Running Racing Strategies

Running Races

Prepare effectively for racing and get the most out of your race days with the articles we’ve collected on this page.

The basis for a successful race day is successful training, whether that’s as a beginner or you’re into more advanced training. Whatever your level of training, peaking… that is, being in your best fitness (while still being rested) for your most important race is an art. Read how to peak masterfully in The Difficult Art of Peaking and On Peaking for an Ultramarathon.

Of course, first you need to choose a race. If you’re looking to pick a race, read Finding the Right Race and Finishing It or, if you’re looking to run your first ultramarathon, How to Select a First Ultramarathon.

During his couple stints as iRunFar’s coaching columnist, Ian Torrence put out a ton of great articles on racing, including Taking Control of Your RaceRace Day TacticsUsing What You’ve Got to Make the Best of Any Racing Situation, and Emergent Methods for Race-Day Pacing. He also wrote a comprehensive guide to overcoming race day problems in Troubleshooting on the Run: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Coach Alex Nichols adds to that expert coaching advice with Race-Day Strategy: Run Your Own Race and Patience: Developing This Tool for Race-Day Success.

For those looking to keep their stride right late in a race, take a look at physical therapist Joe Uhan’s Keep It Going: End of Race Form Tips for Ultrarunners.

If you’re running an ultramarathon, you might have a crew, that is folks who travel to and help you at various aid stations, or one or more pacers, runners who join you for sections of the course. If you’ll have a crew, take a look at An Introduction to Crewing. If you’re new to using pacers, take a look at How to Choose Your Sidekick, AKA Pacer on how to choose one and Pacers: The Science behind the Ultra Luxury on why you might want one. And, of course, there’s making the most of aid stations. Make better use of these by reading Rethinking the Aid Station.

As races get longer, there’s a higher chance that a runner won’t finish, resulting a Did Not Finish or DNF. Why does this happen? Find out in Why We DNF. And to learn what you can learn from a DNF, read Handling the Dreaded DNF.

Tailoring your training to a specific race is great tactic. Find out more in Race-Specific Training: The Biggest Bang for Your Buck. As far as advice for training for and running specific races, we’ve got Surviving Your First 100 [Miler], Part 1: Preparation and Part 2: ExecutionHigh Altitude Training and Racing, A Guide to Your Best Multi-Stage Race Performance, Part 1: Training and Part 2: Recovery and Strategy, The Western State Killing Machine: Part 1 and Part 2: The Marble in a Groove as well as Lessons Learned after a Decade at Western States on the Western States 100How to Run the Hardrock 100, and How to Run the Marathon des Sables: Part 1–Gear/Kit, Part 2 – Food for the Marathon des Sables, and Part 3 – Marathon des Sables Training and Logistics.

Racing can also be a great way to train… for races! Check out Using Racings to Prepare for Your Goal Event.

Related Articles

Troubleshooting On The Run, Part Three

How to troubleshoot five common issues during your next ultramarathon.

Troubleshooting on the Run, Part Two

How to troubleshoot six common issues during your next ultramarathon.

Troubleshooting on the Run, Part One

How to troubleshoot seven common issues during your next ultramarathon.

Unbonk!: How to Prevent Bonking During Ultramarathons

How to prevent and overcome ultramarathon "bonks."

Running and Recovery

An explanation of recovery for and from ultramarathons.

High Altitude Training and Racing

A guide to preparing, training, and racing ultramarathons and other endurance runs at altitude.

The Difficult Art of Peaking for Running Races

How to properly peak for a running race, including ultramarathons.

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Run That 100 Miler Again

The data show that runners improve their 100-mile finishing times when they repeat the...

Outward Advantage

Zach Miller writes about the benefits of looking outward and rooting for others.

The Art of Pacing: Patrick Reagan’s Winning Performances at the Javelina Jundred Mile

A statistical analysis of Patrick Reagan's consistent top performances at the Javelina Jundred Mile...

Five Lessons for 100-Mile Success

Lessons in preparing for a 100-mile race.

An Introduction to Trail Racing, Part 2: Tips for Race Day

Getting ready for your first trail race? Here’s part two of our two-part guide...

How to Win UTMB, According to the Data

A statistical analysis of checkpoint data to determine where in the race UTMB is...

An Introduction to Trail Racing, Part 1: Pre-Race Preparation

Want to try trail racing? Here's part one of our two-part guide to preparing...