When confronted with a fitness rut, it can be difficult to regain momentum. Choosing an event or a race can really focus your workouts and reenergize your efforts. With so many races available, it can be difficult to narrow it down. Here are few tips to help you choose the best fit for you.
Training for a run or walk involves relatively little time spent on maintaining your equipment or improving your comfort level with a new skill. While completing your first triathlon can be an incredibly meaningful challenge, training for the event will require time spent outside of workouts on equipment maintenance and preparation.
“While preparing for the 8k in the Mayor’s Marathon in Anchorage, AK, I trained 4 days a week leaving open Monday, Wednesday and Fridays for my rest days. These were typically my busiest days and I could change around my schedule if I needed to adjust days. It was all about getting the miles done for that week and not as much about performance.” -Bob Najduk, Brand Manager, Horizon Fitness
Think about the day of the event and what is likely to make it successful for you. If you just can’t run without your iPod®, you will need to do your homework before registering to find out if they are allowed on the racecourse. You may also want to look for well-planned crowd support, fun supporting events, or a beautiful location.
“When running the Madison Marathon, I inspired not to let down the other people I had trained with.” -Sales Coordinator, Horizon Fitness
Athletes and novices choose their events for different reasons. Consider participating in an event that benefits a charity or cause that you care about. You can also choose to dedicate your effort to the memory of a loved one or the efforts of someone fighting an illness. Another recent trend is the development of eco-running, where you center your running workouts on creating a better environment.
“When I first did Race for the Cure, I stayed motivated by thinking about how my Amma (grandma) had had cancer multiple times and what she must have gone through with her treatment. I thought that if she can handle having chemo so many times, I can handle running for a while longer. No matter how much I thought that continuing to run sucked, I was sure that chemo sucked worse.” -Alona Tate, Customer Technical Support, Horizon Fitness
Training for your event may require sacrifice from your immediate family. An option is to enlist their support by involving them in your training or the event. Many races have stroller divisions and offer walk and run/walk options. During training runs, you may be able to involve your children by having them accompany you on a bike or in the jogging stroller. On the day of the event, family members can also participate with you or as part of the much needed crowd support.
“When I told my family that I was going to do Ironman, they thought I was crazy, but I’m not sure that they really understood how far the race was until they came to support and cheer me on at the race. Many of my friends helped me with training during the year. When I would go home to visit my family they would even bike along side me for long runs or run with me too.” -April Beard, Assistant Product Manager, Horizon Fitness
When choosing a new event or activity, let your first attempt be about completing, rather than competing. Enjoy the journey and focus on staying healthy.
“Crossing the finish line of any race is a huge personal accomplishment. I don’t participate to win and I don’t always run my best, but I know that I trained hard for the event and went out there to have fun. There is so much energy on race day and just being out there with the other runners is truly an inspiring experience.” -Kristin Gritt, Marketing Specialist, Horizon Fitness
Have you competed in a race for a cause? What motivated you? How did you involve your family or friends? Tell us your story.