So you’ve just started running. Perhaps you’re even making some progress, panting less, running longer distances, basically not looking like a moron on the road. What would you say if we told you it’s about time to sign up for a race?
“Are you out of your mind? I’d die on the road!” was the answer we got from our friends who had completed our beginner’s running guide.
What if we told you that the joining a race is a great way forward into the runner’s world? Here are 5 reasons to join a race:
1. It keeps you motivated
In the beginning, going out to hit the tracks is all fun and exciting, but the excitement will soon wear off into monotony. If you join a 10K run that is happening in say, two months, you’ll spend those 60 days revving up your training instead of slouching back into the couch. Find a good training plan (there are plenty free ones available online) depending on the type of race you have signed up for and you’ll be all set!
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2. It gives you a sense of purpose
Most of us started running for a reason. To lose weight, to get fit, or to escape in the face of a rhinoceros. Whatever your reasons are, these are long-term goals. Weight loss, for example, can take a long while before you see results, and you might get discouraged. You might feel like your efforts are going to waste, and eventually stop pushing yourself to perform better and keep at your training. A race two months down the road is more immediate will give you something more tangible to work towards.
3. It pushes you to go further
Normally, I could run 4km before I give up and collapse on the ground exhausted. Then one day, my friends egged me to sign up for a 7km “fun” run. I did. And it was anything but fun. But I completed it (with lots of runners behind me too!) and felt invincible. I never thought I could complete a 7km race and signing up for it really gave my training a boost.
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4. It gives you confidence
Once you complete your first race, you’ll realise that your body can achieve anything you put your mind to. It’s hard to gauge how much you have progressed since the beginning of your running journey, but if you sign up for races, they help put some perspective on how far you’ve come. Maybe a year ago you could barely complete a 5K and now you’re doing a half marathon! Sure, it might not be amazing if you compare it to the hardcore marathoners but it’s leaps and bounds ahead of what you started off with!
5. You’re doing something good for someone else too!
Most races (especially the shorter ones) are tied to a charity or a cause. There are so many runs for cancers, for famine, for children’s rights and many more that you can choose to join. The registration fee that you’ve paid usually goes right towards the charities so you know you’re helping someone out while striding forward in your personal goals.
Sign up for your first race and let us know which one in the comments below or on our Facebook page!