Running races can be a fun, motivating, and confidence-boosting experience, but some runners are hesitant to enter their first road race. If you need convincing, here are some reasons to sign up for a 5K, 10K, or other race distance:
There's nothing like a deadline to get you moving. Having a race date circled on your calendar is incredible motivation to keep running. On days when you don't feel like running, you’ll think about how you'll feel if you have to back out of the race or if you try to run it completely undertrained.
2. It will be thrilling.
Crossing the finish line of your first race will be something you’ll remember for a long time. And no matter how many races you've run, it's still a huge rush to finish a race and celebrate your achievement. And that feeling of excitement is addicting -- many former couch potatoes have become hooked on the sport after training for their first road race.
Nervous about running a race? You're not alone. Many new runners are worried about things such as coming in last. Talk to other runners and you’ll realize that they worried about the same things, but were happy they took the plunge into the world of road racing. Facing your fears and overcoming them will really give your confidence a boost as a runner.
4. Your training will have more structure.
If you're the type of person who likes to follow a very specific schedule, you'll love training for a race. Every day you’ll look at your training schedule to see what you need to do, whether it’s running, cross-training, or taking a complete rest day.
5. You'll meet other runners.
Races are a great way for the running community to come together. You'll have plenty of opportunities to meet other runners, whether it's waiting on line at the porta-potties, standing at the starting line, running in the race, or celebrating post-race.
6. You can support a cause.
Many races benefit charities and worthwhile causes, from disaster relief to fighting cancer or other diseases. Running for something that's bigger than you is a great way to stay motivated to keep training and can make your races even more meaningful and fulfilling.
More: Charity Running Groups
7. You'll get a T-shirt.OK, so maybe you don't need any more T-shirts, but the point is that you're getting a little reward for your efforts. And wearing the race T-shirt can also show your pride as a runner and will be a reminder of a fun race or your impressive performance. It maybe even spark some conversations with other runners that you meet at the gym, supermarket, or wherever else you'll happen to be wearing your race T-shirt.
More: Motivational Quotes for Running T-shirts
Also see: How to Find the Right Race to Run