Ramp your way up to better fitness with Vitality Run Series

Beginning a journey towards fitness isn’t just about breaking a sweat – it’s about igniting your passion, propelling you towards a lifestyle filled with energy and purpose. One way to do this is to incorporate race events into your fitness routine. The Vitality Run Series is one of the many race events people can take part. It’s not just about crossing the finish line; it’s about embracing a lifestyle where every stride fuels your passion for physical activity, eventually leading to a habit of regular physical activity.

Training for a fitness event like the Vitality Run Series is a great way to keep up or even start good fitness habits. Plus, you’ll also have the chance to have a lot of fun and interact with other walkers or runners.

The data backs this up. Vitality Global, in collaboration with the London School of Economics, recently released a study on habit formation. The study revealed that forming a habit to stay active prolongs your life. The research also finds that when you’re inactive and start walking at least 5,000 steps three times a week for two years, it can add up to three years to life expectancy.

“At Discovery Vitality, we want to motivate people at all fitness levels to get moving more regularly, so they can experience the physical and mental health benefits associated with regular physical activity,” says Dr Mosima Mabunda, Head of Wellness at Vitality.

“From incentivising members to participate in weekly parkrun events across the country (where both Vitality and non-Vitality members can participate) to timed race events such as the Vitality Run Series – it’s all about motivating individuals and communities to take advantage of the many exciting opportunities they have to become progressively healthier,” adds Dr Mabunda.

Take care: set goals based on where you are in your activity and fitness level. Diving into intense activity too quickly can demotivate you to keep up the activity or lead to injuries.

“It’s always best to increase your training load gradually. Getting fitter happens when you have developed a habit to train regularly. We found that slowly increasing the duration and intensity at which you exercise is key to boosting your cardiorespiratory fitness, measured as  VO2 max.

If you want to set fitness goals that build your fitness levels steadily, the year-long Vitality Run Series is a perfect way to do so in 2024. So, take a look at the calendar and plan ahead to take part in a Vitality Run Series event near you,” adds Dr Mabunda.

What is the Vitality Run Series?

The Vitality Run Series includes a total of 17 events, all of which are open to the public across the country. This set of running events promotes better health through exercise and social interaction. Held in the Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, and Eastern Cape, these events have become hugely popular among the national running community and are also attracting more newcomers to the sport.

Dr Mabunda says, “Anyone can join in, and there are different distances to choose from. So, people of all fitness levels can challenge themselves throughout the year. You can either gradually increase the distance you run or aim to beat your previous times on the same shorter distances.”

Extra perks make the series even more motivating for Vitality members

By completing a Vitality Run Series event, Vitality members can earn points towards their Vitality status and weekly Vitality Active Rewards exercise goals:

  • 5 km and 6 km = 300 points (+ 500 bonus points)
  • 10 km or 15 km = 600 points (+ 500 bonus points)
  • 21 km = 1,500 points (+ 500 bonus points)

What’s more, when running with the Team Vitality club, Vitality members get 50% back on race entry fees in cash or Ðiscovery Miles. There are also delicious snacks, fruit, drinks, and a pink wave of kudos at the VIP hospitality area after each race!

Get extra support to train with a community of like-minded people and connect with a champion in a Team Vitality Zone or on Facebook with the Team Vitality Running Club or Team Vitality Cycling Club.

Here are the Vitality Run Series race dates for different provinces in South Africa for the remainder of the year:

  1. KwaZulu-Natal:
  2. Johannesburg:
    • Race against Cancer: 22 June 2024
    • Rockies Gerald Fox Memorial Race: 14 July 2024
    • Randburg Harriers Challenge: 28 July 2024
    • Old Eds Road Race: 11 August 2024
    • Wanderers Road Race: 25 August 2024.
  3. Garden Route:
    • George: 7 September 2024.
    • Plettenberg Bay: 28 December 2024.
  4. Tshwane:
  5. Eastern Cape:
    • Gqeberha: 12 October 2024.

Dr Mabunda concludes, “If you haven’t signed up for a Vitality Run Series race yet – sign up now. Then you can see for yourself how much fun you can have and how wonderful feeling fitter can get!”