Yes it's January. Yes, we said spring racing season. That's because if you want to race well in the spring, you have to put the work in all winter. So, hopefully you've already started if you want to crank out some good times in March, April, and May.
So - many of you are struggling to choose your spring races. What is your ideal distance? What race should you choose? Did you train enough for the half, or should you pick a 10k? Hopefully we can provide a bit of insight to help you make your decision(s).
First - our team is doing the ShamRox 15k/5k in March as our next group race. In the past, this race has benefited several great charities such as The Kitchen and Great Circle. We haven't seen the 2016 charity partner yet, but the race is well organized, and the course is fun.
Many of you have signed up to do the 15k, but some of you are on the fence. That's okay.
Why you might choose the 15k: It's a tad shorter than a half, and can be a great "check-in" race if you're planning to race 13.1 later in the spring. Perhaps you're not quite ready for the half distance yet - the 15k gives you a chance to try something a little longer, and see how you feel. Maybe you've never raced a 15k. Automatic PR!
Why you might choose the 5k: Because long stuff is stupid. Just kidding - but really. Not everyone likes longer distances. Some of you are training to drop time off your 5k time. This is a good opportunity for that. You've been training through the winter, and this is a good course. Even if you don't make it your "goal" race, use it as a tune-up to see where you're at. Maybe you've been injured - use the 5k as a chance to race, but not overdo it.
Not everyone has the time to truly train for a half marathon. For some, real training means 75+ mile weeks with multiple 2 hour workouts. Of course, this may be for a competitive person, but perhaps they are better suited to using their free time to crank out a crazy fast 5k time. There's nothing wrong with that. Remember - training to run a good 5k time is as hard (if not harder) than training to just complete a half.
So maybe you're looking for a late spring half marathon. Hopefully, you have some ideas in mind and you've already started training. But, if you haven't - you still have time assuming you have some decent base mileage under your belt. (If you still need a training plan - just ask!)
Maybe you just want to know how to choose the best local 5k from the 5,674 offerings.
Maybe you don't care and you're just reading this because we posted it. Rock on.
Here are some things to consider:
1. Do you want to travel? Are you looking to make this race a destination trip for you and your family? By travel we mean something 5-6+ hours away. Something you'll get on a plane for. If you're going to do this, choose a race in a place you really want to see. What else can do you in this area? Are there things for the kids? When is race day? Here are a few favorite spring destination races:
If you're looking for destination races year round, consider the following:
2. What are you looking for in a race? Do you like smaller races? Do you love the large crowds? Do you need a race that has ample opportunities for your friends and family to cheer you on? Consider these things when choosing a race.
If you like smaller races, stick around here! Nothing in the SWMO area is overly big. Plus, your local family will have easier access and better knowledge of the location. Think Go Girl for the spring, or Bass Pro for the fall. Bass Pro is a very well organized race, and has been known to be a good course.
If you love the big crowds, head out of town. The races below offer you the big race vibe without having to travel across the country. You can make them a fun weekend trip!
3. Do you really want to race long? Maybe you want to focus on shorter distances this spring. That's okay too. There are some great local races being hosted by your own teammates. Get out and support them.
4. Organization is key. The downfall to many races is that they are unorganized. If you're going to pay good money to race, you want to make sure the race is well put together. Here are some things to look for.
Locally, a 5k will run somewhere between $20-25. Paying more than $30 for a 5k is getting a little steep (unless you're getting a lot of swag. A lot). For a half marathon locally, think between $45-70. Bigger races will run up to $85. Rock n' Roll races will be $100+ just for the half. If you're looking at a full, be prepared to pay $75-$100+ depending on the race. Of course many races offer coupon codes to help with race costs. For example, races may offer a $10 discount code good for one day. Maybe it's a Valentine's code where you can receive a discount if you register with a buddy/spouse. Maybe its 15% off on the 15th. Follow your prospective race on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and watch for codes. Sometimes races will give away free entries as well!
Remember - the earlier you register, the cheaper the fees will be. If you register and put a race on your calendar - make it happen. For some half marathons, the fee could start at $45, but by race week it's up to $75. That's a decent amount of cash you can save by planning ahead and managing your schedule wisely.
Hopefully these tidbits of advice will help you plan your race calendar and choose reputable races. Maybe you'll save a little $$$ by registering early, and maybe you'll make a family trip out of a race. Whatever you choose to do, we are here to support you.
Who Picks the Topics?
Each week, we notice different things. We try to incorporate the questions we are receiving or the training issues we are noticing into our post(s) for the week. If there is something you'd like us to cover, let us know!