I’m a competitive weirdo and would be happy to run races every weekend. Unfortunately, we all know that can’t happen. So how do people pick their races? It can be complicated, but my overarching advice is below.
Set your annual budget. If you’re filthy rich, disregard this statement. For the rest of us…you really need to have an idea of how much you can spend. When setting the budget, be sure to consider expenses beyond just race fees. New shoes, apparel, accessories, and travel add up, so be sure to include all of that.
Set your priorities. Quantity v. Quality? Distance(s)? Travel or local? Annual favorites? You need to decide what you want to get out of your racing. For 2018, I want quality and to run an out-of-town marathon. I’ll factor those into my budget before moving on to the next step.
Look at the rest of your life. I always need to schedule around the academic calendar and check the dates for major family events before committing. Training for a goal race is enough work, I want to be sure poor scheduling isn’t going to make it any worse!
With all that in mind, my plan was to do a half marathon and a 10-miler in the spring with a marathon in the fall and a few other small races sprinkled in between. The plan has changed a little due to a minor injury, but as the marathon is the priority, all adjustments will be made with that in mind. Happy scheduling, runners!