5 tips for planning your 2018 race calendar

So many races and so little time! Does Anyone else feel this way?

With just weeks to go until the new year, have you started mapping out your race schedule? Today I’m sharing a few tips for planning your 2018 race calendar.

Start with your goal race — Do you have one big goal race for the year? Typically, I’ve picked a goal half marathon for the spring and another for the fall. Once you get the key race or races figured out, you can fill in from there, adding tune-up races or other shorter distance events that could line-up nicely with your training plans.

Think about your training preferences — Do you loathe the idea of heavy mileage in the summer heat? Then perhaps an October race is not for you. Not a fan of winter running or having to log long miles on the ‘mill to avoid snow…then maybe you want to pass on those early spring races.

Consider all impact events — Family/friends weddings, major school events for the kids, etc. You’ll want to make sure you don’t pick your goal race for the same weekend as a major family gathering (I’ve already got Columbus Day weekend blocked off for my nephew’s wedding). Or, perhaps you don’t want to be at the peak of marathon training on a weekend you need to be out of town.

Let’s talk budget — We all know race registrations can get pricey so, of course, your budget has to be part of the planning process. Are you hoping to do some traveling next year or are you staying local? Going big or sticking with smaller, more affordable races? Keeping an eye out for race discount codes and great airline and hotel deals can help defray the costs of a racecation, but planning well in advance is key. Early registration will always save you some cash, so the earlier you can commit the better.

Know your body — It can be pretty easy to get caught up in race fever and want to “run all the races” – especially when it feels like everyone you follow on social media is running a particular race. But it is important to know your body and factor in the downtime it needs. Breaks from racing and training are important to keep you from burning out both mentally and physically – so plan accordingly.

Planning tips for your 2018 race calendar #runchat #bibchat #running Click To Tweet

I’m joining Rachel and Lacey & Meranda for the Friday Five link-up!



  1. These are great tips. I’ve already got one conflict between the Denver Half in May and the new Virginia edition of Farm to Fork Fondo. Since I already signed up for Denver I guess I’ll miss the Fondo …. 🙁
    Coco recently posted…My First Jingle All The Way 15K RecapMy Profile

  2. So number 5 is the hardest for me! I want to do all the races but my body does not want to cooperate
    Deborah Brooks recently posted…End Of The Year GoalsMy Profile

  3. These are all great points!

    It’s actually rare that I suffer much with race FOMO. I guess in reality I’m something of a lone wolf.
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…5 Reasons to Check Out . . .My Profile

  4. These are all really good tips. When I start planning, I always block out important life events and holidays so I make sure I do not block a race around that time.
    Kimberly recently posted…5 Last Minute Gift Ideas for RunnersMy Profile

  5. You’re right: So many things to consider. I often struggle with working around dates when the kids have stuff, spring break, etc. Also choosing races that truly motivate me is becoming more of a challenge.
    Marcia recently posted…5 Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers For RunnersMy Profile

  6. Great tips! I usually have my year planned out much more by this point but I’m having a hard time seeing past my January marathon. And my brother is getting married next year so that’s already cut out one race I planned to do 🙂
    Chaitali recently posted…Maui Travel ReportMy Profile

  7. These are all great tips. While I LOVE planning and organizing, I tend to write all races in pencil and sign up last minute or day of because then I don’t feel so much pressure! (personal preference only!)
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…Friday 5: Easy Decorating Tips for the HolidaysMy Profile

  8. I had big goals in 2018. But I’m injured now (for no good reason at all) so everything’s on hold until further notice. Sigh…

  9. #5 is my #1 as I start to plan for 2018. As long as I continue to feel well, I’ll add more races to my list. But I’m taking it one race at a time!
    Wendy recently posted…Book Review: Life’s Too Short To Go So F*cking SlowMy Profile

    • After this past year of injuries, I’m a little hesitant to commit to too many races. I’ll probably get a few lined up through the spring and then see how it goes.

  10. Super great tips! Because I don’t know what life with twins and a toddler will be like, I have NO races on my schedule yet! But I’m already thinking about a couple in the back of my mind.
    Nicole @Fitnessfatale recently posted…Twin Pregnancy Update – Weeks 21 & 22My Profile

  11. I’m one of those who wants to run all the races. It’s hard to pick and choose, but your suggestion to start with a goal race & then go from there is spot-on.

  12. Great tips! I need to start planning!

  13. These are great tips! Last year, a friend of mine had a goal to run a 5k every month. I decided to join her. We made it through August lol. Maybe 2018 might be better!

  14. Yes! I haven’t registered for any races yet in the new year. It’s beyond time.
    Celia (Chicago Jogger) recently posted…Instant Pot Chocolate Peppermint Rice PuddingMy Profile

  15. Angela @marathonsandmotivation.com says:

    These are all great tips! Believe it or not, my race year for 2018 is planned already!!

  16. Ive done so many racecations when I first started this running journey that I think I’m “over” all the anxiety of packing and flying and such. I much prefer races I can drive to!

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