One of the best feelings in the world is doing something great for yourself while also doing something good for others. Running charity races truly allows you to fill two needs with one deed.
Not only does running help to condition your body, it also contributes to a healthy heart – in more ways than one. In addition to improving your cardiovascular system, running for a cause may give your heart an even greater sensation and a “warm-tingly” feeling after fulfilling an endeavor that benefits others.
It’s important to note that these charity races raise serious dollars and awareness for hundreds of diseases, conditions and focus areas. USA Track & Field found that American runners raised more than $520 million for charity in 2002. Over 10 years later, this number is only increasing. Individuals are continually improving their own health and extending health to thousands of others through their charity.
Choosing which cause to run for is easy. A quick search online will reveal several options, near and far. Some races, like Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and Parkinson’s Half Marathon specifically target one cause, other races like the Crescent City Classic in New Orleans allows any charity organization to participate in fundraising for their individual causes. Start off with smaller, local races. You will learn the culture of the sport as well as your strengths and weakness.
Now, as awesome as running and giving are for yourself and others, it is essential to train before embarking in this new terrain. Glenn Buck, a personal trainer and an avid runner, suggests a consistent training routine to prepare for races.
For the upcoming Crescent City Classic 10K, Buck recommends a 12-week training regimen that includes running, jogging, walking as well as weight training to fully engage the endurance needed to complete a long-distance race. It is also helpful to join a running club like the Team Ochsner Running Club, which is led by Glenn and meets every Tuesday at the RiverShack Tavern in New Orleans.
Whether it’s motivation, inspiration or approval, millions of runners dedicate their personal race to a greater cause. Improved heart health is one of many health benefits running provides. Improved character is another.