4 reasons to sign up for a race to get back on track

After the short days and cool temps of winter, getting back into your normal spring fitness routine can be challenging, to say the least. If you let your running shoes hibernate for the entire season, it may feel nearly impossible. That’s why signing up for a race is the perfect way to get back on track in terms of fitness. Whether you opt for a 5k, a marathon, or something in between, running a race could benefit your overall wellness routine in various ways. Here are just four of the reasons you should sign up for a spring race:

  1. It gets you into a routine. When you train for a race, you don’t really have any choice but to follow a set running schedule. Skipping an entire week could have serious consequences, like injury on race day or simply decreased endurance and a disappointing run time. Hanging up a calendar with specific goals (e.g., run five miles on Saturday or two miles on Wednesday) may make you more likely to actually get outside. Just the act of writing down specific goals can be a form of motivation in itself. Plus, you have an entire Internet’s worth of help at your fingertips. There are training schedules online, created by experts, for everything from 5ks to marathons, so you won’t even have to devise your own schedule.
  2. You’ll have something healthy to do with friends. If you and your friends usually come together over junk food or cocktails, signing up for a run together will give you a good alternative for entertainment. It’s always more fun running with a buddy, especially if you can find a friend who moves at about the same pace as you. Rope in a pal to do the race with you, maybe someone else struggling to get back into a routine, or round up an entire crew to do the race. You’ll encourage one another and, maybe, find that you’d rather do a weekly running club than a weekly happy hour (if not, that’s cool, too—at least you tried).
  3. Regular running may encourage healthy habits elsewhere. When you start working out regularly, you might find that you’re more motivated to get healthy elsewhere. Maybe that’ll mean cutting back on your weekly intake of booze. It could be that you banish certain junk foods from your apartment and stock up on fruits and veggies instead. Or perhaps it will just result in you craving more time outdoors as opposed to sitting inside and Netflix-bingeing. Embrace the change; it may last longer than your training schedule does.
  4. Competition can help fuel your fitness regime. Maybe you feel little motivation to get on the treadmill by yourself, but when you’re working toward a race PR or jogging alongside a friend, you suddenly push a little bit harder. If you have a competitive personality, use it to stay motivated while you train. Before you know it, you’ll be stronger and faster—and the process to get there may have even been a little bit fun.


5 Reasons Why I Decided to Sign Up for a Running Race After 8 Years [Minneapolis Running]

4 Reasons to Sign Up for a Road Race [Active]

4 Good Reasons to Sign Up for a Race [SparkPeople]