Now that March is just around the corner, it may be time to check back in with your New Year’s resolution regarding fitness. You may have lost some of your initial enthusiasm with February and its relentless cold and snow. But things are beginning to look up! The days are getting longer and that means more sunshine and warmer weather are on the way. This is the perfect time to jumpstart your fitness routine, and a great way to do that is by training for an event. There are so many diverse sports activities today, even the most diligent couch potato might find something to get excited about. You could run a road race or maybe go off-road through mud and under barbed wire, or how about cycling 15, 25, 50 or 100 miles, in a supported ride, in Connecticut or beyond? Swimming across Long Island Sound, or maybe just a swimming a half mile or a mile? Kayaking from the Thimble Islands to Mystic? What about a triathlon?
Working out for general health and fitness is a wonderful thing, but sometimes you can lose your momentum and fall off your workout schedule. Even the thought of putting on a bathing suit may not be enough to motivate you! The great thing about putting an event on your calendar is that it gives you a specific reason to train. You can sign up ahead of time, (now is a good time) pay for it, (a financial commitment) and then tell everyone you know that you are doing it. That should put pressure on you to train, if nothing else will!
There are many sites on the internet where you can look for local or national events. Active.com has a variety of events from running, cycling, swimming, triathlon and more. The Warrior Dash series, Spartan Race or the Tough Mudder series are off-road runs that combine challenging terrain and obstacles that can take your running to the next level. The Bloomin Metric and Hat City Cyclefest are Connecticut based bicycle rides where you can pick your distance and ride at your own pace. Swim Across America has open water swim events as well as pool swims here in Connecticut, to raise money for cancer awareness, research, prevention and treatment. And don’t forget we have many road races right here in Brookfield, to raise money for different organizations! You can find most of them on the Brookfield Parks and Recreation site.
Committing to a road race can be scary, especially if you don’t know how to begin. Luckily, there are lots of programs and resources available to help you get started. Online, Couch to 5K and Runner’sWorld.com, can provide you with specific training plans and motivational articles that allow you to work on your own towards different distance races. However, if you’re worried about accountability, there is a course that I run with the Brookfield Parks and Recreation department designed to get you running a 5k in 6 weeks, regardless of your fitness level. The course meets every Saturday beginning April 6th and trains you to run the Mother’s Day 5K on May 12th. You are given specific workouts based on your fitness level and you train with a group on Saturday and on your own during the week.
No matter how you decide to train, picking an event to work towards can be the boost that you need to revisit your workout goals. Whether you decide to use the online resources available, train with a coach or personal trainer, or simply gather several like-minded friends to help you along, having a tangible goal makes working out fun and focused. I hope you find something that works for you!
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