Get competitive. How to compete in your first fun run.

Events like fun runs, walks and rides help many stay motivated and get stronger, faster and leaner.

Some gorgeous girls sporting sexy outfits in the Sydney Morning Herald City To Surf. Image courtesy of SMH.

Some people thrive on exercise and don’t need a goal. As Nike says, they just do it, others need a goal or series of goals to stay motivated.  Today there are a whole host of fun runs in Sydney or anywhere in the world. You can pick your location, distance, speed – and many runs have a walking option, time of year and reason for running, such as a charity.

Here’s how to get involved:

Step one – Choose your fun run

City 2 Surf is one of the most famous involving an epic migration of 65,000+ people from Hyde Park to Bondi Beach. The Mother’s Day Classic in the Domain celebrates generations of women and the fight against breast cancer. Bridge Run offers a shorter option to the Sydney Marathon crossing the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. Colour Runs are popping up around Sydney, inspired by the Indian colour festival and offering a whole rainbow of fun. Little Black Dress fun run raises money for a wonderful camp for children affected by HIV – and yes you run in a little black dress. Every race has different levels so you can move according to your ability. The variety of courses and participants keeps it novel – and fun.

Step two – Round up the troops

Find out if any family, friends, your partner or work colleagues would like to get involved. Creating a team generates momentum. The event itself will be more fun, from the journey to the start line, to the celebratory lunch after. It will also mean you have buddies to train with which helps with motivation and what could be better than encouraging those you care about to live a healthier lifestyle. Allison’s fun runs are becoming a family affair. Husband Darren and daughter Mia did the Colour Run and sister Julie and son Sean joined her for Little Black Dress fun run.

Step three – Set up sponsorship

Announcing you are doing an event gives you accountability. Choosing a charity that is close to your heart will make the event more meaningful and give you that extra little push to train on a day you are feeling lazy. You will be amazed how many people want to sponsor you – it’s a double whammy for them – support you AND a worthwhile cause. Whether you are the sponsor or the sponsored, research shows that people who give to charity feel better about themselves as they have given something back to the world.

Step four – Get training

What and how much you do needs to reflect the event you signed up for. A short ‘fun walk’ doesn’t require a bootcamp approach but squeezing in a couple of one hour walks per week is good prep for the day. If you are going to run you need to practice. Count how many weeks you have until the event and commit to a realistic number of runs per week. Find your starting level and slowly build up your distance or speed each week. Remember to taper training in the last week so you don’t arrive sore and tired.

Step five – The big day

Get a good night sleep, pack a snack, fill your water bottle, leave plenty of time to get there and meet your co-runners, pace yourself – and have fun.

Most of Sydney’s fun runs are an annual event that you can put in your calendar.

Tell us about a fun run you recommend?

By Rachel Livingstone Personal Trainer & Owner of The Health Hub

Rachel Livingstone

Rachel is a PT and Maternal Health specialist who found the gym at 14 through her weight lifting dad and never looked back. Originally from the UK she finally settled her wanderlusting feet on the shores of Sydney and can often be found on the back of a paddleboard exploring Rose Bay and the beautiful harbour.

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