Beginners: Have Fun And Stay Motivated
Because events can help you reach all kinds of goals
How? By racing
ONE OF THE GREAT things about running is that each of us chooses our own destiny. We alone decide where and when to run. We alone decide to race – or not. No one is less of a runner if they don’t race. However, there are several reasons you might want to sign up for an event.
TO GET MOTIVATED
If you’re having trouble getting out the door, having a deadline – in this case, race day – may inspire you to do the workouts needed to properly prepare. For a 5K, that means run-walking every other day or so, working up to a weekly long run of at least three miles. If you’re still on the fence, try spectating at a local race: if you could bottle the energy you’ll find at the start and finish lines, you could run your car for a year on it.
TO PUSH YOURSELF
When runners gather at a race, the excitement inspires us to run harder with less perceived effort. After your first race, you’ll probably want to go faster. We love to improve and races give us an evaluation tool.
If you’re tired of the same old loops, a race in a new location can help you break out of your rut. You can test the terrain and enjoy the scenery, and if you enjoy yourself, you can return for a regular run in the future.
TO SUPPORT A CAUSE
Many small 5Ks exist to raise money. In general, these events support new racers, but there is a wide range of quality in such races. A local running store can tell you which are managed best, but if a cause is truly dear to your heart, you may not care that its ‘5K’ is not precisely 3.1 miles or that organisers run out of snacks before the last finishers arrive.