With only a couple weeks before 2009, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to pencil out next year’s race calendar. With the cost of registration fees increasing as race day gets closer, it always helps to save a few dollars by registering in advance.

Here is how I am planning 2009:

Print out a Calendar (Link)
Let’s be green and try to use the back side of scratch paper for now. We can move it to it’s final position later since there may be a lot of scratching out and erasing initially.

Choose the Events:
I usually pick one race a month, regardless of if you think you’ll be ready. When I say ‘pick’ I don’t mean register, think of it as a wish list. If you could race that month, which would it be. Be practical and think local for the majority but don’t be afraid to mark down some that are in other far away cities/countries. If you choose a race that isn’t local for the month, also pencil a local event in case the ‘out of towner’ doesn’t pan out. Also include some Half Marathons and 5 or 10ks. It doesn’t really matter right now how many you pencil in since you will be marking which ones are ideal later.

Set Goals:
If you are looking to PR, choose which race you are targeting and work backwards. I’m looking to PR at Big Sur in April, so any full marathons that I marked in Jan-Mar are out since I plan on
concentrating on training. However, 10ks and Half Marathons are good to use as training runs. If you are at a position where you can use a race distance (full marathons and ultra marathons included) as a training run, it is a great way to see how prepared you are for your goal. This strategy can work for multiple races annually.

Hopefully that process will give you some insight into planning for 2009. Remember running is an individual thing so what works as a plan for me, might not be ideal for you. Runner’s World has some great training plans along with charity programs such as Team In Training. Find out what will work best for you.

Here is my current list of races in 2009: 

*In bold red are the events, I plan in participating for 2009. But am still looking for an Oct-Dec. Full Marathon.
Jan: Carlsbad Marathon – Carslbad, CA
Feb:  Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon – San Francisco, CA
Apr: Boston Marathon – Boston, MA – We can all dream, can’t we?
Apr: Big Sur International Marathon – Carmel, CA
May: San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon – San Diego, CA
June: Mayor Newsom’s Stadium to Stadium 10k – San Francisco, CA
July: RunSF Half and Full Marathon – San Francisco, CA 
Sept: Lake Tahoe Marathon – Lake Tahoe, CA
Oct: San Jose Rock n Roll Half Marathon – San Jose, CA 
Oct: Chicago Marathon – Chicago, IL
Nov: New York City Marathon – New York, NY
Dec: Las Vegas Marathon – Las Vegas, NV

If you have any other event suggestions or training tips, please feel free to share…