Really just a rant, but open to feedback if you have any…
If you had asked me yesterday what my goal races where for the year, it would be: compete in the local summer trail race series (mainly just for fun) and use those races as part of the training plan to a 6 hour race in October (goal: 38+ miles) and then roll into Big Beach Marathon (January 2023) aiming for a PR (if not BQ). Then, in March, try my first trail 50 miler (complete, not compete). I did a road 51 miler in March 2022 (thanks 80/20!), but now I want to give it a go on the trails.
And then last night a new local race announcement came out. There’s a multi-distance race on New Year’s Eve that includes a 50 miler and a 100K. It’s soooo tempting to try this as the location is so much better for my friends who will crew me and doesn’t require any hotels. I just don’t think it makes sense to try for a 100K 5 weeks out from a Goal Marathon. (Or can it?!)
Also of note, my heart isn’t particularly invested in this particular road marathon, but I have a deferral hanging over my head that expires this year.
That October race is one my favorites; I’m definitely racing it. I think I’ll wait to make any later race decisions after that race. I can’t imagine a brand new trail race on a major holiday will sell out anytime soon, and my marathon deferral is good until the day before the race.
Can’t answer the 100K 5 weeks out question but I’ll give you how I’d figure this one out.
First, I’d forget about the deferral if it’s your typical $75-$100 entry fee. That money’s long gone, I’m not getting it back and I wouldn’t care about it.
That would leave which I deemed my more important goal. To me it looks like you’ve answered this with “my heart isn’t particularly invested in this particular road marathon” but only you can answer that question.
If the 100K was an important goal for me then I’d probably go that route because of the improved logistics for all involved. That would leave me to pick a marathon that really did interest me to train for appropriately.
If you are wanting to PR and potentially BQat the road marathon then doing a 100k 5 weeks before isn’t the best idea. Good advice from Bstarr is to work out your A and B races and then make your goals accordingly. You can do a 100k race and then a marathon 5 weeks later – but your goals for that marathon might need to be adjusted.