This post is all about tune-up races! To me, tune-up races are a crucial part of marathon training. Typically, I try to get a few in during the 6 weeks prior to my goal marathon to gauge my fitness. 10Ks and half marathons are ideal for this. I race them all out to try to see where I am at. Then I plug my time into a race calculator (McMillan is my favorite).
Without exception, I am either ecstatic, or a wee bit worried. Tune-ups are not a perfect forecast of what you can do in your key race: weather may be different, the course may be a lot harder (or easier), etc., but it is nice to see where you are. Tune-up races are also ideal for practicing your mental toughness – 10Ks hurt and it takes some serious mental mojo to race one hard and well. The experience is valuable before a key marathon. Read more >>