Why be a part of an event, challenge or a race? Good question! A lot of people have asked me about joining some event like a fun run or a fitness challenge. So I ask them what caught their attention about it. The answer is almost always, "Because I need motivation." Then I question them why they are asking me in the first place. "I'm intimidated." they sheepishly answer. Now we have something to work with here. It's important to understand why you are attracted to the event and whether it is a good place to start for you.
Most people look for motivation to start something new. Getting started is tough. Our bodies aren't used to the activity, whether running, walking, hiking, biking, or swimming for a distance. Given enough time, we can devise a workout plan to be able to handle beginning something new. There are great training plans on Active.com to get started or to take it to the next level. You should feel challenged by the activity you choose, but not overwhelmed.
Some people need a reason to get moving again. Embarrassingly for some people who have been active for a long time, being out of the grove, a little motivation is a start to moving again. Life happens. Most of the time we can't change what comes at us, but we can arrange our time to recover. The appeal of a special event or fitness challenge is a sign your ready to move again. Sometimes you may need a bit of help getting into your zone again. Find a personal trainer who specializes in your event and train with him or her for a few sessions to avoid injury. Also, be sure to have the proper shoes and good workout clothes for the activity. If you cycle, have your bike tuned up at your local bike shop to avoid problems along the way. If you rollerblade, make sure your wheels are in good working order.
Some people are intimidated by the event. Of course, events can be intimidating, but finding out more about it will help quell any fears. Some of the best ones to begin are for charities. Race for a Cure, Relay for Life, MS Walk, Arthritis Jinglebell Run, among others are great for beginners. Some people I knew newly diagnosed with diabetes began their lifestyle of fitness with Tour de Cure. Not only did they raise funds for diabetes research, they slimmed down and got their blood sugar under control. If you are just starting or re-entering fitness, this a a great way to go!
Why join Rackin' Up the Miles this summer? It's a way to help you get moving and keep moving all summer. You can do this even in conjunction with any event! In fact, I would encourage you to do it! I decided to offer something less stressful to help you stay healthy and active without the competition. You compete against YOU! Yes, summer can be busy. Who isn't? If you miss a week for vacation, no sweat. Just start up when you get back. In fact, you can pick hiking or walking while on vacation to add up your miles! I will be out of town next week, so I will be missing a week's worth of miles, too. The goal is to see how many miles you can do from June 1 to August 31! If you miss the June 1st deadline, I will keep sign-ups open through Saturday, June 11. You can compare yourself with others in the challenge, support and encourage each other, and share tips and helps to keep going. Do what you do best: walk, run, hike, bike, rollerblade, swim. Stuck indoors? No problem! Treadmills, ellipticals, and other indoor cardio equipment have mileage counters. If you can't find out how to get that info, use your time and miles per hour. For example, if you walk 30 minutes on the treadmill at 3.2 miles per hour, you went approximately 1.5-1.7 miles. Report your miles to me daily or weekly so I can help you track the entire time. I will post your screen name and mileage with others online so you can see how you are doing compared to others. Your averages will show up weekly. Super simple! Sign up now!
Do you have Map My Run? It's a great app to track your mileage when you don't have an activity tracker or mile marker. It's free and easy to use. This picture on the left is a screen shot of mine from Monday's 22 mile ride. I took it at the 10 mile marker when we stopped to rest. 1.9 is walking speed, by the way! We averaged between 10-14.5 mph on our ride. There are some things to know, though. The display is always on while you are working out. That means you could run down your charge before you're done! YIKES! Mine was giving me the low battery signal just before mile 20. Here is where it got really strange. I stopped the counter at 20 miles, then shut off my phone when I got off my bike. When I re-charged it and turned my phone back on, it evidently started the clock doubling my time, etc! At any rate, I burned about 650+ calories during that ride. Not shabby!
My hubby has a Fitbit, but can never seem to keep the charging cord where he can find it. Now we have the charging cord, but no Fitbit! Work gave that to him, so he bought one for himself that also has the heart rate monitor. They are handy pieces of technology for your fitness needs. I hope to have less expensive activity trackers for sale this Fall. it will depend on the number of people purchasing them on the cost. Most run $120+. I would like to have them for sale $90 or less.. I will keep you updated.
Watch for more fitness challenges here at Totally Fit 4 Life. Please, if you have input for Fall's challenge, send it to me at email@example.com or message me on social media: Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
Bottom line: Unless you are entering a Tough Mudder or an Iron Man Triathalon never having been in any event or competition, go for it! You will get started toward a lifetime of fitness!
May God bless you!