Life Fitness

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Put a race date in your diary - no space for excuses

Roisin Finlay

Published 04/08/2014 | 00:00

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A runner in the Gaelforce West event. Roisin Finlay
Roisin Finlay

One of the best ways to get motivated with your fitness is to sign up for an event - and to tell everyone you are doing it. Now you've no excuse but to get out and get going with your training. That looming date on the calendar will act as both carrot and stick.

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Even if you haven't trained as much as you should have to achieve a top performance personally, you'll be helped to keep going by the crowd and the supporters on the day. And as a bonus, after the event, you'll have pushed yourself longer and harder than normal, and given your fitness a huge boost. So now you might just be in a better position for your next event. Sign up now and tell your friends. Repeat cycle!

Some great events to choose from over the coming weeks include The Island Run 5k (August 10 - www.runireland.com) which takes place on the island setting of Waterford Castle, or the Kearney Cycles Streets of Galway 8k (August 9 - www.galwaycityharriers.com). Now in its 29th year, this annual 8km road race will take runners through the streets of Galway city centre towards Salthill and finishing in the Claddagh.

Or if you prefer a tougher challenge still, why not sign up to the 2014 CycleSuperStore Wicklow Mountains Triathlon (August 9 - www.dublintri.com/wicklow-mountains-triathlon). The Olympic-distance event starts out with a swim in lovely Lough Dan before the course takes you past Lough Tay and over the Sally Gap on the cycle. Finally the run carves through the isolated Inchavore Valley. There is also a sprint event on the day.

As for those of you who are saintly with your training and fit as fiddles, take your pick from some serious challenges. Like Hardman (August 23 - www.hardman.ie) or Gaelforce West (August 16 - www.gaelforceevents.com).

Hardman is an Ironman-distance event but where it distinguishes itself is its scenery. Your 3.8km swim is in the stunning Lakes of Killarney, followed by a 180km cycle on the fabulous (and hilly) Ring of Kerry and a 42.2km run in Knockreer Demesne in Killa­­­rney National Park. If that's all too much for you, there is also an Olympic-distance event too.

As for Gaelforce, it's designed for those who love to go off road. Spanning two counties, the 67km course runs from Glassilaun beach in Co Galway to the heritage town of Westport, Co Mayo. The terrain includes mountain scree, bogland, trails, sealed roads and the majestic waters of Killary Fjord. You'll also scale Croagh Patrick for your penance.

Roisin Finlay is editor of Outsider magazine, Ireland's adventure magazine

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