Setting a new goal is exciting - it can be just what you need to stay motivated. At the same time, new goals can be overwhelming and scary. If you select a race as your next goal, deciding on what race to run can be another daunting task. How do you choose a race that you will be motivated to train for in the upcoming months and that you will enjoy running? Here are a few things to take into consideration that will hopefully help make your decision easier!
First off, find a race for which you have enough time to train. Don’t just pick a marathon that’s taking place the following weekend. Training for a race is important because it gives your body time to adjust to running more miles, helps prevent injuries and allows you to have the best race possible. Start by figuring out what your current weekly mileage is. If you’ve never run before - start by looking at a 5K! A great option to look into is the Couch to 5K training program that you can find online.
If you’re already running 3-10 miles weekly, a 10K would be a great place to start! If you want to challenge yourself and go for a half or full marathon, make sure you leave enough time to
train properly and build up your mileage. Check your schedule – signing up for one of these means you will be dedicating much of your time to train for the race. Don’t over extend yourself; that’s the fastest way to get injured. Figure out what is best for you and take the plunge.
If all that mileage seems daunting, grab a friend! Training is always more fun with a running buddy. You can check out your local running club to find someone to train with, or ask your friends if they’d be interested in running the event you picked as well.
There are a few other things to take into account when selecting a race: location and weather. Weather and location can go hand-in-hand: look up what the weather has been like around the time of the time in previous years to figure out the general climate. Other aspects of the location include elevation, race size, crowd support, and accessibility. It being scenic doesn’t hurt, either!
Lastly, though it may not be the first thing you think about when choosing a race, you should always consider the cost. Races are variety of prices, depending on location, what’s included with your race fees, distance and even sponsors. This is something to take into consideration along with your travel costs.
Once you’ve taken all this into account, go register! Many race fees increase as the event nears, so register earlier rather than later. Don’t wait until the last minute or the race might be sold out. Mark it on your calendar and make a countdown to race day!
See more from Danica on all her running adventures on her blog, Chic Runner!