Choosing Races.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about races and how I choose how many and which ones to do.

A lot of people love participating in races so they’ll register for and run as many as possible.  Some do the “15 races in 2015” thing or try to race once a month, yet others really only register for races when they have been training for a time goal or have a specific destination or “to-do” race in mind.

Since Jason and I are watching our spending a bit more than we have in the past (since we’re both going back to school), I feel like I’ve become a bit pickier when deciding whether or not to do a race – not to mention now that Jason’s running started running also it’s basically double the entry fee!

In 2014 I did a total of 17 races (I was definitely surprised by how many I did when I just went back and counted!):

  • 2 Marathons
  • 5 Half Marathons
  • 3 10k’s
  • 3 5k’s
  • 2 “other distance”
  • 2 sprint triathlons

Since I’m being a little more selective this year, I don’t see myself doing quite as many races, and I’m still not sure if they’ll be another triathlon in my future.

I’m really trying to look at each race and determine what it’s “purpose” is instead of just registering for races to do a race.  As far as I’m concerned a purpose can be anything from “PR attempt” to “bucket list destination race”, but really my goal is to not just random races “just because”.

So far this year here’s what I’m registered for:

  • May 24th, Johnny Kelley Half Marathon – the goal of this race is a PR attempt for Jason, he’s only done 1 half and it was at Disney, so we figure without character stops he can shave a decent amount of time off.
  • October 25th, Marine Corps Marathon – I’ll admit I don’t really have a great reason or purpose for doing this race.  It’s not a new one for me, I just really loved it and can’t wait to do it again!
  • November 7th, Wine & Dine Half Marathon – I consider this race my anniversary since it was the first race I ever ran 4 years ago and this year for the first time Jason will be able to join me!  I can’t wait to share one of my favorite races (plus the Food & Wine Festival!) with him!

Other than these, I’ll be looking for some smaller local races to run specifically for PR attempts (5k, 10k & half) and I’m thinking about running a second marathon this fall for time (I’d rather not use Marine Corps since it can get a little crowded and for me that race is really more about the experience).

Overall I’d expect to end up doing no more than 10 races this year maybe? I guess I’ll have to take a look back at the end of the year and see how that goes!

Do your races always have a “purpose”?

How do you choose which races to do?

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25 thoughts on “Choosing Races.

  1. Love this! I’m hoping to do more local races this year and am so glad you’ll be at Wine and Dine! We will have to connect. I’m letting my wallet help me with the decisions, too – 3 kids (one in college) means that I can’t do all the Disney races anymore.

    • Yes, I’m definitely trying to limit myself a little bit and really asses how much I want to do a race rather than just registering for stuff. Hope we get to meet up at Wine & Dine!

  2. Lots of things go into the decision process–price, swag, distance from home, does it support a cause that’s important to me, does it fit into my schedule… I try to be thoughtful because I hate signing up for races and then not being able to run them.

      • For me it’s sort of a ration of price to swag. If I’m paying over a certain amount, I expect a certain amount, if that makes sense. Like, I wouldn’t pay $50 to run a race if I wasn’t going to get a medal or a shirt or something, but I’m happy to pay $10 for a race with zero swag.

  3. I’ll chose local 5k’s but when I want to do big races, a racecation is always much more fun. I did a half in town but didn’t find it any kind of fun.

  4. I’ve always liked to space my races out enough that I always have a running goal to work towards. I find that I’m not much of a runner without an upcoming race, and this technique worked really well for my husband and me when we lived in Vermont. We did a shorter race every month or two, and had a marathon planned for many months ahead, which helped us keep up with training.

  5. I’m a little choosier about my races like you. I usually register for races if either:
    – a group of friends are doing it
    – a friend who is new to running is doing it
    – I’m ready for a new, longer distance
    – PR attempt
    Another requirement is that it fits my schedule. The race organizer also plays a part in my decision of one race over another.

    • Yes, scheduling is definitely a big part of it! I am also all about reading reviews and learning as much about a race as I can before I choose to do it (thank you BibRave!).

    • Yes, my first race was a big goal I was working towards too, it really helped to keep me on track! I’m trying to sort of get back to that idea of having a goal or a reason for each race I do so I’m not spending too much money on races!

  6. ummm yeah, my reason for Wine & Dine – because I love it and will do it every year until I die! I’m still trying to figure out my reason for signing up for MCM lol

  7. I love the rundisney races but I am trying to branch out to try more local races. there is nothing like sleeping in your own bed and heading to a race. I always try and have a goal, where it is a course PR or a new PR

    • Yeah, I love the runDisney races too, but I never actually run them for time so I’m looking to do a few local races to use for time so I can have some accurate PR’s!

  8. I’ve been a lot pickier about my race selections lately as well. I feel like I spent 2013 constantly racing…and not to mention it felt like all my money and vacation time were spent on racing. It’s nice to make time and space for other things.

    • Yeah, I sort of feel the same way…most of my trips the past few years have been race focused and I feel like I really need to get out of that habit! and plan a non-race vacation!

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