A time trial run is simply a chance for you to measure your current level of fitness against the clock. You run a set distance and it’s you running against the clock. You run as fast as you can or at a set targeted pace for a set distance. Here are a few reasons why you should do time trials.
#1 Dress Rehearsal
Running at a personal best pace is running in an unknown territory. Run half the distance or three quarters the distance at your set targeted pace, or maybe possibly even faster. This should be done 3-4 weeks prior to your goal race. If you are able to hit your target race pace, you would be more confident going into your race.
#2 Be Speedy
The goal here is not to hit a targeted pace. The goal here is to suffer and learn to deal with the suffering. It’s going to be painful because you are going all out. Here, fighting though the pain will train your body to handle the slower paces more efficiently. This will help you with your distance races. For instance if you are a marathon runner, doing 10km time trials would be a good training.
#3 Reality Check
It is good to see where you are standing in terms of training. Is it working for you? Or do you need to tweak your training? A time trial also serves as a reality check. If you aren’t progressing, you would need to revise your training and see what you are lacking. Time trials are a good way of seeing the product of your training before your goal race so you can make changes before it’s too late. You don’t want to only realise what you are lacking on race day do you?
But remember, time trials are not advised on the regular to avoid burnout. Going all out too often disrupts your training as your muscles does require time to recover. But, remember an occasional time trial does give you the mental boost. It can also serve as a reality check for you as to whether your training plan is working for you or otherwise.