Races as training opportunities

I have my primary “A race” in about 7 weeks, but I have a slightly longer and much larger race in 3 weeks that I know I can’t win, so I am using it for the training and experience. Is it better from a training perspective to race as hard as I can during the training race, like I will during my “A race”? Or would it be better to do something more structured like sustained tempo power, or bookend threshold efforts, during the training race? It’s a 3-4 hour gravel race.

A single ‘training’ has little significance in the long run.
So, can you recover from this gravel rave before your A race and would you enjoy the race more than a training session? If yes and yes, have fun.
Stay away from crashes :slight_smile: