Why new runners should sign up for their first race

If you’ve caught the running bug and find yourself heading out around your same training routes again and again, you might be thinking about what’s next.

Do you add another couple of kilometres? Maybe try to shave a minute off your best 5K PB? Without something to aim for, running can feel a little unstructured and this can make it trickier to really commit to and sometimes monotonous. Even for new runners, it’s important to keep it fresh and fun to avoid training burnout or dropping off entirely. The best way to give yourself an entirely new experience and add a new dimension to your runs is to enter your first race.

As a new runner, you know that you’re unlikely to be amongst the fastest, but getting stuck in with running events really isn’t about winning or losing - it’s about setting your sights on a goal and achieving it however you choose to. If you’ve never entered a race before, here are some top reasons why signing up for a running event can keep your enthusiasm fired up and ultimately make you a better runner.

Get Motivated

If there’s one thing we love at findarace, it’s goals. Without diving too deep into psychology, we know that it is much easier to push through the harder runs and squeeze performance out when you’re tired if you have a clear idea of why you’re running in the first place. If you know you’ve got your first 10k race in a few weeks, you can plan your training accordingly and know roughly what kind of shape you want to be in heading into race day. Preparing for a race well and performing strongly on the day is hugely rewarding. So if you’re feeling a little aimless then sign up for race and use this as motivation to stick to your training plans.

If you’re a little more competitive in nature, signing up with friends and training together (in a safely distanced manner) is a fun way to push each other on to keep up with training. You can start as small as 5k or aim for something big to train towards like a half marathon.

Pushing yourself on raceday

Unless you have incredible discipline, getting fired up and excited for every training run is very difficult. If you find your running has plateaued, you might find that pulling a PB out of the locker is surprisingly likely during a race. The excitement and adrenaline of everyone getting ready to start provides a huge energy boost that is almost impossible to recreate in training.

Taking part in a race also means you’ll be running with competitors who are likely to be more experienced and a little faster than you. Rather than being de-motivated by this, try to keep pace with other entrants who are moving at a decent speed and you’ll find your overall time is improved simply by running with a pack. If you’re used to running by yourself, it can be pretty surprising how much of an impact running with others can make.

Run for a charity or cause

Most races offer the option to run for a cause or charity and this can really help to fuel your motivation and give it your absolute best. Whether you choose a charity really close to your heart or opt for the race sponsor’s charity, it’s a great feeling to know that all of your effort in training and on the big day has helped to contribute to and raise awareness of a superb cause.

At findarace you can choose from a huge range of races and events that offer you the chance to set yourself goals, stay motivated and fundraise for charity. It doesn’t matter what distance you pick - enter a race and get inspired!

More from the guides