June 18, 2024

Friendly Competition? By Mollie Millington

Participation in organized races, from 5Ks to half-marathons, has increased tremendously in the last few years.  People now have triathlons on their bucket lists and run marathon to raise much needed funds for charities. 

Why should you get involved?

Increases motivation- If you have trouble finding a reason to get up and run in the morning (or after work), a race will give you purpose.  It provides a deadline which will motivate you to train within the time frame allotted.  If you register for a charity team, that is another powerful motivator to complete the race as your donors expect you to do so.

Structures training- When you have a specific distance and/or discipline to work on, your training will need to be tailored.  Working with a coach or personal trainer, they can provide you with a schedule that will take the guesswork out of your preparation.  It makes it easier when you can just hop on a bike or lace up your sneakers without worrying about what you need to do. You will have a time or distance to complete and just need to get it done.

Provides you with a new community- Not all of your friends will understand why you are leaving the party early to get up and run on a Saturday morning. When you befriend other runners in the park or on the track, you will meet like-minded people who know exactly what you are going through. These people enjoy the same thing you do- exercise and competition. They might also be good motivators and mentors in the end.

Improves your fitness- This is a no brainer.  If you start running, swimming, or cycling regularly, you will feel healthier.  This will improve your mood, increase strength, decrease stress, and lower blood pressure.

Sense of pride and achievement- When you have your first medal around your neck, it will be an amazing feeling.  You will think back to when you started and how much you have overcome to cross the finish line.  A smile will be on your face for days.  You will feel unstoppable and ready to register for your next event, and maybe even bold enough to increase the distance.

Registering for a race can be scary but it can also be unbelievable motivation to exercise regularly.  It will help focus your exercise sessions, introduce you to new people, make you fitter, and give you a sense of accomplishment the second you cross the finish line.  If you haven’t done so yet, find a race near you and register today.  Look for a realistic distance and be sure to give yourself enough time to train properly.

By Mollie Millington. For more information, go to www.ptmollie.com or via Twitter @PTMollie.

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