Here’s why I think entering a sporting event is a great fitness goal to have!I love sporting events. Running races, obstacle courses, aquathlons, triathlons, duathlons (anything ending in lon) – you name it, I want to be a part of it. But, believe it or not, I love entering them for more than just the medal and the t-shirt. I think there are at least 5 great reasons to enter a sporting event near you now, and here they are (if you have any you want to add, then leave a comment below!).
1. It’s a reason to train that will keep you accountable
When you have a race in mind, it allows your training to become very tailored, focussed and consistent – it has a purpose and an end goal! If you know you have a race in four weeks, you are way more likely to get yourself out on the road for that run than if you were just doing it to “get fitter”! With the race looming, all of a sudden your training takes on a new purpose, and your motivation level increases. Perfect if you’re one who tends to make excuses when it comes to your training.
2. An organised sporting event gives you a time limit for your goal
With the race as your deadline, there is an end in sight, and an idea of how progressive your training needs to be in order to be race day ready. If you have six weeks until your 10km race, and you are currently running 5km at a time, you know you need to start gradually increasing your long run so that you are confident you can complete the race distance. Because you have this time limit, you can’t keep putting off your incremental distance increases (unless you want to seriously suffer come race day). The race date gives you a time based goal to structure your training around. (I can help you with tailored progressive training plans if you’re getting stuck!).
3. The level of personal achievement and satisfaction is high
All your effort and hard work in your training has a pay off! It culminates into a race day performance that you will be so proud of! Think about this – going for a Sunday 10km run is fine. It’s an effective and moderately enjoyable (for some) way to stay fit. But that feeling of completing an organised event (even when it is still 10km on a Sunday) is soooo much more satisfying! You feel like you’ve taken part in something bigger. Shared the pain, the nerves and the excitement with others and can give each other a metaphorical group pat on the back (or literally!) when you cross the finish line.
4. You get to test yourself in race conditions
There’s nothing quite like a little healthy competition to see what you’re capable of. When you’re out training on your own, it is so easy to sit back in your comfort zone (and trust me on this – as a PT it is my job to constantly push people out of this!). But when you get to race day, and you see the effort and determination of others around you, coupled with the rising nerve induced adrenaline, something might just switch, and you could well be seeing a personal best time come out of the race! Even if competiveness isn’t your thing, just being surround by other participants is naturally lifting and encouraging. It’s an atmosphere I love and would love everyone to experience! It’s not very often these days that we get to feel that nervous excitement that comes with an amateur race, with no real negative implications of the actual result.
If even the thought of getting to a race fills you with dread, then I’ve prepared a handy checklist for a variety of races that means you don’t need to fear about rocking up unprepared come race day. One less thing to worry about!
5. You might just meet your tribe!
Whether it’s in your race preparation, joining a club to train with, or on the actual race day, if you are doing an activity you enjoy, then you are likely to meet like minded people who you might just get a long with! And when you find your people, everything is good : )
From my experience, races are welcoming, motivating and jam packed with people who, whilst there for themselves, want to encourage and cheer on everyone else who has made the effort to enter, train for, and turn up to the race! This camaraderie is what keeps me coming back. Wherever I am, I’m always looking up races to attend, and whilst generally going on my own, I tend not to be alone for long! It’s always someone’s first race, someone else’s 100th race, or someone’s chance to get a PB. Everyone is there for a personal reason, but ultimately the goal is the same – to complete the race. And after your first race, you might just get hooked.
Where to find a race near you
If you’re in Bahrain and you’re looking for a race, check out these resources:
Alternatively, in the UK you can search on:
Let me know what races you’re doing. If I’m ever nearby, I’d definitely love to join you!
Related: How to train for a Half Ironman