Training for your next race will be challenging and time consuming.  With a little planning, you can choose a race that best suits you.  Here are a few factors to consider when choosing your next race.

  • Climate / Weather  – How will the weather be during your training, and how will it be at the race? If you train in hot conditions, you will likely be comfortable in both hot and cool conditions.   If you will be training in cool conditions, consider races that will likely have cool weather.  Also, consider the weather in which you will be training.   In hot climates, a fall race means training in very hot summer weather.  A spring race means training in cold winter weather.  When considering weather, think about temperature, humidity, altitude, and wind.  If race weather will differ from your typical training weather, simulate race conditions to see how you’ll feel.  For example, for hot race weather, a few trainer rides in a heated room will simulate hot race conditions.
  • Terrain – How is the terrain on the race course?  If you train primarily on flat roads, consider racing in flat areas.  If you train in hills/mountains, you’ll likely be comfortable on both flat and hilly race courses.
  • Your Schedule – Even though race day may be at the perfect time, make sure the race date also works for your training.  Will you have time to train in the months before the race?  Your time commitment will be mostly in the training, so pick a race date that suits your training schedule.
  • Training Partners – Consider selecting a popular race for which many of your friends will be training.  Having an abundance of training partners makes training better.  Also, for popular races, you’ll likely find more group rides, runs, swims, and other race-related events.

In addition to considering these factors, look for feedback/comments about races you’re considering.  With careful consideration and planning, you can find your best race.