Also see: 9 Ways to Help Beginner Runners
Run for a cause.Whether you want to help fight cancer, prevent animal cruelty, or support another cause, there are hundreds of organizations that organize races or offer training to help raise awareness or funds. Some of the biggest race series and training programs include the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training, and the American Cancer Society's DetermiNation. Pick your favorite cause and search their website to find out if and when they have races.
Also see: Charity Running Groups
Also see: 7 Ways to Stay Injury-Free
Volunteer at a race.Volunteering at a race is a great way to give back to the running community and experience the fun, excitement, and motivation of a race (without the performance anxiety!). Volunteers typically help with registration, crowd control, passing out water, or the much-coveted job of placing medals around finishers' necks. If you've never run a road race before, volunteering is an excellent way to get your feet wet before you take the plunge and sign up for a race. And runners can also save money by volunteering at races because many races usually give their volunteers incentives, such as free race registration or running gear.
Race directors are always looking for people willing to donate time. To get involved with a local road race, contact your local road runners club. Or, if you want to volunteer for a big event, such as a marathon, check out the volunteer opportunities section on the race's web site. Seeing the smiles of appreciation and gratitude from runners will definitely make it worth your time and get you motivated to train for your next race.
Also see: How to Be a Friendly Runner
Benefits of Group Running
5 Ways to Be a More Social Runner
Set a new PR.Trying to beat your personal record at a specific race distance is always a fun and motivating challenge. Of course, once you reach a certain age, beating a PR from your younger years can be completely unrealistic. So focus on creating new challenges, such as decade PRs, where you try to beat your personal best in that distance during the last ten years. Or, if you reached a milestone or had a life-changing event, like having a baby, try to beat your best time since that event.
Also see: How to Run a Faster Marathon
Tips for Running Faster
Try a new distance.Running the same race distance over and over can get monotonous and boring. Add a little variety this year by finding some new races at different distances, and maybe even branching out and doing a trail race or a relay race. You may even want to think about checking a specific dream destination race off your bucket list.
Also see: How to Find Local Races