Charity fun runs are an excellent way to get some exercise and help a worthy cause. These runs are noncompetitive and typically cover short distances, averaging between 5 and 10 kilometres, although shorter and longer routes are often available. Even though they are not usually intense, charity fun runs do require some preparation. Light training, the right gear, and team spirit can go a long way toward making the event enjoyable.
Make a training schedule
Although the event is called a fun run, walking the entire distance is usually permitted. Participants who are not normally active should begin a walking or running regimen approximately six to 12 weeks before the date of the event. Get a planner or diary, and schedule workout times, and stick to them.
Build endurance and strength
To build cardiovascular endurance, beginners should walk or run at least three times a week. To start, participants should find a route that is one quarter or one half the length of the total distance and then work up to the full length. The goal is for the participant to feel comfortable walking or running the entire distance to ensure he can make it to the finish line on the big day. Rotating strength training into the schedule helps build the muscles that make running easier.
Rest and stretch
Without incorporating rest days into the routine, participants can overexert or fatigue their muscles, which could leave them too injured to attend the race. Stretching is also important to keep muscles limber and reduce injury.
Get the right apparel
Specialised performance gear is not necessary for a fun run, and basic workout clothing is fine. Consider the weather. If it is cold and wet, having water-resistant outerwear, gloves, and a hat is important to ensure that participants do not lose too much body heat. If temperatures shoot sky high, then moisture-wicking fabrics are a must, as well as sunscreen and sunglasses. Avoid thick 100 per cent cotton, which absorbs moisture and weighs runners down.
Old or damaged running shoes can cause injury, so participants should take stock of their footwear during training. Shoes with flexible soles and plenty of support are a good choice. Runners should buy new shoes early so they have plenty of time to break them in before the race.
Eat and drink properly
A fun run is not nearly as intense as a marathon or triathlon, so participants do not need to load up on carbohydrates the morning of the race. Novice runners who plan to go a moderate distance should eat a well-balanced breakfast that includes carbs for the quick energy they provide. Runners should allow one to two hours for food to digest before hitting the track.
Runners can get dehydrated even on a short-distance route. Most events have water stations along the course where runners can grab a quick drink of water, but it is never a bad idea to keep a water bottle handy.
Build team spirit
Team spirit puts the fun into the fun run. Running with a group of friends, co-workers, or family is a great way to make the event memorable. Many groups coordinate special outfits ahead of time so that they make an impression on race day.
If the group is large and diverse, then it is best to go with a simple group T-shirt that everyone can order in the appropriate size. If the team is small and intimate, then the creativity can flow. Some groups choose to dress up as favourite movie, TV, or book characters, or they can wear zany, mismatching clothing. Many groups choose a theme and plan costumes in line with that theme. Choosing a theme that coordinates with the charitable effort is a nice touch.
The night before, participants should pack everything they need to bring to the race in a bag. This includes any documents or identification paraphernalia, as well as personal items, such as water, snacks, hair ties or bandanas, a towel to dry off with afterward, and entertainment, such as an MP3 player and earphones. Runners should review the race map and take note of parking lots, check-in areas, and restrooms.
How to buy race gear on eBay
It is easy to find everything you need for a charity fun run on eBay. Simply type what you want into the search box located on any page, and browse through the list of results. If you need running shoes, search for the correct size, and opt for a brand you are familiar with. After outfitting yourself and your team with everything necessary for a great run, it is time to pound the pavement.