For the month of May we’re looking at milestones and personal growth. One of the ways that research shows us we can achieve this is through the completion of something – i.e. being able to tick it off the list – so for this week’s Body blog we’re talking about completing a running race.
There are many races in the calendar year that may take your fancy whether you’re a beginner or more advanced. There are 5km fun walk/runs, the 9km Bridge run, the 14km City to Surf, the Great Ocean Road half marathon, a full marathon, and the 100km Oxfam Trail walk. You can’t say there aren’t options!
Completing any one of these races carries with it a sense of self-achievement, pride and honesty to yourself. Your head can really get the better of you, especially in the longer races, so it’s a great way to get in touch with what you’re trying to achieve and conquer that inner critic.
So here are the top reasons that other people have told us they LIKE competing in races.
1. Motivation for your training. We all tend to fall in the trap of a motivational slump, particularly at this time of year as the mornings are darker and the weather is colder! Registering for a race and committing to it is a great way to pull you out of it and inject new energy into your potentially stale workout. Training for a race doesn’t have to be just all running either. In fact, it SHOULDN’T be. You should be including agility training, strength training along with endurance training to mix up your workout and prepare your body.
PRACTICAL: Write down a realistic race that you want to compete in for 2017.
2. Personal growth. Nothing beats the thrill of crossing the line on your first, fifth or one-hundredth race. Not only will you overcome the physical obstacles, but the mental ones as well. A race, big or small, is more often than not a mental battle to overcome your doubt, questioning, and self-perceived flaws. When you finish the race, for even that split second, those thoughts are quashed and you will notice a change in your own ability to overcome things in your everyday life.
PRACTICAL: Write down your biggest fear in relation to competing in a race. Having it on paper, or sharing it with someone halves the problem and helps you to get back in control over it.
3. A bonding experience. Competing in a race is a great way to bond with family, friends, or even work colleagues. You will get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses leading up to the race through your training, which will not only help you to get through the race but will bring you closer together. Most races allow you to register as a team and build momentum together. It’s a great way to make time to spend with people that you want to get to know better or build a stronger connection with – all while getting fit!
PRACTICAL: Encourage your work colleagues to participate in the next race with you and offer an incentive for when you all finish together.
4. You can support a great cause. Most organised runs have some charity that they are affiliated with, but even if they don’t, you can always start your own fundraising activities for the run. Utilise social media and encourage a bit of friendly competition to see who can raise the most money. You could even put up an prize for the biggest fundraiser in your team!
PRACTICAL: Set a dollar target for yourself or your team on a Facebook page and get fundraising!
5. It boosts your overall health goals. We now know that health is much more than just the physical, but getting the body moving is often the best way to kick start your other health goals. Training for a race requires great nutrition to fuel your training and get the body in peak condition. It also is a great way to master the mind to calm the body, and working on mindset mantras and meditation exercises can really help for preparation and during a race.
PRACTICAL: Write down three health goals that relate to the race and implement them during your training.
We talked last week about having something to be able to say you’ve accomplished for 2017 and a race is a great way to do it. So get researching the race that’s right for you and start training!