Advertising
Advertising

Why You Should Sign Up for Your First 5K Race

Why You Should Sign Up for Your First 5K Race

If you are someone who is interested in finding more motivation to do your workout sessions and also wants to boost your cardiovascular conditioning level at the same time, one of the top things that you should be focusing on is finding a reason to get the sessions done. Many people enter their workout program without much more than a body weight goal in mind, and while this will help motivate you to an extent, it’s often not enough to keep you pushing along when times get hard. That is why signing up to participate in your first 5K event – or longer, depending on your physical condition and what you think you can handle – is such a wise move. When you sign up to one of these events, you’ll instantly see a soar in motivation as you now have a clear reason to keep working hard towards each workout you do. Let’s go over some additional reasons why signing up for a 5k race can help you see greater workout success.

You’ll Meet Like-Minded People

The very first reason you should consider signing up for a 5k race is because it will give you the opportunity to meet a number of like-minded people. Having people around you who are active and support your goals is one of the number one ways to stay committed to the fitness lifestyle. If you don’t have many friends at the moment who are into working out and eating right, this could prove to be rather disastrous on your own program plan. Therefore, it’s time to meet others who share your interest and will help to keep you motivated and inspired. Your 5k race is a perfect way to do this.

Advertising

You’ll Push Yourself Harder Every Step of the Way

The next reason why it’s a smart move to sign up for a 5k race is because it’s going to help you push yourself harder every step of the way. If you’re just exercising to lose weight, your primary purpose for a session will be to burn calories. However, you can accomplish a calorie burn working at 80% effort or 60% effort – it doesn’t really make a difference as long as you exercise long enough. When performance is the primary goal because you need to run for time now, you will be giving a higher level of effort because it now becomes that much more critical to your success. If you are someone who often finds yourself giving half effort in the workout sessions you do, this is a very smart way to trick your mind into working harder – without you really even realizing you are. Whenever you give someone a performance oriented goal, their effort will typically go up.

Advertising

You’ll Bring Out Your Competitive Spirit

For many people, this spirit hasn’t been worked since grade school when they may have participated in a team sport of choice or some other competitive event or race, yet it’s still an important part of you that adds excitement to your fitness regime and can help increase your performance as well. In fact, some may find that this competitive spirit is one of the most enjoyable elements of being physically active and after you complete that first 5k race, you are hooked and hungry for more. For certain individuals, it’s one of the top ways to help them stay committed to fitness for life as they now feel like they have a superior reason for training rather than just being healthy and maintaining a goal weight.

Advertising

You’ll Gain a Sense of Accomplishment

Finally, the last reason to consider signing up for your first 5k race is because it will help you gain a sense of accomplishment. As far as keeping your motivation levels higher go, this simply can’t be beat. The more accomplished you are as you reach goals you’ve set, the more you will believe in yourself that you can go on to reach any other goal that you set into the future. This is referred to as self-efficacy and can make a big difference on your ability to succeed long term. If you’ve set goals in the past that you’ve failed at for instance, you know very well that this may cause your motivation to take a turn for the worse. But, if you set goals and reach them, you now feel like you can achieve anything you set your mind to, so you’re far more likely to keep setting goals and pushing on towards them. This translates to far greater results over the long haul. There you have some of the top reasons why you should consider joining, training for and participating in your first 5k race. Even if you aren’t a runner, there are plenty of other similar races out there that you can do that will spark your interest and get your fitness level up. Check out what’s available in your area or if you really want to make an event of it, look into travel options so that you can take a mini-holiday as you participate in the race as well.

Advertising

More by this author

4 Ways To Boost The Intensity Of Your Workout Without Adding More Weight Workout Failure 3 Reasons You Aren’t Seeing Workout Success 5 Killer Tips To Banish Your Love Handles Now Grilled Apples 3 Delicious Low-Fat Summer Cookout Recipes 6 Quick Diet Swaps You MUST Start Making

Trending in Fitness

1 How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle to See Results Fast 2 How to Start Exercising Right Now (And Stick to It) 3 7 Interval Training Exercises Best for Beginners 4 7 Strategies on How to Motivate Yourself to Work out 5 11 Resistance Band Exercises for Legs

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

Advertising

If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

Advertising

Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

Advertising

Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

    Advertising

    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next