Like many people, you probably hear stories from friends and colleagues about running, cycling or swimming vast distances on the weekends all the time. They might even try to encourage you to sign up to race with them – but getting involved can feel intimidating when you’ve never done it before.
Luckily, there are lot of good reasons to bite the bullet and sign yourself up. Read our guide below if you need some final convincing…
It will motivate you to exercise
Running a longer distance such as a marathon or ultra-marathon can’t be done without a certain amount of training. Committing to one of these events will force you to get out and practice, and take other regular steps to improve your fitness through diet and other strength training – even beyond the event itself.
It can help you get better at your sport
Getting involved in a challenging event can push you to learn new skills that will help to improve your future fitness. You’ll learn new techniques for conserving energy, building endurance, exercising efficiently and pushing toward that final sprint finish, as well as how to manage nutrition, hydration and injuries during a race.
You can raise money for a good cause
You can raise money for charity through races of all distances. These take part the world over (especially for fun runs and several 5km runs) and can be great motivators – especially if there’s a cause that’s particularly close to your heart. Plus, getting your friends and colleagues to sponsor you can give you a new network of support to follow through on your commitment.
You’ll meet new people
Many people are surprised by the camaraderie that they experience during a challenging race. By signing up, you’ll be joining a unique community of racers – with many of them in the same boat as you. More experienced racers remember how it was for them in the beginning: they will help to cheer you on and pick you up so that you make it to the finish.
You can find new inspiration
For many people, completing their first race event sparks off a new thirst for fitness. A good experience will lead you on to try other events, or take new steps to improve your fitness overall. If you’ve had a break from fitness or races – if you’ve had a baby or had time off to recover for an injury – signing up for a race can help to kick-start your routine again.