I have a friend who is a business consultant, when people ask him the secrets to success in business, his answer is always the same, "step #1 make a list, step #2, do the things on the list, step #3 once you are done, you will be successful." Simple.
His business advice translated to endurance sports and fitness, is also pretty simple, set a goal, work towards that goal, complete the goal.
As the new year begins a lot of you are making the annual resolution to get into shape, lose extra weight, be more healthy etc. For the next few weeks, the gyms will be packed with people trying to live up to their resolution, but as time passes the lines for the treadmills thin out and a majority of people fall off the resolution wagon.
January 1 is the endurance sports version of Black Friday, several races open registration, some with discounts to entice you to register early. It's a great way to market their races, but for those of you who are looking to get into shape it is more than plunking down a few bucks for a t-shirt in August, it's setting a goal early and working towards that goal. It's one thing to say, " I want to lost 20 pounds in four months," but putting the weight of an event and making a financial commitment towards that event has you invested both mentally and financially, making it harder to back down.
Knowing that you are going to be jumping into the water in August at the Lifetime Fitness Chicago Triathlon with 8000 other racers, is a good motivator to hit the gym and the pool to make sure you are as ready and as fit as possible. Having a line in the sand for a PR run at Cinco De Miler in May, gives you enough time to set up a training program, join a run group, raise money and make it to the finish line.
If you are looking for a little motivation, here are a few races that open their registration on January 1, 2012.
The Bank Of America Shamrock Shuffle- March 25, 2012-
Shamrock is the unofficial start of the endurance season in Chicago, 30,000 athletes running through the streets welcoming Spring back to the Windy City. The entry fee is $45, and registration will close when the 40,000-participant capacity is reached. Click here to register and for more details.
Cinco De Miler- May 5th, 2012
The only 5 mile race in Chicago, celebrates Cinco De Mayo with a great race course and a post race that will keep you dancing for hours after you cross the finish line. Click here for details.
Soldier Field 10 Mile- May 26, 2012
This is your chance to do what the Bears haven't had a chance to do much this year, run across Soldier Field! 10 miles along the lake shore with a finish inside Soldier Field, a great early season challenge. Price increases to $85 on January 1. Click here to register.
Pleasant Prairie Triathlon- June 24, 2012
Pleasant Prairie has become home to several different races, including the Trek Women's Triathlon and the iconic Pleasant Prairie Triathlon. This is a great swim and flat run course for those of you looking to PR. $99 registration fee, click here for more info.
Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon and 5K- July 22, 2012
It's Rock and Roll, need we say more. Run, walk, dance your way to the finish line. Click here to register.
The Lifetime Chicago Triathlon- August 26th, 2012
For those of you counting, this is year 30 for the Chicago Triathlon. It has been Mrs' T's, Accenture and now Llifetime has taken over the race and brought this world class event to another level of excellence. Lifetime is capping the race at 6500 athletes this year, don't wait too long to sign up, it will sell out fast.
Chicago 1/2 Marathon and 5k- September 9, 2012
The 16th annual running of this Chicago tradition is a great warn up race for the Chicago Marathon. Click here to register.
There are plenty more races that will be opening up every week from 5K races to Ironman distance, it's a great opportunity to find a race, set your goal and start the new year off on the right foot.
Tags: Chicago, Chicago 1/2 Marathon and 5K, Cinco De Miler, david wallach, goal setting, New Years Fitness Resolutions, Pleasant Prairie Triathlon, Race Registration, Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon and 5K, Soldier Field 10 Mile, The Bank Of America Shamrock Shuffle, The Lifetime Chicago Triathlon