Jen Rulon

What is “Over Racing?” There are 52 weeks in a year. I will see triathletes or runners who are “racing” 45 weekends out of the year. This is “over racing.”

As a coach, I will look at my athletes’ priority races, which could be considered a “1st Triathlon, possibly an Olympic Triathlon, or even a Half Marathon, etc.” I will program their workouts specifically for these races. When they come to me with a TON of “races,” I ask them, “Do you want to prioritize a 5k with your friends or your Olympic Distance triathlon?” They get my point. Don’t get me wrong; there are times when I do ask that athletes knock out a 5k/10k run. It is a FANTASTIC baseline to get an athlete’s pacing.

Here is a great example of “over racing:”

  • Athlete A had a priority race, which was Ironman Texas in May.
  • Athlete A did a 70.3 Ironman 5 weeks out from Ironman. This is good. We can see where this athlete is at for nutrition and heading into the next 5 weeks to their Ironman training.
  • Athlete A did a 13.1 Marathon a week BEFORE her 70.3 Ironman Triathlon.

What was the point of Athlete A doing a 13.1 Marathon? The recovery time for a half marathon run, along with trying to get ready for a 70.3 Ironman that next week, takes a HUGE toll on the body.

The body is an AMAZING tool, and the body knows when it needs rest, BUT a lot of athletes don’t know how to listen to their bodies. Athletes want to dig, drive, and try to get better when in the long run they are hurting themselves.

So, how do athletes get better?

  1. Make your rest day a rest day
  2. Race when you are scheduled to race. If you need to get a “long” run in and you want to do a 13.1 Marathon to have an organized course, that is fine. Don’t RACE it! (Prioritize your calendar!)
  3. Focus on your “A” race of the season
  4. Hire a Coach and have them help you succeed!
  5. Listen to your body! The body knows what is up; listen to it!

See my interview in “Triathlete” magazine from February 2013 about “Over Racing.”

Triathlete San Antonio Coach



AUTHOR: Jen Rulon

I have been coaching triathletes, runners, and cyclists for over 21+ years; I received my Master's Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. And as you may have learned, there is more to life than swimming, biking, and running. It is a lifestyle, and I am here to help you cross that finish line with a smile, whether it is an Ironman Triathlon or the Ironman of Life. You can find my knowledge shared in Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Southwest Research Institute Human Performance Summit, Training Peaks Workshops, "Self Motivation Strategies for Women" on Amazon, Men's Journal Online, and the New York Times. I also practice what I preach—she's a 15x Ironman Triathlete who participated in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on October 14, 2017.

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