Culture

You Should Ask These Questions Before Choosing A Race

Go through this list before you pick your target race.

2015-07-18 07.25.14

We are at the point in the summer where most marathon training plans have begun and you are probably starting to get into the thick of your training. However, if you haven’t yet solidified your fall race calendar, here are a few things to think about as you finalize those plans.

  • Race distance. Are you ready to jump into marathon training? Are you at an appropriate starting point to begin that training? Or should your fall race goal be a new 5k PR? The great thing about the fall is is it is easy to find races in all distances (unlike summer where it can be harder to find longer races). You could do what I’m doing and make October Racetober and just sign up for all the races—because why not?
  • Do you want to make it a racecation and travel? Or would you rather stay close to home and have the ease of waking up in your own bed on race morning? Are you willing to fly or do you need a race within driving distance? Lots of factors to consider!
  • Sadly, for most of us, this will always be a factor. I try to limit the cost of the races I sign up for because (as my husband will tell you), it does all add up. For example, generally, I’m not willing to pay more than $30 for a 5k, but I’ll pay up to $100(ish) for a marathon.
  • Swag and fun factor. This doesn’t play a huge part in my process but it is something that can be a tie breaker if I’m deciding between two races. Do I have friends running? Is the race giving away something really cool? That can make a difference!
  • This can mean many things – is there parking? Is there a bus to or from the start? Can I take public transportation? Basically, how much of a pain are the logistics?

I start with this list of questions for almost every race I run and I’m generally pretty happy with my choices. In case you are curious, here’s how my October is shaping out: Wineglass Marathon, Army Ten Miler, and the Marine Corps Marathon. I can’t wait!

How do you choose your race calendar?