Whether it’s a run, hike, triathlon, or adventure race, now is the time to make the commitment and start your training plan. If you are unsure if this type fitness is right for you, here are a few of the many benefits of participating in an organized event.
Positive peer pressure
Training groups provide a motivating support system that will keep you on track. Some fitness events have existing groups that you can join, or consider creating your own. Meeting up at least once per week for a long run or ride will motivate you to keep improving your fitness level so you can accomplish the planned distance with the group.
Exercise with purpose
Heading to the gym day in and day out with a general goal of getting fit or losing weight can quickly become boring. Choosing an event with a timeline and following a training plan makes exercise more interesting. Training for a fitness event gives you a preset goal to focus on for each workout, and throughout the weeks of your training program.
Challenge your fitness
Training isn’t easy, but the challenges will help you reach a fitness level that you may have once thought was impossible. With the right training plan, you will quickly see changes in your endurance and strength, which will serve as an effective source of motivation.
Competing in an event helps you realize that achieving this goal is up to no one else but you. As you draw on inner strength to get through, your toughness will surprise you. Nothing beats that invigorating feeling of accomplishment when you cross the finish line. It’s a feeling of perseverance and success that you can apply to all aspects of your life.
Step towards a long-term goal
Fitness events can serve as valuable stepping stones to get you to more challenging long-term goals. For example, if you’d like to run or walk a half marathon someday, it’s wise to start with shorter races -- both to gradually increase your endurance and to become familiar with how you handle a race environment.
Support a cause
Many fitness events use registration fees to support charities, or they provide opportunities for you to raise money through your training and completion. Knowing that your hard work will benefit someone in need gives you even more motivation to accomplish your goal.
Meet new fitness friends
Surprising things can happen as you wait at the start line or along the course of a race. Friendly conversations can lead to meeting new friends with similar interests in fitness. You may discover a training group to join for your next event, or find the perfect workout partner.
Your healthy choices influence the people around you. You never know how you may affect a friend or loved one who watches as you commit to your plan and finally cross the finish line. You have the opportunity to motivate others to develop healthier habits.