On September 23rd, myself, my husband and my son-in-law will be lacing up our runners to take part in the Global Energy Race by Dempster’s at Ashbridges Bay Park in Toronto. This run benefits the North York Harvest Food Bank – so for every KM completed by participants, Dempster’s will donate 2 slices of bread. The Global Energy Race is held consecutively on the same day in 23 countries, celebrating physical activity, health and wellness. There is a more challenging 10k run and a 3k family focused run/walk. Exercise and a good cause, what could be better? The 10k timed race is for those who want to challenge themselves and set a personal best.
Have you always wanted to participate in a 10k run but not sure where to start, or even why you’re really doing it? For some, the idea of it can be overwhelming; just thinking about the training and the run itself. But if you are considering upping your fitness game and contributing to a good cause via a community or charity 10k run, here are some things to consider that go beyond the running itself.
- Family activity: Depending on the age of your children, getting the family involved in a 5k or 10k run can create a family fitness goal, and resulting schedules. Time with the kids, exercise and fresh air. As well, often events have family-oriented activities on the day of.
- Support a good cause: Cash donations are always welcome by any fundraising organization, but by participating in a run, you’re not only generating funds, but you are visibly showing your support for a cause, which can be extremely motivating for the organization, and for their loyal supporters.
- Health: One of the obvious benefits is an increase in your overall fitness level, particularly on the cardio side. Many runners need a run goal, and a date in the calendar with a set distance can certainly do that.
- Nutrition: You’ll want to start eating right, to make sure you have the strength and energy to get in a good run. I often run in the morning, so I include a product like Dempster’s 100% Whole Grains Seed Lover’s Bread with CHIA in my breakfast routine.
- Get out there: While training for the run, you’ll get to know your neighbourhood better, you’ll explore trails and paths you weren’t able to access with a car, and it can be a great way to get to know a city or community while traveling.
- Community: Runners have a strong community. If you are new to a city or want to expand your circle of friends, a running group (either by your own creation or by joining an existing one) can do just that. You already have something in common.
- Sleep better: Research shows that exercise is a stress reliever, and with less stress comes better sleep. Additionally, if you know you have to get up at 6:00 to get that early morning run in before work, you’re more likely to eat and drink less the night before, and get to bed at a reasonable hour.
- Sense of accomplishment: It’s not about the medal…but it is a little bit about the medal. It’s the sense of actually finishing something, which can be hard to find if you work in a profession where there aren’t a lot of physical reminders of the work you’re doing, or if you’re mired in the day to day of working and raising children. You did this. You get to own it.
While there are a lot of “pros” on this list, it would be remiss to not address the “cons”. First of all, running isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth it to give it a try before exploring other fitness options. Here’s an advance warning list of some of the normal challenges even the most seasoned runners face
- Fitness level: No matter what your fitness level, you will have limits. Check with your doctor first to talk about your running plan and address any serious issues first. Don’t expect to run a 5, 10, or even 3k your first time out the gate. Start slow and build your success. Push yourself but know when to stop. Days can be different too. One day the 5k is a breeze and the next you’re struggling with a 3k. Know your fitness limits and remember that if a run isn’t going to happen, get out and do some other cardio to keep those muscles warmed up for the next run.
- Injuries: Just like any sport or activity, you’re going to have to deal with injuries that come with running but also injuries that happen outside of running, that affect your running. Deal with the injury but don’t let it sidetrack you indefinitely. Find exercises you can do that will help when you are running full steam ahead once again.
- Time commitment: Training for a 10k takes time. Setting a routine and finding a time to run can be extremely difficult with a busy scheduled. But just because you don’t have time to run a full 5k as you’d like, if you have time for a 2k, do that. Find the time that works for you and commit yourself to the time required to train. Maybe skip binge watching a show, or reward yourself with an extra episode once you’ve got the run done.
- Boredom: Running long distances is boring. Super boring. Many people run with ear buds listening to pod casts or music, but even that can wear thin after a while. Plan on being bored, and store up some thinking you need to do during the run. Find a running buddy who also likes talking while they run (I’ve discovered the hard way that not everyone does, as I do), to make the time pass more quickly.
- Doing it ‘right’: Many first-time runners are concerned about running “properly”. A run clinic can be a great way to get some advice, and find a group to run with, but it’s not necessary to start running. Don’t use this as an excuse; lace up those shoes and get out there. We’ve been running since we were kids; you’ll find your own natural rhythm
Visit https://raceroster.com/events/2018/18462/global-energy-race-by-dempsters. Registration is open until September 21, 2018.
This is a sponsored post. Opinions and insights, as usual, are my own.