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Hot Chocolate races great for training, fun and experience

As a runner and running coach, I know the importance of being selective of races to target for maximum effort. Not every race can be an “A’ race, otherwise the athlete could easily burn out.

I recommend to my athletes — and myself — to pick out several races as “A” races and use the others as either training runs or to just enjoy the experience. For me the Allstate Hot Chocolate in Indianapolis is a good way to get back into racing, enjoy the race and devour the chocolate.

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Hot Chocolate Indianapolis race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro ambassador, and check out to review find and write race reviews.

There is still time to join me for the March 30 in Indianapolis by signing up here. If you use my promo code BRHCIndy you will receive a Hot Chocolate arm band.

Past history, future chocolate

I have been looking forward to the Hot Chocolate race throughout my training cycle for next month’s Boston Marathon and my first 100K, the Ultra Race of Champions. By scheduling fun races or those in which the athlete is not going to give a 100 percent full effort, it helps focus their mindset on their primary goals while also giving them a solid race experience to test nutrition, gear and see how their fitness is progressing.

My history with the Hot Chocolate race series includes last year’s Indianapolis event and the St. Louis 15K in December 2017.

• Due to a forecast that called for an ice storm last March, race organizers cancelled the 15K and had all registrants do the 5K. As I was in training, I arrived early and ran a 10K around Indianapolis, finishing just in time for the start of the 5K. The race itself was fun and a good test for my foot as I was returning from an injury.

• The St. Louis Hot Chocolate race occurred at the end of my racing calendar In 2017. My goal was to have fun, and I did. I decided to run with the 8:30 group and after a while I increased my pace and ended up with a 1:16:28 for the 15K. Then it was time to enjoy the fruits, well chocolates, of our labor with the post-race feast.

Final thoughts

I am especially pleased that the Hot Chocolate series is now partnering with Honey Stinger, which makes tasty, gluten-free waffles and gels for endurance athletes. I use Honey Stinger regularly with my training and racing so this will be a great way to continue to test them during a “B” race.

Whether you see a Hot Chocolate race as a goal race, training run or fun experience, there are plenty of good options in some of America’s favorite cities.

The Hot Chocolate race series runs from October through April in roughly 20 cities including Atlanta, Chicago and San Diego. If you are looking for a stress-free, fun race to close the season or bridge the gap between serious races, consider a Hot Chocolate race. I outlined five good reasons why I jumped into the Indy race again.

See you in the line for chocolate.

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