Try a Race!

Everyone wants to be healthier, lose weight, and get on a regular exercise program. Progress with a goal like that is often hard to measure and keep up with. The best method I have found to reach goals of working out regularly or eating healthy is to find a race or physical challenge, some measureable goal that I have to work towards. First, you have to pay money to enter a race, and since we all hate wasting money that helps keep you on track with a workout program. It also holds you accountable towards reaching your goal. You know that race day is coming and if you don’t get your butt in gear in time, you won’t be able to finish. Second, once you commit to training for a race, you start to worry about things like proper diet and hydration. It doesn’t seem like such a burden to eat well and take care of yourself because you’re doing it for a race, not because you “have to.”

Moreover, choosing a large public event like a race gives you a feeling of belonging to something larger than yourself, which in turn often drives you to complete a training regiment and helps you to not feel so alone in your decision to be healthy. If you decide to do a race or other large event, you may be able to find a training group to hold you accountable. It is also easy to find a training group if you can find an event that is large enough, and training with a group always lends a hand to meeting a goal, with positive peer pressure and a sense of involvement. Finally, there is the feeling of accomplishment you get when you finish a challenging race or event. That rewarding feeling often leads to bigger goals, which in turn helps you become more and more healthy. I know it can be intimidating to enter a road race or other competition, but just set the bar low the first time. If you’ve never raced before, try a 5k and don’t worry about your time; just try to finish. You might be surprised at how much you are able to accomplish. Once you’ve done it once, you will know how much you are capable of and you can set a higher goal next time.

I plan to enter a race in the near future and I will keep you all posted on how my training is going. Tomorrow, Sara will update us on her crazy training for the 24 hour race in January. What are you training for?



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