Pick the Perfect Race in 5 Steps with Jen Bigham
Jen Bigham is one of Oiselle's earliest elite runners, brand believers, and models. She has run-tested about every garment Sally has designed! Jen is not only a kick-ass racer (hence the nick-name "Blue Ribbon Bigham"), but a force for positivity and an absolute fighter in the trenches. Jen takes hard-core momming to a new level (the double jog stroller is her slave) and inspires us all with her with her actions and her willingness to share her story. Jen is an expert at mixing up racing, to keep the energy fresh and focused. She put together these great tips for us!
Thinking about signing up for a race? I'm here to help you choose one! Picking a race can be as simple as the 5 W's you learned in elementary school: Who, What, Where, When, Why! Answer these questions and you will be well on your way to choosing the right race for you!
Think about who might be entering or involved with the race. Are you used to running with a friend or running group? Ask them about their racing plans. Most runners love discussing the topic "what's next for you?" Or maybe you are a lone wolf who enjoys doing your own thing. Your local run specialty shop will be able to steer you in the direction of a race that's just far enough out of town where you can keep the anonymity you love while enjoying the racing atmosphere.
Think about what distance suits you. Do you like that intense burst of pain that is over (fairly) quickly? Think about choosing a mile or 5k race. Or maybe you like getting in a groove and clicking off mile after mile. Consider a half marathon or full marathon. Have the need for speed but not keen on the thought of the really short stuff? Consider a 5 mile, 10k, or 10 mile race.
Location is a huge factor for most people when choosing a race. Do you like running on familiar turf? Choose a local race! You will know what to expect from the course and might be lucky enough to hear cheers from friends and family. Do you want a change in scenery? Plan a runcation in a place that feels a little bit like paradise. Maybe you could invite friends or other loved ones along for some post race celebrating. When choosing location, remember to think about other details like course elevation, terrain, etc. If you like running on flat roads and a good chunk of the course is on hilly dirt/stone trails, you might want to consider other options.
Think about the time of the day/year you want to race. Do you despise heat/humidity? Does the thought of going outside when it's below freezing have you hiding under the covers? While you can't choose the weather on race day, certain times of the day/year are better for racing than others in many parts of the country.
Many of us run for a reason. Do you want to give back to a good cause? Many races benefit local communities and charities. Do you run to be a positive influence for your family? Invite them to be your cowbell corner on your big day. Do you run for yourself? Choose a race that excites you - whatever the reason.
Hope this helps you choose your next race! Head up. Wings out.