Have you ever run a 5K, 8K, or 10K for fun? I never had until my first race ever, the “Snow-Fun Run“, in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. It sounded like a good time; the local club offers this event every first Saturday of the New Year and people get dressed up all crazy and are drinking fireball at the start line and have a big dance afterwards. I have now run it the past three years. An 8k is not an easy feat for a non-runner such as myself because I do not train for it. I find that cross-training with yoga, HIIT and Tabata works fairly well. The way I get through in the snow, freezing, sweating and slipping the whole time is to run slightly behind my own group and listen to music, head down into the wind. It might sound like insanity but after the first year I participated, I was hooked!
The first time I ran a summer race was much better – I very much recommend the Glow-in-the-Dark Run. We did it in Chicago which is a beautiful setting around the lake shore and museum campus that ends on Soldier Field with a dance party including (expensive) beers and a dj. Getting ready to run in waves of hundreds of excited people with glow-in-the-dark gear while waiting in a crowd of thousands creates an energy that helps you actually run the entire 5k. Again – I’m a non-runner, generally speaking.
Fun Runs in Chicago
Click here for a list of Fun-Runs in Chicago this summer. This year I’m considering other enticing runs such as the Tiki Run or possibly the Chardonnay Run. I may also join the PAWS 8K because it would be so fun to run with everyone’s dogs. I’m no runner but I am all about making fitness fun and participating in these races can be a great way to be more active on the weekends with some added incentive depending on the theme of the race. Intimidated by running? No worries – first off, you can walk if you want as a start and secondly, there are a lot of simple training programs you can start today! Check out Couch-to-5K programs or work with a local fitness expert for safety as you get started. Like I said, cross-training can give you a surprising advantage, as can participating in other endurance sports like cycling as well as training your core – see tips on that here.
What are your favorite races? Any input on short runs vs. longer ones? Am I missing any fun races in the Midwest this summer? Let me know! Maybe I’ll see you there –
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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