Active Brno: Plenty of Time to Prepare for a Spring Running Race

Spartan races, which combine running and old-fashioned obstacles, have become popular. Brno will host a winter race on Feb. 8. Photo credit: Spartan race, Slovak Republic.

It always drives me crazy how running races announce that they are happening with posters a week, maybe two, ahead of the race. How are you supposed to train in a couple of weeks?

Not everyone is an elite runner who stays in shape year-around. Many runners are not athletes, don’t have time to be athletes, and don’t really want to be athletes. They simply want to accomplish a goal by planning, training and actually running and completing a race.

With that in mind, this article is an overview of the big races that are on the calendar here in the Czech Republic, with a particular focus on Brno-area runners. Many locals are already training, as evidenced by the number of runners on local pathways on these cold, winter days.

It is not too late to start from scratch in order to accomplish a significant running goal by the end for 2020.

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There are many training plans that you can find online and in books. I am currently starting from scratch, with easy runs on Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Wednesdays are for some kind of a speed workout. And Saturdays are for long runs, which should increase slightly in length each week. The overall total of kilometers in the week should increase by only about 10 percent for week to week. Once a month, back off on the speed and the long days to recuperate a bit.

It’s easy. Now find the time and discipline to do it.

You’ll find that everything gets faster and the longer distances get easier because you are getting into better shape. Once you get into the rhythm of training, it actually becomes pleasurable. In retrospect, many say that they more fondly recall the training than the actual race for which they had been training.

After a few months, you should be ready for a long race. After a decent base of regular and easy running (maybe a month), 12 weeks of dedicated training is pretty good for a half marathon. A marathon needs a bit more, probably double. (Note: I do not pretend to be an expert. This is a schedule that has worked for me personally, and I think it makes sense for others.)

In any case, running races is a good way to add speed and conditioning — and accomplish intermediate goals.

The closest local races on the horizon are part of the Brno Winter Running series, with (about) 5 km or (about) 10 km races through March:

Jan. 18, 2020 — Radostická nerezová desítka

Jan. 25, 2020 — Rájecká desítka

March 7, 2020 — Modřický pohár

March 14, 2020 — Běh kolem Myslivny

March 22, 2020 — Brněnská přehrada

Click here for more information about the individual races (in Czech only, so use Google Chrome or a translation program). Click here for the Brněnský běžecký pohár main page.

In the middle of this series, Brno will host a Winter Spartan race on Feb. 8. Sparta races have caught on in popularity in the past few years. They include running and getting over many obstacles that require full-body strength and agility. Click here for more information (in English).

Later in the year, there are larger and longer runs, any one of which would be a worthwhile goal for which to shoot:

March 21 — The 75th running of Běh Lužánkami

April 19, 2020 — Brno Half Marathon

Mar 28, 2020 — Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon

May 2 – May 3, 2020 — Volkswagen Marathon Weekend

May 16, 2020 — Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon

May 30, 2020 — Mattoni České Budějovice Half Marathon

Jun 13, 2020 — Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon

Aug. 29, 2020 — Špilberk Run

Sep 19, 2020 — Mattoni Ústí nad Labem Half Marathon

Oct. 10, 2020 — ČSOB Vokolo priglu (tentative date)

Oct. 18, 2020 — Brněnská 25

The Brno Half Marathon is a great goal. It is 13 weeks away, which means, if you follow a dedicated training schedule, you could complete it. Click here for information about Behej Brno, including the Brno Half Marathon, the Špilberk Run and Brněnská 25.

Obviously, the races later in the year would offer longer training periods. The Prague Half Marathon has already reached its capacity. The Prague Marathon probably has a well. The Olomouc Half Marathon is fun and popular. Click here for information about Run Czech runs.

There are also many other races throughout the year.

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