Choosing Your Next Event
Thursday, August 23, 2018
From yard signs, to social media posts, to TV commercials, it is easy to notice the many opportunities late summer and fall provide to be active. Choosing which of these events to sign up for may not be as easy.
When considering which type of event to devote your time and energy, consider the following factors.
Your level of competitiveness
If being the first one to cross a finish line or scale a climbing wall is not your cup of tea, there are certain events you may want to avoid. For example, a “Spartan Race” consists of miles of running over rugged terrain, with multiple obstacles to overcome each mile. In addition, the event is timed and you are racing all other participants. On the other hand, a family-friendly 5k walk may not be the place to show off the speed and agility you’ve worked hard for. Adjust your event search according to how much competition you desire.
Your current physical capabilities
Many people dream of being an Ironman. However, building the fitness required to simply complete the event takes years of dedication. When choosing your event, be conscious of your current fitness level. Before signing up for a full-distance triathlon, it may make more sense to complete a few sprint triathlons. These shorter events allow you to gain valuable race experience, while giving you a better gauge of where your current fitness level is, and what you need to do to progress to the next level of event or competition.
How much of a challenge you are willing to accept
If the slop-covered photos of Tough Mudder events get your adrenaline pumping, then you may have found your ideal challenge. However, take into consideration the potential need for more specialized training. Many local fitness facilities offer training programs designed to prepare you for challenging events. Find a workout class that offers a wide variety of equipment such as battle ropes, kettlebells, and tires to test your training limits before participating.
Your travel schedule
Those afflicted with a travel bug are encouraged to participate in runs through different cities, states, or even countries. You will be awed by the views and experiences gained by participating in fully-supported trail hikes through the Appalachian Mountains. Run across the Golden Gate Bridge with thousands of new friends. For the ultimate adventure, consider riding a Houte Route in France and live like a professional cyclist for a week.
If you want an event with a greater purpose
Local charities and fundraising groups rely heavily on community participation in their events. Participating in these events has a positive impact on your health, as well as the community as a whole. Some events even allow you to sponsor someone you know. Causes include the Scenic Shore 150, a bike ride for research to cure Leukemia and Lymphoma. The Pink Pumpkin 5K supports breast cancer research. No matter your chosen cause, you can have a significant impact on the lives of others with your support.
A local walk/run can fit any budget. The two-mile walk portion of the Festival Food’s Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day is a great opportunity for families to be active at a low cost. The other end of the event spectrum includes events such as the Ironman in Kona, Hawaii. The cost of training, equipment, and travel add up very quickly. Be budget conscious before officially registering for your next event.
Consider these factors when choosing your next individual or group event. Being fully prepared before you register is important in order to have the best experience possible. Do your research first, then have go have fun!
Nick Rozek Greater Green Bay YMCA
East Side Healthy Living Director & Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist