Cool races to start training for

The new year is a time to set new goals. If fitness or weight loss is part of your resolutions this year, consider training for one of these fun races. They’re sure to get you energized and motivated!

people running

Mud runs

If you want to break away from the safety of the elliptical this year and venture totally outside your comfort zone, a mud run is the only way to go. Because mud runs involve surprising and challenging obstacles in addition to the run you have to complete, you have to be ready for just about anything. And that means training every part of your body and mind. If you’re hesitant about the idea, start with Merrell’s 5-kilometre Mud Run. If you’re ready to go all out, check out the 16- to 19-kilometre Tough Mudders offered all over the world. It won’t be hard to motivate yourself to get in shape for something that intense and challenging.

Long-distance biking for a cause

If you want your training to be about more than purely completing a race, something along the lines of the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer might be just what you’re looking for. You’ll spend the months leading up to race weekend raising money for cancer research and getting in shape, and then spend two days cycling along with others who’ve done the same. You’ll see some of the beautiful sights Canada has to offer, chat with interesting people and challenge your body and mind in the process. Now that’s worth training for!

Triathlons

Many races require you to train for only one specific activity, such as walking, running or biking. But for triathlons you have to be prepared to take on three equally challenging endurance activities. You must be ready to swim, bike and run if you want to add one of these cool races under your belt. Fortunately they come in all shapes and sizes, so if you think you can only handle a 2.5-kilometre run, sign up for a tri-a-tri. If you’re ready to really challenge yourself, attempt the Olympic distance. Multisport Canada is a great place to start looking for races, as it’s the largest series in the country. Subaru Triathlon Series and Subaru Western Triathlon Series also offer some excellent courses. Because triathlons have been gaining in popularity over the last decade, more and more races are starting up every year, so don’t quit looking until you find the perfect course for you.

10-kilometre running races

Many people find it easier to hop on a stationary bike or trudge away on the elliptical to get their daily cardio, but if you want to improve your running ability this year, signing up for a 10-kilometre race may be just the challenge you’re looking for. Although many shorter distances are offered, a 10-kilometre race is a great way to challenge yourself and achieve a sense of accomplishment. Just be sure to pick one that’s at least a few months away so you’ll have plenty of time to train gradually without injuring yourself. And if you need extra motivation, sign up for one in a nearby city or town you’ve been wanting to visit. That way when race day comes, you’ll have some beautiful sights to take your mind off any pain or exhaustion you might feel. Check out Running Room Online for a full list of all the courses to choose from.

More on racing

How to prepare for your first race
Canada’s top marathons
Athletic competition: Could it be just what you need?

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