Most races that weren’t cancelled this year are being held and condensed into the late summer/fall. This means that there are a plethora of races coming up to select from.
So how do you choose?
If you’ve already registered for an event that got postponed to this fall, that likely is at the top of your list. But for those of us that don’t have anything currently on the race calendar, it’s time to start figuring out what race(s) you want to target.
While there are a lot of reasons for selecting a particular race, one reason should stand out more than any other… it has meaning. Often, we place a large emphasis on races that you have to qualify for, have large participatory numbers or are the most well known. But does that equate to a race having the most meaning to you?
I’ve done a lot of cycling and running races in my life. Some were big, important races and some, well… not so much. In one particular instance several years ago, I saw that a 5K race was occurring in my hometown on the same streets that I’d run and cycled on likely thousands of times. I couldn’t hit the ‘register’ button fast enough!
Wanting to win the race, I obsessively checked the past results/paces and compared them to the registered runners to see what my competition looked like. I trained for this little 5K harder than I’d trained for many other more important events. Why? Because the race had a lot of meaning to me. It wasn’t just ‘a race.’ It was an opportunity to see and run with friends that I grew up with and to be able to race on my hometown roads.
So while your target race this fall might not be in your hometown, it should have meaning. Because let’s be honest, training for a race whether it be a 5K or an Ironman takes time and dedication. However, if a race has a lot of meaning to you, it makes getting out of bed for those early morning training sessions that much easier!
ps. I didn’t win – turns out, high school track runners are pretty darn fast!
Rick Prince is the founder/director of United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy (UESCA), a science-based endurance sports education company. UESCA educates and certifies running and triathlon coaches (cycling and ultrarunning coming soon!) worldwide on a 100% online platform.
Click here to download the UESCA Triathlon Course Overview/Syllabus
Click here to download the UESCA Running Course Overview/Syllabus