|In honor of Christmas, what to do with all the race medals!|
Two of the biggest questions I get from new (and new to the area) runners is How do you find races? and How do you decide which ones to run?
In the beginning my answer was much different than it is today, especially as my running connections have grown along with the massive influence of social media today that was not around when I was a new runner.
Finding A Race
- Sign up for race organization email newsletters: Many local groups have these as well as larger organizations like Competitor Group who runs Rock n Roll. A perk of these extra emails is early entry options and discount codes.
- Active is a great source for searching not only races in the US and beyond but also running and fitness related articles and race write ups.
- "Like" local and national race organizations on Facebook and follow on Twitter. This is often the first place new races are announced and once again discounts are often a perk.
- Talk to running friends, local running stores and gyms. Friends have done these and can send you to the "good" races, the stores and gyms often host races and have flyers for others in the area.
- Race expos: Although many are going green with electronic race bags there is always a few race flyers included, some of the bigger marathon expos will involve races from near and far. Expos are also fun to check out gear and get in the mood to race!
- Charity organizations often host or sponsor races to raise awareness and $ or may offer training groups for destination races. I've had the opportunity to coach for both Team Challenge and Team in Training and bring teams many places including Ireland, California and Las Vegas.
Deciding On A Race
- Check out sites like Marathon Guide where runners comment and rate various aspects of races (mostly marathons here).
- Search for running forums, runners talk and are very happy to share race experiences.
- Google to race you are interested in and there is probably a blogger who wrote about the race and their experience. Know that their experience, whether good or bad, may not be the norm.
- Ask running friends
- Think about the location and is it convenient or somewhere you want to travel?
- Timing of the race and associated training, does it fit in your life and schedule?
- Do you prefer a large or small race?
- Consider the cost and what you get. Are you willing to pay more for bling or do you prefer a cheaper race with minimal perks?
- Do you have friends running too? Is it important to run and/or train with others?
Another prize reveal for the challenge...ProCompression! I love these socks. Compression socks help improve blood flow aiding in recovery after a tough workout. Recently I discovered another perk of this, warmer feet in cold weather running! I wear mine for every long run (and more) along with the day after a long run and notice much less soreness and running associated discomfort. Through the multiple marathons I have run in my ProCompressions I have noticed less fatigue as well.
Want to win one of the multiple pairs they are offering? Make sure to register for 13 in 2013 Here and check out all the information here.