Feeling inspired after watching three of my good friends cross the finish line at this weekend's Rock & Roll Los Angeles 1/2 Marathon, and as a running coach and competitor, I felt compelled to write about the pure magic of race day.
For those of you who have never embraced the race - whether a 5K, a charity walk, a triathlon, or a marathon - it is a definite must to help navigate holiday stress, stay motivated during the winter months, and achieve a unique sense of self-confidence and accomplishment before the year is over.
The holidays are a great time to pick up a race for many reasons. First - who couldn't use a little extra training and a lot of extra sweat? From Halloween candy through Thanksgiving turkey and into Christmas and Hanukkah sweet treats, it's a great time to pick up a calorie-burning challenge. Second, events are plentiful (especially in the mild weather of Southern California!) - from Halloween "pumpkin fun runs" to Turkey Trots to Santa-clad road races, there is no shortage of holiday-themed races to get you excited and having fun with exercise. Third, picking a race that is doable for every fitness level - such as a walk or short run course with a kids' division - means that the whole family can participate, building a new and healthy holiday tradition.
So where can you go to find a race worth your competitive effort? If you're a Southern California local, try Raceplace Online - a great collection of upcoming events with local flavor, including the South El Monte Pumpkin 5K & 1K Kids Spooky Fun Run, the Dana Point Turkey Trot 5K and 10K, or the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas 5K/10K.
Not a SoCal local? Not to fret! Running in the USA lists a nationally comprehensive bank of upcoming races, state-by-state, to help you find a great event in your greater metropolitan area.
The final step, of course, is to get training! Make sure to allow between 4 and 12 weeks to train (depending on the length of the race and your current fitness level) and get in touch with a professional bene-fit coach to make sure you're on the right track. bene-fit offers training plans for everything from your first 5K to a Boston-qualifying marathon, so check us out for more information on endurance event training and group coaching programs.
Take the time now and find your bene-fit in the waning months of 2010!