Now that Celebrate Fitness is over, I have been able to get back to normal running and it feels so good. Friday’s weather here was gorgeous! So I took my 4 mile run for a couple extra miles and, as always, had a bunch of random thoughts that have turned into a post.
This time I think it’s kind of useful. How do you pick your races?
Whether you’re new to running or a long time runner, there are a few factors that lead us all to picking a race, whether you realize it or not. Here are my factors:
Distance: Races come in all shapes and sizes: 5K, 10K, Half, Full or even Ultra marathons. All are unique and require different preparation. My first decision is what kind of race do I want to run? I love all these distances. As a mom with two young kids, 5Ks and 10Ks are super easy to go and knock out before the day starts while still giving you a chance to experience the race atmosphere. Halfs and Fulls require more time and focus and I love having that kind of goal.
Training Preferences: If you live in an area that experiences all four seasons, like me, this is important. For example, if you are ok with treadmill running, consider spring time races, reason being if you had a winter like ours, you will probably be spending the majority of your training time on the treadmill. If you are ok with morning runs, consider late summer races. Again, heat becomes a major factor in the summer months so early morning training is a great way to avoid the heat.
Geography: If you have chosen Half or Full, you might be considering a destination race and I think those can be a lot of fun. Pack your bags and head out for a road trip but there are advantages to doing races closer to home. It’s easier to have a good cheering squad when you’re closer to home and there’s something to be said for curling up in your own bed for a well deserved nap…no plane time necessary.
Course Complexity: I’ll admit this isn’t a huge one for me but if I’m between two or three, I will look at the course itself. Is it hilly? What kind of neighborhoods do you get to see on your run? Course design is difficult, take it from me, so when you find a race with a good course, run it! I love the Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis route. Probably one of my favorites. I would LOVE to run one of the Disney runs because I would love to be at the parks before the park goers. I would love to run the Runner’s World Heartbreak Half because I’ve always wanted to run the east coast and I LOVE Boston!
Cost: Sometimes I just don’t want to pay $100+ for a race. The more miles the more it’s going to cost to run but if you’re looking for a deal, check out locally managed, no frills runs. They tend to be cheaper. Rule of Thumb: The earlier you register the cheaper it is. If you’re wanting to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll, check out my promo codes to see if it helps you save a little bit.
What factors do you consider when selecting a race?