Why You Should Run A 5k Road Race…

by:  ellis j. still

By nature, we are inspired by other human beings in our quest to be better. One of my virtual mentors, Michael Hyatt (see blog roll) recently created a post titled “Why You Should Sign Up for a Half Marathon”. A half marathon is not at all in my sights, but when I was diagnosed with diabetes, I set a goal of running a 5k (3.1 miles) run this year. I even got my wife into it, and she is the last person you would see running anywhere  :- ) 5k really isn’t that far to run, and there are many ways to prepare for it. So, it doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a seasoned veteran… you too can participate in 5k runs this year.  

The weather will be ~26 degrees for another two weeks, so in order to start preparing, I am using the stairs inside my house along with researching aerobic workout shows on my local sports channel on TV. For when the weather breaks, Runners World (www.runnersworld.com) has training programs for beginners specific to the 5k run that I will utilize, which will walk you through how to slowly transition your body. The website really demystifies getting into enough shape so that anyone can participate in runs such as these.

My wife’s personal trainer, Pam Turner (www.turneroundfitness.com or www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=48017106312) makes fitness really fun and interactive. She has fit-camps, weight-loss challenges, and one-on-one sessions available that my wife and I intend to utilize to prepare us for the run. She also gives tips on nutrition, and is my facebook nutrition guardian angel of sorts. Every so often I make the mistake of posting on facebook when I have eaten something totally bad for me (like funnel cakes). Pam is right there to gently but sternly give me a hard time… reminding me of my health goals  :- )  Getting into shape does not have to be boring or mundane. Like anything else, you get out of it whatever you put into it.

Some of the benefits of running a 5k include: 

  • Get your body into shape: It is a known fact that exercising improves your mental capacity, making you more efficient at work. It also boosts your metabolism, providing for higher energy levels. Weight loss is also a byproduct of training in conjunction with a proper diet and adequate rest.
  • Support a cause: There are many 5k runs throughout the year, and most are fundraisers for a cause. You can give back to your community while also using it as a means to get in shape as well.
  • Meet people / fellowship: You get to meet a diversity of people. Some people travel a distance to compete in many 5k runs across the country, and while it may not be that deep for you, in the runs that you do participate in, you will be sure to meet and hang out with new and exciting people from near and far.   

I used Runners World to find races in my area. They have a “race finder” tool, where you can search for races of varying lengths… from 1 mile runs to marathons.

My first run will be April 24, 2010 in Newark, NJ. Will you be joining me?

© 2009, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved

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