The best way to improve your fitness is to race! Sometimes people will enter races in the middle of a training cycle to help improve their fitness. This is an advanced training method and should be done with caution. Please follow these tips if you wish to add a race in the middle of your Stryd Training Plan.
In place of 20-minute tests, it is ok to race 5K - use the Stryd race power estimator for your target. Remember to change the structured workout from 20-minute *duration* to 5K *distance*.
It is even quasi-ok to substitute a 10K for a 20-minute test. However, one must then consider that there will be some level of post-race fatigue that lingers into the following week(s), which may impair your “A” race training, and/or increase the risk of injury.
Stryd specifically advises against racing a half marathon (aka a “B” race) within the training plan - there is too much risk ( fatigue -> training impairment or increased risk of injury) versus possible benefit.
If one wished to run a half marathon in place of a long run, then it is advised to run the half marathon in the context of a long run, incorporating the long run duration and prescription into your execution of the half marathon (aka a “C” race).