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Racing into Shape

Getting into different distance races during your marathon training when you’re not fully fit is a technique called “racing yourself into shape”. Here are three reasons to sprinkle races into your marathon training and race yourself into shape!

Sharpens Racing Skills

While spending months training for a race may help you get into great shape, it doesn’t always prepare you for the important part: the actual race!

Racing is a skill, and like any skill it needs to be practiced. Since you rarely go all-out in training, racing can help you develop the finer points of pacing, fueling and hydrating, and timing your finishing kick.

Lastly, racing gives you feedback about how you felt performing at a higher intensity than you do in everyday training. Racing can help you pinpoint what areas need to be improved and what you’re already doing well at.

Improves Aerobic Capacity/Running Economy

Using races throughout training as hard workouts can help improve your overall aerobic capacity. Racing requires you to work at a higher intensity than general training resulting in improved physiological responses to higher intensities. Come race day your body will be more prepared to handle the stress of a long marathon race.

Improves Mental Preparedness/Toughness

A large part of racing happens between our ears. There is more competition in a race setting, which requires you to practice mental stamina and adds a level of accountability to give your best effort or hit your goal if you are using the race as a hard workout.

Racing is a stressful thing, once that gun sounds you don’t want a minor obstacle to become a major mental barrier. Using racing throughout your training can help you be prepared even if a minor obstacle does arise because you probably will have encountered it or something similar in a previous race.

Adding in races to your marathon training can prove to be very helpful in preparing you for your ultimate race! They are a great way to gauge feedback about what is going well in your training and preparation and what could be improved upon.

If you are interested in signing up for some shorter distance races to help you get into shape, check out Seattle Marathon's Speed Series!

If you have questions or want to talk to a running coach for free visit our website and sign up for a free 15 minute Discovery Call with one of our coaches! Or submit a contact form with your question.

We can also be reached at

Happy Training!

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