Now that summer has officially arrived, every weekend you will find a wide variety of endurance races taking place all across the country. Distances vary, ranging from 5k to 100+ mile running events, triathlons, bike tours, obstacle course races, fun runs and the list goes on. For the sake of time and efficiency, we will refer to all of it as endurance racing and then highlight specific sports, such as running, cycling, swimming, climbing, hiking, etc.
Endurance racing is awesome and it’s growing in popularity. Part of its appeal is that it’s the easiest, most accessible sport for people to get involved in. As human beings we instinctively know how to run. While it may not look pretty or take us very far, barring any physical barriers, we can do it. Endurance racing is a perfect place to start for someone looking to get involved in sports and participate without much logistical effort or money.
Remember, you don’t have to be athletic to be an athlete. Endurance racing is accessible to all who are ready to challenge their limits. There are competitive races for time and there are races that celebrate the accomplishment of simply finishing the race. It is easy to find a race that fits you and challenge your limits, whatever they may be.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can just get off the couch and run a marathon. To be successful at whatever endurance race you choose, make sure to give yourself enough time to train effectively. When you invest yourself into the training process, putting in the time, energy and sweat, by race day you will find your accomplishment to be much more fulfilling. You’ll also discover capabilities within yourself you might not otherwise have known about.
7 Races to Train For
(various events offered
throughout the country)
Swim 4 Life Provincetown
Ironman New Orleans 70.3
LAs Vegas Rock n’ Roll
Gay Games Paris 2018
(Running, Cycling, Swimming events offered)
Here are some excellent tips to help you get into endurance racing:
CHOOSE A RACE
As mentioned above, there are countless events from which to choose. For you, find one that looks like it would be fun, new and perhaps even outside your comfort zone.
Be sure to choose one that gives you at least 6-8 weeks of training time. For longer distance events, you will need more time to train.
Having an event to look forward to and train for gives your training a sense of purpose and focus that will guide you to constantly improve and challenge your limits.
Remember, do it because you *want* to do it. It’s all about having fun!
It’s OK if you don’t know what to do; you’ll learn more as you go. The first step is taking a step. If you’re training for a running race, start going for runs. If it’s a biking race, get a bike and start going for rides. Whatever it is, just start doing it.
Focus on what you can do and keep with it. Even if you can only run a block, a marathon might seem a long way off. But if you keep pushing your limit, keep practicing and putting out your best effort you will find that one block will turn into two, three, four blocks and you will be that much closer to your marathon.
BIG GOAL, SMALL STEPS
It’s a cliché but it works; remember, the Grand Canyon wasn’t carved in a day. Stay focused on what can you do today … right now … to get closer to your goal. By chipping away at the wall and taking every step, you will find yourself closer to your goal today than you were yesterday.
Remember, every champion athlete has had to start from the beginning. Michael Phelps was afraid to put his face in the water, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and you are just now taking the first step.
SEEK OUT RESOURCES
There is no shortage of people who can help you to succeed. There are hundreds if not thousands of local groups, organizations, teams and people in your area who share a passion for endurance racing. From your local Frontrunners group, LGBTQ+ cycling groups to swim teams. Local running and cycling stores often host group rides and runs as well.
As you train you will meet a lot of people who are involved in the sport in many ways. Endurance racing is quite a large community that will warmly welcome you to be a part of it. Not only will you find new resources to help you learn and grow but you will make new friends, too.
By David Smith
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