your marathon as max pushups or how many donuts you can eat, by the way.

                     

                     

                    Beat me to it.

                    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                     

                      But just know that as your PRs get faster and it gets tougher and tougher to keep improving, the details will matter more.

                       

                      I could not agree more!

                       

                      I skipped my tune-up races due to injury/schedule/timing/etc and had a major blow-up at my most recent marathon.  I had no gauge of what kind of racing shape I was in prior to the race. The tune-up races would have provided valuable info that would have helped me to assess how realistic my goal. Had I not skipped the races I am confident that things would have turned out differently.


                      I've got a fever...

                        Yasso 800s have about as much value in predicting your marathon as max pushups or how many donuts you can eat, by the way.

                         +1

                         

                        Yassos can tell you what you can't do, not what you can do, i.e. hitting your goal time in Yasso workout is no guarantee that you can hit it in a marathon, but being unable to hit your goal time in a Yasso workout means that the marathon goal is out of reach.

                        On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                          As marathon tune up races go I think it is fair to say that a 10K is much less important than a half, 25K, etc... Any of those on your program?

                            I could not agree more!

                             

                            I skipped my tune-up races due to injury/schedule/timing/etc and had a major blow-up at my most recent marathon.  I had no gauge of what kind of racing shape I was in prior to the race. The tune-up races would have provided valuable info that would have helped me to assess how realistic my goal. Had I not skipped the races I am confident that things would have turned out differently.

                             

                            I'll throw in my 2 cents.  A tune up race I had yesterday has helped me assess where I am and where I am not.  Yes, it may have been one bad race, but it did give me feedback that , odds are, I'm not quite where I'd like to be.  While workouts are good for this, you really aren't supposed to be running your workouts at this redline level, so you can't get that same feedback.   Racing is the only way. 

                             

                            Mikey's right though - if you aren't trying to fine that absolutely fine line of performance, then it may not matter that much this go-around.   No matter what you are seeing huge improvement.

                             

                            MTA: One more thing; it seems that racing more often during the buildup not only is great practice, etc. but it also provides more data points so that you can throw out the highs and lows (particularly good or bad days).  Again, it seems that this information can be used to either keep you from being too conservative on your goal race day or being too stupid aggressive on goal race day. 

                             

                              As marathon tune up races go I think it is fair to say that a 10K is much less important than a half, 25K, etc... Any of those on your program?

                               

                              And how close to the marathon should these be? I have an opportunity to do a half 3 weeks before my marathon.

                              Good idea, or not?

                               

                               

                               

                                Mikey's right though - if you aren't trying to fine that absolutely fine line of performance, then it may not matter that much this go-around.   No matter what you are seeing huge improvement.

                                Besides, I wouldn't call pretty much ANY workout 7 weeks before the target race a "tune-up" workout/race.  Just because you call a particular workout a tune-up workout, that may not fulfill that purpose if it's done at the wrong time.

                                 

                                Stadjack: All due respect, you seem to be an interval junkie.  A while back, you did 13-mile worth of intervals at 6:10 pace but that kind of workout doesn't seem to have reflected on your marathon performance.  In other words, you seem to have plenty of speed but haven't been able to put them all together for one continuous effort--a race.  I'll bet that there are plenty of high school kids who can do 5 X 400m in 60 seconds around the county.  There are very few, if any, who can break 4-minutes for the mile.  I can see why you'd rather substitute "tune-up" race with some form of intervals--it's because you're good at it.  Unfortunately, there's no such event as 8 X 1 mile race.  And what you NEED is to practice continuous effort.  

                                 

                                I'm not sure what others view the difference between "tune-up" race and "dress rehearsal" race.  For some one training for a marathon, I personally like to do a "tune-up" race of 5k or 10k a week or two before the target marathon; not 7 weeks before.  That would be more or less a sharpening work in a form of a race.  On the other hand, I would not mind at all to have a long race like a half marathon or 25-30k 4-6 weeks prior to the marathon as a dress rehearsal.  I'm coaching this 2:51 guy and, 6 weeks before the marathon, he has Out & Back workout (tempo) of 1:48 or 25k.  He wanted to run a half marathon.  "Should I keep the 1:45-25k pace?" he said.  "Just go for it!! (but don't sprint at the end trying to pass an old lady ahead of you!! ;o))"  As Mikey said, what better situation to practice racing than racing itself?  I had this young woman a few years back who ran a 25k race (City of Lakes) 5 weeks before her target marathon and ran 50-second PR.  She went on and ran 6-minute PR in the marathon.  That was a good "dress-rehearsal" race.

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