One of the great things about being a fitness enthusiast is that it can be a lifelong passion. Eating right and exercising keep us feeling young and healthy. However, there are going to be times when even the most disciplined of us let down some and get away from these positive habits. When that happens, one great way to get back to it, and possibly even achieve new heights, is to sign up for a competition. There are all different kinds of competitions to consider, from a 5k run to an Ironman Triathlon. If you feel that you have been slacking off in training and your diet and you know that you are not in the kind of shape that you want to be in, consider registering for an event.
If nothing else, registering for an event will get you motivated to get out and exercise. There is a sense of urgency that comes when you are exercising that you would not otherwise have. For example, I agreed to run the Army 10-miler in late March of 2010. I had never done a road race before; not even a 5k. The run was not until October, so I thought I had plenty of time. Shortly after signing up, I jogged a slow 2 miles and felt like I was going to die. After that, I became motivated to get out and run and was soon pumping out 6 and 7 mile runs with ease. When the time for the 10-miler came, I was ready and I finished it pretty easily.
One of the bad habits that many fitness enthusiasts pick up is a lack of focus in training. Just go to the gym and hit the treadmill or exercise bike for a bit, then maybe lift a few weights, and head home. Registering for a fitness event will give you a sense of purpose in your training. You will start thinking about your workouts ahead of time, make a plan, and stick to it. If you fail to accomplish your mission, for any reason, you will feel angry with yourself. That failure will spur you on to a better workout the next time.
Picking an Event
Deciding what event to do can be difficult. You should focus on events that will challenge you but not to any extreme. For example, if you have never done an organized event, starting with a 5k is probably a good idea. Once you have a 5k or two under your belt, then you can consider a bigger challenge, like a half-marathon. My next series of articles will focus on some of these different types of fitness events and provide some training tips for you should you decide to enter one.
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