One secret to maintaining your training during the stifling heat of the summer months is to register for a race. By committing to a goal, you’re more likely to put in the work to prepare for the start line.  Kick motivation up another notch by choosing a destination race. The excitement of taking a mini-vacay can fuel grueling runs leading up to race day. Women’s Running contributor @KaraDeschenes took the summer challenge by setting her sights on the SeaWheeze half marathon, scheduled for the upcoming weekend. Check out Kara’s tips to gear up for a destination race:

  1. Choose an exciting venue. Location is key to jump start your training inspiration. Make sure to choose a place that not only offers an appealing run course, but also includes sightseeing opportunities. Since the SeaWheeze is charted in Vancouver, runners will enjoy the best of both worlds- mountains and beaches. An adventure lover’s dream! The beach and mountains? Yes, please.
  2. The Five Ps: Proper planning prevents pitiful performance. When setting off for a destination race, preparation is vital. Since you won’t have the luxuries of running home for last minute forgotten items, planning for needs ahead of time is crucial. Try using a checklist, like the one below (taken straight from @KaraDeschenes’ SeaWheeze packing list!). Also, take time to scope out the area near your lodging to find the closest convenient store for any emergency needs.
  3. Keep up with hydration and nutrition.There’s something about traveling that can make our stomachs go into vacation mode prematurely. Just because you’re away from home, doesn’t mean you should indulge completely pre-race. Take measures to stay properly hydrated (especially if you are traveling via airplane) and fueled in the days leading up to the race. A happy GI system = a better race experience. Your water bottle should be your best friend in the days leading up to the race!
  4. Scope out the course before race day. Though it might not always be possible, try to drive the course prior to the event. By familiarizing yourself with the course, you will mentally prepare for race day. Knowing the path can help you determine when to push the pace and when to store energy in the reserves. Looks like an awesome course!
  5. Schedule some rest & relaxation. If possible, schedule a day or two post-race to enjoy the city. With the race complete, you’ll be able to relax and relish the accomplishment of finishing. Take time before your trip to research the area and find local hot spots. The SeaWheeze organizers thought of everything! Check out this list of places to visit, provided in the athlete guide!

If you could choose any destination for a race, where would you go?