Looking to register for your next (or first!) road race but not sure how to start searching? While a variety of factors will impact your race selection, your current fitness level, the time of year you want to run, and the course difficulty and running distance are among the most important. Get the tips you need for selecting an event, plus must-have training apps, below.

Pick a Running Distance That Fits

Spent the summer relaxing instead of training or running races? We all need a break every once in a while, but it’s important to be realistic when determining your fall race schedule. If you’ve been participating in light exercise, like swimming, sign up for a shorter race like 5 or 10K races. If you’ve been hitting the road several times a week for runs longer than three miles, Runner’s World suggests registering for fast 10K races or a half-marathon race. Just be sure to start training at least 12 weeks before race day.

Think About the Weather

Depending on your location, temperatures can dip significantly from summer highs throughout the months of October and November. While year-round running in these areas isn’t out of the question, you’ll want to make sure you can comfortably train in the weeks leading up to the race. If running races in chilly temperatures doesn’t sound appealing, consider registering for an early-spring race and train throughout the winter.

Check Out the Course

Take a look at the course of the race you’re considering before you commit and make sure it will work with your training terrain. If you live in a hilly area, that big incline towards the finish of your race should be no problem. If you don’t, make sure to find one — or hit the treadmill on an incline — as you train.

Try a New App

If you’re still looking for the right race, or need a little motivation to keep training, look no further than your smartphone for the boost you need. Achieve your race goals and look for the right event: Race Finder provides information about races at every distance across the country. Once you’re registered check out Ghost Race Pro or the Nike+ running app to log your workouts, share your times with friends and race against your “ghost” self to clock your best times yet.