Friday, November 17, 2006

Beauties of Going Long

5ks and sprint tris are great for some people but here's why I prefer longer races:

  • Less risk of injury - I've been injured twice while running short, hard and fast but never while running long. The most dangerous tri I've done was my one and only sprint tri. Not only did I underestimate the difficulty of swimming a 1/4 mile, some jerk nearly hit me on the bike course while trying to squeeze past on the right (he was trying to pass both me and another guy who was passing me on the left). Longer races motivate me to train more seriously and those who do longer races usually know the basic race rules.
  • Longer training cycles - I enjoy training more than racing.
  • I'm more competitive - Endurance is my strength. The longer the race, the better I usually do relative to others.
  • They're more interesting - There are many more variables involved in just finishing a long race versus a short race, and finishing strong is yet another matter. So there's lots to work on besides improving one's physical speed. I love the mental aspects of racing long.
  • Good excuse to travel - I can't justify traveling far to do a race that lasts an hour or less. But a nice weekend getaway, or even a weeklong vacation depending on the destination, sounds reasonable for a long race. And I often see more while sightseeing during a race than I would any other way.
  • Your perspective of "long" changes - A 2000 yard swim, 50-60 mile bike ride and/or a 12-13 mile run do not seem long any more!


Anonymous said...

I agree on the perspective of long. You know what they say, that you are truly a runner when you try to get your friends to do a 5K because it is "only" 3 miles. After running 26, 13 doesn't seem so bad! :-)

Ellie said...

This is a great list! Love it!