How to Choose a Race Distance

Whether you’re a first time runner or you’ve been running for years, choosing the appropriate race distance is one of the hallmarks of a successful running season and will help you stay injury free. But how do you know what’s challenging v. what’s asking for an injury?

To answer that, let’s look at your current running habits:

1)      What’s your base mileage? If you’re not a runner right now, no worries! SoleMates can get you there. But let’s not get too carried away either. First time runners would be best served with a shorter race distance – think 5K (3.1 miles). If you can comfortably run 3 miles already, then go for a 10K (6.2 miles). If you’ve done a 10K, maybe you want to try a half-marathon. If you’ve conquered the half on more than one occasion, a full marathon might be in store.

2)      How much time do you have to train? In general, the more time you have, the longer the race distance you can aim for. If the race you want to do is less than a month away, then don’t push your distance too far beyond what you’re doing now. So if you can comfortably run 2 miles, a 5K is perfect. 10 or 11 – shoot for a half-marathon. If you’ve got 8 weeks, then you can think about pushing the distance a little bit. So if you can comfortably run 3 miles, a 10K is perfect. 8 miles, shoot for a half marathon. If you’ve got more than 8 weeks and you’re already a runner, then you can think about a more significant increase. So if you’ve done a 5K or 10K and have 12 weeks to train, a half might be realistic for you.

3)      What will the weather conditions be on race day?  While the weather is never predictable, a race in Idaho in January will likely be cold and a race in Idaho in August will likely be very hot. Plan appropriately. The ‘perfect’ race temp is usually mid 40s to mid 60s, depending on your cold and heat tolerance. If you’re racing in freezing weather or in the heat of summer, that’s not the time to try a marathon for the first time.

Need a Fall race? Come join us for training help, motivation, and company!

Need more info? Check these articles out:

http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2011/06/how-to-select-your-next-or-first-race.html

http://www.foodandfunontherun.com/2013/05/20/choosing-the-right-race/

http://www.kalisthenixfitnessblog.com/2012/02/beginning-runners-how-to-choose-best.html

Local 5Ks:

Idaho Wine Run – Sept 29th

Barber to Boise – Oct 5th

Turkey Day 5K – Nov 28th

Capital Holidayathon – Nov 30th

YMCA Christmas Run – Dec 21st

The Hot Chocolate Run – Dec 28th

Local 10Ks:

Idaho Wine Run – Sept 29th

Barber to Boise – Oct 5th

YMCA Christmas Run – Dec 21st

Local Half-Marathons:

Idaho Wine Run – Sept 29th

City of Trees – Oct 13th

Zeitgeist Half Marathon – Nov 2nd

 

Local Marathons:

Idaho Wine Run – Sept 29th

City of Trees – Oct 13th

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