Thinking of signing up for a race? Even if you're not the competitive type, this week Competitor magazine offered 10 good reasons to give it try.
Tired, busy, or would you just rather lounge on the couch? Races make you accountable to your training plan. Pencil in a race and you'll feel more motivated to run.
2. A sense of accomplishment
From a 5km race to a marathon, crossing the finish line just feels good.
3. Make new friends
Running a local race is a good way to bond with fellow runners in your neighborhood or city.
4. Explore the city
Running a race often means exploring a marked trail or traffic-free road, and offers a great way to see either a new city or your own.
5. Get a new shirt
Most races will offer a freebie T-shirt just for signing up.
6. Fitness check
"There's no way to fake getting from the start to the finish," writes Competitor. "The end result will be a good indicator of how your training is going and if you need to change anything."
7. Quench your competitive spirit
Sign on for a race with your friends or colleagues and foster some friendly competition.
Giving it all to your race burns calories, a lot of them. According to the Cleveland Clinic Center for Consumer Health Information, a 125-pound (57 kg) person will burn 253 calories in a 5K race and 2,139 calories in a marathon. A 150-pound (68 kg) person burns 303 calories in a 5K and 2,566 in a marathon. If you weigh 175 pounds (79.5 kg), you'll burn 354 and 2,994, respectively.
9. Get outdoors
Treadmill running is convenient, but running outside is an altogether different experience, and usually a lot more fun.
10. Learn something about yourself
"Racing allows you the opportunity accomplish something you once might not have thought possible," writes Competitor magazine. "You may be faster than you think, or perhaps you will learn to push beyond your comfort zone."