As spring starts to warm up and the weather brightens, a lot of really great and impactful charities start recruiting for fundraising walks and runs all over the country. There’s nothing like being able to trade your treadmill in for outdoor trails.
The choice of what you choose to support is often personal – people frequently choose to align themselves with a cause because of something they or someone close to them has been affected by. Running or walking in a cause related event can give people a feeling of empowerment, and that is a really special feeling.
Regardless of what charity you chose to champion, there are a few things to keep in mind as you get ready for your walk or run, no matter how far your planned distance is.
Go progressively farther…
For any walk that’s longer than you would normally go, make sure to work up to the distance gradually to get your body accustomed to the distance. If you’re building up to 5 km, for instance, then try to walk at least a few times a week with one of those walks being a longer one, and add a few minutes each time. For longer walk/runs, you’ll want a more extensive training program. The last thing you want to do is hurt yourself when you get out there.
Consider changing up the intensity of your walk – go faster, change the terrain. Your body will thank you when go to the event venue which might have more hills than you are used to.
It can be hard to stay focused and on a training schedule. A few suggestions are:
- Train with a friend. Not only does walking with a friend to chat with make the workouts more fun, but you’re accountable to that person—when you feel like skipping a walk, you can’t, because you know they’re waiting for you.
- Vary your locations. Make your walks more exciting by exploring new parts of the city, new parks or even neighbouring towns or cities. You’ll go farther because your mind will be partly distracted by the new scenery.
- Keep track of your workouts. There’s nothing like seeing your progress – distance traveled and the time it took you to do it. Feel the power of getting physically stronger and enjoy the endorphins that come with it.
Being kind to yourself means having good footwear — blisters and shin splints are bad! Stay hydrated and don’t forget the sunscreen. The whole charity walk/run experience won’t be the same if you are falling apart at the end! You won’t get the same sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
Enjoy the challenge of your event, and don’t lose sight of your original reason for signing up. Happy racing!