For people like me, Running is hard. I put a good amount of strength and energy to go running. Regardless of how much ever joy it brings me, It still is hard! But that is just the fact of life. I didn’t realize, what a messy situation I was in when I started to sign up for races, and ran races while trying to manage all these signups and race times. Remind you, I have only been participating in races, since April 2016.
Following are the key things I Learned about Signing up and Running Races, and how to manage the chaos around this process.
1. Sign up early, and Save Big
You have to sign up for races early, if you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to run a race. My first race at Carlsbad 5000, I was that person who drove to the race, and signed up on the day of the race. I spent $50 of my hard earned dollar for the race, which was a lot of money for me. However, when we finished the race, I noticed they offered next year’s registration there, for $20, with no processing fee. It was a bargain, especially knowing I paid, almost 3 times as much to run that race that day. So here is my recommendation. If you like the race, and if you feel like there is about 80% of chance you will do the race, sign up for the next year when they open registration for next year, right after the current year’s race is closed. You will save big.
America’s Finest City Half Marathon is currently open for 2017 registration at 69$s. and America’s Finest City is one of the few races, that allows transfers to another person, so this is a no brainer. Registration link here – http://www.afchalf.com/. The price is good for next 38+ days.
OC Half Marathon for 2017 is open now at 85$s . Register here – http://www.ocmarathon.com/
2. Keep Track of the races you sign up
On a whim I would sign up for races, because I want to do it, or I found a good bargain price. But keeping track of the dates and the races I have signed up has been as important not to lose my mind over it. I tried several different ways, like google calendar, and notepads. But Finally I have started to use ‘Sheets’ from google.com. (https://sheets.google.com ). This seems to work out fine for me. I put the races I am interested in, as well as the races I registered, so it helps to keep track of the things I am signing up for! Here is a format, that I use, but make it your own!
3. Sign up for Athlinks.com to track your past Race time
I used to keep track of the race times using sheets on google, for a while, but then I found out about Athlinks.com. Its free. They way the site works is, their tools pulls in race results, into their database. This happens for most major races on their own, and for some you can request them to add the results, if you have the result website.(for least popular ones). so If you ever ran a race anywhere chances are they may already have your results. You just need to sign up with the name you use for your races, and search your time and ‘claim’ it to be yours. You will get all your times listed under your profile, which eliminates the need for you to track your results on your own. It has few other cool features like, you can follow other atheletes and see their races/times. Also, you can add future races to your calendar, helps with managing future races. ( I still use excel sheet because i cant tell from athlinks if i paid for the race, or just have it in my calendar. For an instance, I would want to do a race next year but the registration might not be open at that time, so i might still add it to the calendar there on Athlinks, and track it on excel to see i havent signed up).
If you run, i think you should sign up for Athlinks. Add me on Athlinks. Look for ‘Uma Sethuraman’ – that is my government name.
Athlinks provides lot more information about the race results, and also allows you to manage your race photos.
4. Rename your Strava/Garmin run names to race names
Your garmin/strava data from current year’s race, will become so valuable for you to plan your next year’s strategy at the same course/same Race. make sure you name the run names appropriately so its easy for you to go back and look at. You may forget how you felt during the runs, at different miles, so scribble up some notes on strategies for next year. That hill that came at the end, would mean, you can’t do your 5k pace at the end of the half marathon race!(true story!)
Is there any other challenges you face with your Race Data Management! If So, message me, and I will try to answer! Also if you have tips of your own , do leave them in the comment! I would like to know!