Are you considering signing up for a race? Before you register take a step back and ask yourself these important questions. These are all good things to think about, regardless of the distance you’re running.
You’ll feel confident in your decision, and you’ll have a realistic and rewarding goal to work toward.
Notice that this question doesn’t focus on your overall fitness level. You could be a dedicated yogi or a championship powerlifter and still have limited cardiovascular fitness.
Try going for a test run before signing up for a big race so you know how much you should train. You might even surprise yourself by how far or how fast you can run.
Depending on the length of your race and your current cardio fitness level, you may need to train frequently and for long durations. Be honest with yourself about how much time you can truly put into your training runs, cross-training, recovery (don’t forget to foam roll and stretch), nutrition, and all of the other activities that go into successfully training for a race.
We aren’t talking about daily training schedules with this question. You need to determine if there are enough weeks till race day.
As a frame of reference, many marathon training plans call for 16 to 20 weeks of training for people who are already in decent running shape.
For athletes and people who live active lifestyles, it can be difficult to honestly assess physical limitations. Sure, that lingering hip pain might turn out to be nothing, but that’s not a good assumption when you’re trying to train for a race. You could injure yourself further by attempting to run on and train through an injury.
Do you know why you want to run? Some people just love to run and running is its own goal. Others want to feel the satisfaction of meeting a challenge. Maybe you’ve always dreamed about running a marathon, and it’s time to make that dream a reality.
If you have specific fitness goals, how does running this race fit in? Do you want to get faster or increase your endurance? And remember, if your main goal is to lose weight running probably isn’t even your most effective workout choice.