Menu Close

Why Signing Up To A Big Race Can Help Improve Your Running

runners in london

As restrictions continue to ease, large scale races including the London Marathon and the Great North Run have confirmed they will go ahead this year.

Members of the Mass Participation Sports Organisers (MSO), a collection of the UK’s biggest mass participation sports organisers, say events will resume from July 19, with the iconic London event – which usually takes place in April – held on October 3.

Paul Foster, chief executive of the Great Run Company, which organises 12 annual events, said: “Participants in the MSO’s calendar of events generate more than £250 million every year for charities and these funds are so desperately needed now, as the services of charities are vital to support vulnerable members of society.”

But that’s not the only reason to consider signing up for a marathon or other major race…

It gives you a goal to work towards

Great North Run

If you’re lucky enough to secure a place in the ballot or get allocated a charity place, you’ll have race day in the diary, usually six months or more in advance.

With that goal in mind, you’ll likely feel more motivated to get in gear with your training and stop hitting the snooze button when you really should be going for an early morning run.

You can set out a training schedule

There are lots of resources online to help you set out a sensible training plan, offering advice on how many runs you should do each week, how long they should be, and what you should be eating to fuel your body.

The London Marathon website has free plans to download for beginner, intermediate and advanced runners.

You can train with others

Summer Running GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Signed up to a race with a pal? You can pound the pavements together, pep each other up when you’re flagging and dispense some tough love when you’re tempted to skip training on cold winter mornings.

Looking for a training partner? Platforms like Jogging Buddy and SportPartner connect solo runners who want to team up to meet their goals.

Race day will be amazing

London Marathon GIF by Virgin Money London Marathon - Find & Share on GIPHY

It’s not just the months of mileage in the lead up to the big run that can improve your speed or stamina.

All that excitement and adrenaline on race day could make a big difference, giving you the push you need to knock minutes off your target time.