Do you plan your races out in advance?
A) Of course. I map out my entire year, do small events every month or so, and culminate my training with one big event.
B) Kind of. About half of the time, I follow 2 – 4 month training plans and plan to do an event at the end.
C) I just run for fun, and if I hear about a cool event, I sign up a few weeks in advance.
D) Are you kidding me? I can barely organize a trip to the grocery store. I sign up the morning of the event.
Have you ever impulsively signed up for a race?
A) Impulsiveness is asking for an injury.
B) Once. My friend talked me into doing an event with her a week before.
C) A few times. Snazzy websites always draw me in.
D) Have I ever NOT signed up impulsively for an event?
When you do sign up in advance, what’s your motivation?
A) I’m always nervous my events will sell out and my whole training scheme will be ruined.
B) Registering early helps motivate motivate me during the hard weeks of training.
C) I love getting the early bird rates and saving a couple of bucks.
D) I think signing up early is asking for an injury, a broken-down car, or being old by my crappy boss that I have to work on the weekend.
If you answered more A’s – you are a Super Racer. Not necessarily the fastest one on the course (but maybe!), you love to race, and it drives your entire exercise regimen. Improving your own performance is paramount. If you answered more B’s – you are a Training Plan Punk. A few times a year, you dedicate yourself to training plans for big, special events. You’re more likely to sign up for big races with name recognition. If you answered more C’s, you are Running for the Bling – you run and race for the experience of it and are less likely to be obsessed with improving your personal record. You’d probably love doing an obstacle run or a mud run! And if you answered mostly D’s, you’re a Spontaneous Speedster, preferring to run races on the fly. Sometimes you surprise yourself with your awesome performances but don’t get too upset if the race doesn’t go as you hoped.
According to my entirely non-scientific racing poll, I’m a Training Plan Punk with a slight lean towards Running for the Bling. Most of the time, I know what event I’m going to tackle a few months in advance, but I occasionally get sucked in by cool websites and promises of pretty race medals and sign up impulsively.
Other factors that seriously impact whether or not I’ll register and when:
How easy the website is to navigate – I once backed out of doing a race because I couldn’t easily figure out how to register.
The promise of sweet race swag – I’m highly motivated by tech t-shirts over cotton shirts, and if I hear a finisher’s medal is involved, I’m there.
Whether the early bird rate is really a good deal – if it’s only $5 off, I might hold off on registering, but if it’s $20 or more, my credit card is OUT. I looooove scoring the early bird special. Out of all the races that I’ve done, I’ve only had to miss a few that I was registered for, so I’ve saved much more by registering early than I’ve lost by bailing.
I really like it when races offer you the opportunity to defer your entry to the next year in case of injury. But I’ve only seen that once!
I’ll register early if signing up sooner means my name gets printed on my bib – love it.
As I mentioned a few weeks back, I’m partnering with ZOOMA women’s race series as a race ambassador (I’m doing their Florida half marathon in January – so pumped!). ZOOMA wants to know what ‘everywoman’ racers think about all aspects of events – from registration to course design to race swag. They really want to appeal to all levels of female runners and design their events to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible. That being said – ZOOMA and I would love to hear how you approach race registration.
So – what motivates you to sign up for a particular race? What makes you want to run away (pun intended)? When do you usually register – far in advance or right before the race?