If there is one line that you will hear from any racer – from beginners to experienced marathoners is “I’m too slow”. It seems that there is simply no satisfaction in whatever time they set and it is this mentality that helps them push farther and further than most of us can. This is why participating in a race (like 10k, half-marathon or even a marathon) can not only be beneficial for your fitness, but also for your mental health. Furthermore, most of the people who decide to take on a race (even though they didn’t run before), decide to keep running after the one race that they have been preparing for.
In the past, running races was only for the best, actually in most marathons you could only see competitive racers participating – skinny runners, most of them men, would just run down the road in shorts and some small shirts. Some of them would get some awards and eventually a medal and that was it. Over the years many things have changed – first of all, there are many more races all over the world and they are organized in many different lengths, so you can easily find one that suits for you – from 5k to ultra marathons. When you go on a marathon these days, you will see 20-50 elite runners lined up in the start and thousands and thousands of regular people behind them, also running a marathon or a half-marathon. Running a race has become fun and interesting – there are whole families participating!
When you take the fun part of participating in the race, there are still many reasons to enter. Many people who have started running have found new inspiration and motivation in running over and over – mostly because they are able to do something that they thought was impossible not long ago. Furthermore, running is great to achieve any fitness goals that you might have – it will help you burn fat and be more fit and if you want more muscles, you just have to combine it with a good strength training routine and you will have a six pack in no time!
Keep in mind that if you decide to enter a race, you don’t have to do it competitively, you can enter as a runner looking for a challenge and maybe looking to set a new best time. For beginners is ideal to participate in a local 5k or 10k, maybe even with someone they know – like a friend or a family member. Preparing for a race like this doesn’t take too much time and you only need a good pair of running shoes, which are not that expensive anymore.
What most of the marathoners and half-marathoners will say to you is that winning in a race doesn’t mean coming in first – it means crossing that line. This counts as a win, because you were able to endure something you couldn’t in the past or you were simply faster than what you were before.