Which Type Of Road Race Is Right For You - Distance Or Something More Challenging?
If I had a dime for every time someone told me “I am just not a runner,” I would be a very wealthy woman. There are many people who believe that you are either born a runner or not. While I will grant that there are individuals who love to run and then there are those who choose to run, anyone can find their niche in the running world.
The goal that most people pick to challenge themselves is to run a marathon, but not everyone is cut out for endurance running. If you want to set a goal for yourself and do something amazing, there are many other races you can compete in and enjoy.
The racing world has grown a lot even in the past two decades. Trying to attract a bigger audience, competitions have become more creative and inclusive. If you aren’t necessarily a road racer, you may want to set a goal for another type of “fun run”. These are different classifications of events that may peak your fancy. The key is to find something that you not only can feel accomplished competing in, but you can enjoy too.
The popularity of the mud run has expanded across the nation. A mud run is a course that consists of different obstacles, but the main point to it is that you do it all in the mud. No, mud is not just a euphemism, it is what runners make their way muddling through. If you are someone who loves to get dirty and to have a good overall body strength challenge, then a mud run may be the one to try. No one is very serious, after all, it is difficult to be a fierce competitor and not laugh a little when you are covered in mud from head to toe. Check out your locale to see if there is one running nearby; chances are good it is catching on near you.
An X-terra run is a running competition that is off-road. Not the beaten path, W-Terra runs typically challenge runners in different ways than just endurance. Less monotonous, if you want to compete in an X-Terra, you will need to train differently. Likely, you will need more strength in your ankles, knees and upper body to get through one of them. For the road racer who gets tired of looking at the same old scenery, this is the perfect goal to set.
There is something fantastic about not having to race toward a finish line, but just to do your personal best. An X-Hour race is a race that you engage in where you go as far as you can in “x” amount of hours. They are typically grueling and, often, they have more than marathons, but the good news is that you can take as long as you want to get where you want to get to. A good way to pace yourself, you don’t have to finish at a finish line, unless you set it for yourself.
If a marathon is not your goal, a multi-day race may be more your “speed”. Typically more mileage than a marathon, the multi-day race is set up in two separate days. Being held around the world, they are a great way to see the countryside, being broken up into various points per day. If you are an elite athlete, you may want to check one of them out. If you are just starting out, you may want to build up to one of these challenging feats.
Just as the name implies, the vertical race is about running uphill. Going from zero to none, the distance can vary, but the main objective is to run vertically up something. Races around the world engage in these types of runs, but they are often held in mountainous ranges. The only problem is that they are an all up-hill battle. Different from a mountainous run, they only run one way, no coasting allowed.
Could there be anything better than running at night? These runs are fun because they are usually run right through the downtown center of some very populated cities. Closing off the streets, you get to see a view of the skyline on foot, with no traffic but the runners in front of you. Very popular for those who aren’t looking for high mileage, they are more about the novelty of getting to the finish line under the stars. Being popular for beginners to elite, there is likely one near you.
If you picture the police academy course, you are pretty close. The obstacle race is challenging not because it involves endurance running, but because you have to use your entire body to get from A to Z. The obstacles can be either homemade or natural, but you can bet it won’t be easy. if you want to do an obstacle race, you have to train more than just your running muscles. A whole body training regime is necessary to compete in these type of events.
For those who are looking for more of a “team effort,” the relay race may be the perfect solution. If you are more of a team player, then having the diffusion of responsibility may be a refreshing way to compete in a road race. The distance can vary, as can the course, with the only commonality being that you form teams to make it to the finish line together.
Sand runs are fun because they are something different and involve a lot of strength. Sometimes held on beautiful beaches, sometimes in the desert, the one thing that is for sure is that it is going to take a lot of lower body, ankle and knee training to compete on a sand course. A very different feel, it is grueling for those of us who are used to the stability of a running path.
Adventurous? Try a snow run. A snow run has you competing in two ways. One, you have to make it to the finish line. Two, you have to make it there without freezing. A particular type of training goes into snow runs. If you are from a warm climate, you should probably take a pass; it is not an easy thing to do unless you are used to bundling up and hitting the ice and snowy courses.
These are just some of the unique runs that you can complete in depending on where you live and what your running adventurousness is. If you either aren’t interested in a marathon, or you have been there, done that, try something outside the box and have some fun with it.