Happy day to you!
Are you like this dog? Are you stuck?
Do you want to sign up for a race, but are afraid of the commitment?
Allow me to help you!
As you have probably noticed, by checking out my racing calendar I ran 9 half marathons last year, and plan to run 11 more half marathons and atleast 3 (maybe) marathons this year.
So, I would like to think that I have a LITTLE experience in picking a race.
Because I have made the mistakes, paid the price, and lived to tell you about it.So learn from my mistakes!
Signing up for a race can be as simple as picking a date and clicking submit.
But, making a huge decision like that without any forethought can have disastrous consequences.
Not only that, but it can be a waste of your time, energy, and hard earned money.
So do yourself a favor and use the Five W’s when signing up for a race.
The Five W’s you say?
Yeah dude, the very same Five W’s you learned in 3rd grade…
Who, What, Where, When, and Why!
WHO! Think about who might be entering or involved with the race itself. Are you used to running with a friend or running group? Ask them about their racing plans. Most runners love to discuss what is next on their running calendar (I sure as heck do). Or maybe you are a lone wolf who enjoys doing your own thing. Your local running specialty shop will be able to direct you to a race that’s just far enough out of town where you can keep the anonymity you love while enjoying the racing atmosphere.
WHAT! Think about what distance you are comfortable with right now. Do you like that intense burst of pain that is over with (fairly) quickly? Then go for a mile or 5k race. Or maybe you like getting in a groove and clicking off mile after mile. Consider a half marathon or full marathon. Have the need for speed but not excited about the idea of a short race? Consider a 5 mile, 10k or 15K.
WHERE! Location is a huge factor for most people when choosing a race. Do you like feeling of running on familiar turf? Choose a local race! You will know what to expect from the course (which is very empowering!) and might be lucky enough to hear cheers from friends and family. Do you want a change of scenery? Plan a run-cation! Maybe you could invite friends or other loved ones along for some post race celebrating. When choosing location, remember to think about other details like course elevation, terrain, etc.
As I mentioned, you can’t always pick the perfect race or run in the perfect weather conditions, but certain races appeal to certain people.
I think that location, post-race celebration, and the hype/excitement leading up to the race is important.
It is one of the reasons why I sign up for the races that I do.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to make the jump!