Now that the fall running season has come to a close, many runners are now focusing on their 2017 race calendars. With an infinite number of race options out there, its easy to become overwhelmed when choosing which race(s) to register for. There are a number of factors that runners need to consider when choosing the right race for them.
Are you trying to go for a PR? For me, I usually focus on going after a PR at smaller, local races (the one excpetion being a half marathon PR because there aren’t many small half marathons in the DC area). Local races are usually less crowded and you won’t have entertainment as a temptation for distraction. Instead, you can focus on your running during the race.
Are you looking for a flat course, or do hills not bother you? I’ve run plenty of races that fall under both categories, and while its certainly easier to PR on a flat course, many runners are more accustomed to running hills because of the terrain of the area in which they live.
Are you looking to make running a race part of a vacation? Racecations have become quite popular, and I’ve traveled both near and far for many races. Its always fun to explore a new area, especially when celebrating post race.
Are you looking to be entertained during the race? Or are you looking for a race that is a major experience in and of itself? While my husband and I are both Disney fans, and enjoy the fanfare that is runDisney, they are pricey races. Its at these races that I usually focus on the experience of the race itself and not on my pace or pushing myself to a PR.
Are you looking for a unique race experience? Some of my favorite race experiences have been the couple of times that I’ve run on an airport runway. There are also color runs, zombie runs, obstacle course runs, and runs through vineyards. There are so many different race experiences out there!
One thing is for certain – you should only register and run a race that YOU want to run, not just because everybody else seems to be. Its easy to get caught up in the excitement of race registrations and have FOMO (fear of missing out), but its important that you make your race choices based on what you’re looking to get out of them.
QOTD: What factors do you consider when choosing the right race(s)?