7 Reasons to Run a Race

Improve Your Running Motivation

Running races can be a fun, motivating, and confidence-boosting experience, but some runners are hesitant to enter their first road race. If you need convincing, here are some reasons to sign up for a 5K, 10K, or other race distance:


Older Couple Running

There's nothing like a deadline to get you moving. Having a race date circled on your calendar is incredible motivation to keep running. On days when you don't feel like running, you’ll think about how you'll feel if you have to back out of the race or if you try to run it completely undertrained.



Nervous about running a race? You're not alone. Many new runners are worried about things such as coming in last or not being able to finish. Talk to other runners and you’ll realize that they worried about some of the same things, but were happy they took the plunge into the world of road racing. Facing your fears and overcoming them will really give your confidence a boost as a runner. It may even help you take on new challenges in other areas of your life.


Your training will have more structure.

Man and woman running together
Jordan Siemens

If you're the type of person who likes to follow a very specific schedule, you'll love training for a race. Every day you’ll look at your training schedule to see what you need to do, whether it’s running, cross-training, or taking a complete rest day. You won't have to worry about over-doing it or not doing enough to be prepared for the race.

You can support a cause.

Many races benefit charities and worthwhile causes, from disaster relief to fighting cancer or other diseases, and are a great opportunity for runners to give back. Running for something that's bigger than you is a great way to stay motivated to keep training and can make your races even more meaningful and fulfilling.

More:  Charity Running Groups

You'll meet other runners.

three runners

Races are a great way for the running community to come together. You'll have plenty of opportunities to meet other runners, whether it's waiting on line at the porta-potties, standing at the starting line, running in the race, or celebrating post-race. Volunteering at a race is also a great way to get your feet wet before you sign up for one.

More: Benefits of Group Running

You'll get a T-shirt.

OK, so maybe you don't need any more T-shirts, but the point is that you're getting a little reward and recognition for your efforts. And wearing the race T-shirt can also show your pride as a runner and will be a reminder of a fun race or your impressive performance. It maybe even spark some conversations with other runners that you meet at the gym, supermarket, or wherever else you'll happen to be wearing your race T-shirt.

More: Motivational Quotes for Running T-shirts

It will be thrilling.

Woman Running Across Finish Line
Yellow Dog Productions

Crossing the finish line of your first race will be something you’ll remember for a long time. And no matter how many races you've run, it's still a huge rush to finish a race and celebrate your achievement. And that feeling of excitement is addicting -- many former couch potatoes have become hooked on the sport after training for their first road race.

Also see: