Thursday, March 10, 2011

How to Choose a 5k Race

While I continue to train for 5k, I have decided that I think it would be very motivational to choose my 5k race, and ...gasp... actually register for the race.  This will motivate me because I will be committed to a certain date, and I will have to be ready by that date.  While choosing my race, I have four factors I am weighing.  I am looking at each race's location, season, the physical terrain, and the number of runners for each race.
Obviously, it is important to consider the location of the race.  I am choosing a race that is close to my home.  Although, I think it would be fun to take a trip, I think I would rather run my first 5k locally.  If making a big event out of your first 5k would serve as great motivation for you, there are many exciting destinations that hold 5k races.  Cities all over the world hold 5k races, even popular destinations like Disney World hold 5k races and half marathons.  Although, this sounds like fun, I have decided to tackle my first race near my home.
I am considering the season in which the race is held.  In my location, I do not want to run a race during the winter months.  I am open to the possibility of running a 5k anytime from April to October.  Some runners do not recommend running your first 5k, during the hot summer months.  However, I am not typically bothered by hot weather, so I have not ruled out the months of July or August.
I am kind of nervous about the physical terrain of the race course, so I am paying particular attention to this factor.  As I have mentioned before, I am a treadmill runner.  So far, for several reasons, I have trained for 5k exclusively on my treadmill.  Thus far in my train for 5k efforts, I have not added any slope to my run.  Therefore, I am nervous about running my first 5k race on hilly race course.  I know it is impossible to find a completely flat race course outside, but I am ruling out anything that is very hilly.
The last factor that I am using to choose a 5k race is the number of runners estimated to participate.  In my opinion, the more the merrier!  Once again, I am a little nervous about running my first 5k race.  If more runners participate, there is a greater chance I will not come in last!      
I will post when I make my final selection.  What factors are you weighing to choose your 5k race?

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