I run a lot of races. This year, one of my goals is to race less, mostly because my bank account will really appreciate it. Racing definitely gets expensive and I have a hard time not cramming a race into every free weekend. I don’t technically ‘race’ every race I run, but I’m addicted to the atmosphere and I have a hard time not going back whenever I get the chance.
This year, I am taking the time to plan out my races in advance and working on keeping them to a minimal amount. I am also planning on racing each event, which is an even better incentive to keep them as few as possible.
So far, I have one race planned a month up through June. Now, that may seem like a lot, but I ran a total of 18 races last year! After June, I probably won’t be racing much at all, so I’m kind of front loading my year with races in order to leave the second half of the year free for another round of marathon training and less hot summer racing.
Since, there are so many race that I want to do, I have to narrow them down and decide the pros and cons for each. Things I consider when picking a race:
1. Location: Can I take the subway, do I have to drive, or is it a plane ride away? I LOVE traveling for races, but there is only so many places you can go in a year before you are broke!
2. Friends. Do I know others doing it as well? It’s fun to have the support of your other runner friends there, and it is a great excuse to hang out and even grab some brunch afterwards.
3. Distance. Somehow 2013 has turned into the year of distance running for me. I usually load up on a few half marathon and several 4-6 mile races, but I’m done with the shorter distances this year, all I want to focus on is 10 miles to the marathon.
4. Calendar. Obviously when the race takes place is a huge factor. You always have to watch out for other things you may have already planned. Weddings are a huge one, it’s usually not very nice to skip someone’s wedding just so you can run a race, so be sure to double check your calendar.
So, with that, I’m hoping to run less than 12 races this year. Everyone has their addictions, right?
How do you decide what races you are going to run? What do you to plan your year ahead? What are the most important factors of your race planning? Please share in the comment section below.