With all of the races that are out there, it gets a little crazy picking the race that’s right for you. There are so many factors that go into deciding what race or races to run that it can be simply overwhelming.
This week, instead of choosing a 5k to break the rust, I went for a local “No Frills” race that doesn’t even have a well-defined race distance. Sure, it’s 1-loop, but what exactly is the distance?! It’s measured as a 3.65 mile loop – more than a 5k, less than a 4 miler. Perfect for setting a new “odd-distance” PR.
My goal for this Tuesday night race put on by the South Jersey Athletic Club was 3 fold: to work out with company (instead of by myself), to practice running at threshold pace, and because it was super close to home.
Reason 1: Practice pacing – During a race, it is very tempting to go all-out right at the sound of the gun. Luckily, for this race there were only 4 people starting in my wave – yep, 4. It made it very easy to not run too fast at the start. I settled into my rhythm and clicked off my pace. By the end of the race, I felt good and was able to pick up the pace; just as I would have wanted any athlete to race – run fast at the end, not the beginning.
Reason 2: Proximity – This race is 3 miles from my house. It takes no time at all to pack my bag and hop on over to the race start. Not all races should require you to drive long distances or fly just to get to them. This was perfect for my Tuesday night needs.
Reason 3: No solo workout – Doing most of my runs by myself has gotten a little tedious, so I changed it up and ran with 90 other runners. There were 9 “waves”, so technically I didn’t run with hardly any of them, but just the idea of being out there, running fast, with other runners made a huge difference. In total, I got 8 miles in – 2 mile warm up, 4 x 400 @ threshold, 3.65 loop, 1 mile cool down. Results are here; thanks South Jersey Athletic Club!
There are so many great reasons to run a local, easy to get to race. What advice would you have for those who want to “race local”?