"Don’t ease off training for races, except the handful of races that are your major goals."
In the article I have just written for the July Vetrunner I mention that I got into the habit at the start of my career of having Fridays off training every week and racing every Saturday. I ran interclub in summer and cross country races in winter, all on Saturday afternoons.
Not a good habit: it treats every Saturday as important, it never allows for a solid block of training weeks or months where racing is set aside or token.
Sure racing improves your fitness to a point. But you don't need it week after week. Anyway, if you run a 5k in 25 minutes one week because you have trained through, and in 20 another because you have peaked and rested, you will remember the 20 minute run not the 25 minute one. And you will say "I am a 20 minute 5k runner".
To improve more in the longer term, sacrifice short term smaller improvements.
Training Principle #8 - Don’t ease off training for races, except the handful of races that are your major goals.
Work Group Bush Walk
56 minutes ago