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One Tip Wednesday: The key to picking your perfect race this summer

Obviously, this is about what goodies they hand you at the finish line, right? I’ve gotten everything from T-shirts, socks, burritos, and beer to picnic blankets, medals, mimosas, and beanies. All good, all fun!

But no.

The key to picking your perfect race isn’t about the SWAG. (Though I love it and always appreciate it.) The key has everything to do with YOU and not so much to do with the stuff.

It’s about the experience. Let’s jog down memory lane for an example… I remember that I got a pink felt cowboy hat for Christmas when I was 12. (Hey, it was 1980-something!) But the best memory was how hard my dad laughed when we decorated the tree that year. For some reason the entire process was funny. There was an argument about “to tinsel” or “not to tinsel” and things got silly from there.

So, what kind of race experience do you want to have this summer? I’m guessing one that makes you happy, creates meaningful memories, but also gives you the challenge you crave.

You want to have a race that is successful for you.

the TIP: The key to picking your perfect race this summer – make it a good fit for your running lifestyle

Finding a good race fit is like finding a good bra; sure there will always be some amount of uncomfortable jiggling, but mostly it’s supportive, it works for your body type, and you work through those jiggles together.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you’re looking at races for this summer:

  • Is it a race that fits with my potential fitness level at the end of training? Not your fitness level NOW, but the realistic fitness level you could attain when the training cycle is over. You have to see just a bit beyond what you might be able to do now, but not tooooo far out there that you won’t be able to train well in the time you have.
  • Is the training period long enough and manageable enough? Will it work with my crazy summer schedule (kids out of school, family trips, work changes)? Or my chillax-do-less summer?
  • Do you have the help you need to make it happen? There’s an illusion that trail racing is something you train for and do on your own, but really, it’s a team effort. You need the support of friends, your partner, sometimes your doctor, your massage therapist, your PT, or even your mom to watch the kids while you’re on a long run. Of course, gurus and coaches can take you far, too.

the WHY

Because you’re making physical and emotional memories and those are powerful for your running self!

Here’s why you should make your race a snugly fit for your running life:

  • You will succeed in your race and also in all. the. other. things! Being realistic about training lets you have a life that’s filled with good running, good family time, good play time.
  • You will want to come back for more. Ahhhh, the key to motivation!
  • You will leave the door open for the next challenge. Building on banked strength and confidence means you’ll be successful at a more challenging event next time. Because the sky’s the limit for your badassery!

I can’t believe summer officially starts this week. I would love to know if you’re racing or thinking about racing this summer. Let me know in the comments below. You can totally make it happen and I believe in you!

P.S. The Trail Running Lifestyle Planning Bundle is coming soon to our little family of trail running peeps first over in the Trail Running Community for Women Facebook Group so join us if you want to talk about race planning!

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