5 Reasons we love a fun run (and why you should too)

Get fit and have fun while supporting a good cause? Say it isn't so...

by Sarah Meade, April 2023

Motivation to exercise can be at an all time low for many in Melbourne during the winter. Returning to work and draining the social battery only seem to exacerbate our current exhaustion levels. So it’s understandable that exercise might be the last item on your “To-do” list.

What if we said there was a fun way to get fit and hang out with your mates while contributing to a good cause? And no, it’s not a pub crawl.

Today we’re talking all things fun runs, and why they might be just what you need this winter. Here follows five reasons we love a fun run and why you should too.

1. Running with a purpose

Signing up to a fun run provides runners with a set date, time and location. Most events have an entry fee which go towards a specific charity or fundraising goal. Paying an entry fee or, better yet, raising money for a cause we care about are great motivators to make the run more meaningful than simply running a random lap around the park.

If it’s not to raise money, maybe the reason behind signing up to the fun run is to finally achieve that distance or pace goal by a certain date. All of which are great reasons to lock it in and get it done!

2. Accountability

Accountability is a huge factor in successful goal setting. It can be the missing link to get you moving on those days when you feel tired and unmotivated. Just as you wouldn’t cancel on a party that you have already RSVP’d to, registering your attendance for event day ahead of time is a great motivator.

Another way to make the accountability work in your favour is signing up with a friend to ensure you’re both keeping each other on track; you’ll feel more motivated not to let yourself or your training partner down. Better yet, you can share the nerves, excitement and all the fun stuff (including your post-run brunch) as you spur each other on.

3. Social benefits

As discussed above, it’s great to participate with a friend. Signing up to a run with a friend or loved one is a great reason to start catching up more frequently to help improve each other’s fitness in preparation for the event. Having a running buddy provides us with a social outing to look forward to after a long day at work or gives us a healthy plan for the weekend.

If your calls for a running buddy are falling on deaf ears, there are many running clubs that can be found via facebook and instagram. These running clubs are a great way to make new friends with similar interests. Training with others can be the friendly competition that we need to get us over the line.

4. Motivation to get fit and active

Now that we have the date and the friends around us training for the same or similar event, we are encouraged to stay on track and commit to the cause. Starting your preparation early is key. This means allowing plenty of time in the lead up to gradually increase the intensity of your training to ensure you are in peak form to run the event comfortably.

Often following a training plan can be helpful. Depending on the distance and your initial fitness level, these running plans will change from person to person. Even if a runner is aiming to complete a 10km run and knows they can already achieve that distance, it’s not a bad idea to throw in a few extra runs to their current activity schedule leading up to the event. This will allow you to feel confident and get your body accustomed to completing that run with the desired speed and intensity.

The novice runner could enjoy the process by using apps like ‘Nike Run Club’ or ‘Couch to 5K’ for motivation and different training methods used to get fitter and improve their running. Personally, I love Nike Run Club for the trainer check ins at different distances and motivation it provides me with by comparing my old times and seeing my improvements.

5. Physical benefits

Running is a low cost, accessible and efficient way of exercising – which sounds particularly alluring given how time-poor many of us feel. Being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities. What’s not to love?

If you do fancy signing up for a fun run, here are some great local options:

  1. Melbourne Marathon Festival: full marathon, half marathon, 10kms, 5kms and 3kms options (October)
  2. 2XU Wellness Run (December)
  3. Jells Park Fun Run (October)
  4. MS Melbourne Run + Ride festival (August)
  5. Berwick Half Marathon, quarter marathon and 5K (September)
  6. Connors Run (September)

While running is a popular option, for many a walk is preferable – and certainly something that we encourage. There are some great walking events held in Melbourne annually, including:

  1. Lift the lid walk for mental health
  2. Walk for Prems: Melbourne (October)
  3. The 5K Foam Fest (December/January)
  4. Mothers Day Classic Melbourne (walk or run) (May)
  5. The Bloody Long Walk (May)

As always, preparation is key, so if you would like some guidance on how to best support your body as you take on your next challenge, we’ll be here ready to spur you on.

Good luck! Get moving!

Sarah

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