Do you run the same races every year? I try to support my local running club by running local races but I do not get to all of them. I like to volunteer at some of them so that means not running. There are only two races I have run every year since I started running races on December 12, 2009. I try to keep track of the times for those races, figuring I am improving if I am doing better.
I heard someone say that a runner will improve for approximately two years and then sort of plateaus. I do not know if this is true or not but I am hoping not. One of the races I have run for three times is the Skunk Cabbage Half Marathon in Ithaca. I have routinely improved my time on this race. This past April first I not only set my half marathon PR, finally under 2:30, but I cut 13 minutes off my course best at that particularly hard, hilly course. The first year I ran the Skunk Cabbage I was the LAST finisher.
The other race I have run three times is our local Turkey Trot. The race is an 8K that is around a local park where a lot of races are run. I have made improvements each year but not as much as I wanted this last Thanksgiving. Part of the reason I didn’t cut more time off the course this year is that the numbers of runners have increased drastically. In one year, there were about 200 more runners (great for the scholarship program that this benefits but not great for time). Since I don’t really worry about my time, I am just happy when I see three years of improvement. In 2010, I ran the course in 54:08. In 2011, I ran it in 51:49 (huge improvement). This year I ran it in 51:20.
I love having some previous experience on a course to help myself run better.
Do you run the same races every year? Are you like me and keep track of the differences?