Hello and Happy New Year!
If you've been following me for a while you'll know that I don't really get on with the concept of waiting for a New Year to make a new start but now that it's here I'm definitely making the most of the positivity and optimism it brings and hope you will too.
Today marks the start of my #LivingINTheWeekend project. Every other Sunday I'll be adding a new idea of an activity to do at the weekend with the aim of showing that you don't have to give up your home and your career to enjoy some amazing adventures. To find about more about this project have a read of this.
First up .... a challenge
What better way to start the New Year than by challenging yourself to try a race or event. Active events are a great way to try something new, perhaps raise money for charity, challenge yourself and keep fit. They're also pretty fun.
My top three challenge event ideas are:
1. Running the distance
- whether you haven't run for years or you're a regular runner popping a few race dates in the diary is a great way to keep motivated and assess your progress.
- Try a 5k, 10k or half marathon. Or if you're really serious book all three! Races are held across the country so there's plenty of opportunity to book one in. Perhaps try starting with a 5k and build up throughout the year. Or pick, for example, a 10k race series and progress over the year racing the same distance.
- One of my favourite 5ks is called ParkRun. ParkRun is held all over the country on a Saturday morning, there's no booking form (although you do need to register before you go for the first time so that you can get a unique barcode) and best of all it's FREE!!! There's also loads of stats post race so you can see how well you are doing against yourself, your age group and your ParkRun group. Head over to the ParkRun website for more info.
- My favourite longer distance race is the Great North Run. I've been lucky enough to run it quite a few times and it is the friendliest race ever. (Check out my review on the Blog) Plus it's a fantastic opportunity to raise money for charity.
2. Physical challenges - try something that's going to test you, but in a slightly different way. For many people the idea of running a race alone is a little bit boring. How about getting a group together and tackling an event like Tough Mudder? Events which you can do alongside your friends without the pressure of getting a time are actually pretty incredible. I totally understand that crawling around in the mud might not be everyone's ideal weekend activity but there's something about racing through the countryside with your friends tackling obstacles as a group which is unmatched to regular running races. If you haven't checked out a challenge event, and there are lots of different ones available over a number of different distances like Spartan, Tough Mudder, Tough Guy, Rough Runner and X Runner, which are held all over the country. You'll need a reasonable level of fitness to be able to enjoy the course and tackle the obstacles. Check out my full Tough Mudder review here.
3. Something a bit different - how about something totally different like a sponsored midnight walk or a vertical km race (which is something I'm going to try). There are lots of fantastic activities, like sponsored walks which provide the opportunity for an active weekend, but don't require tonnes of training (or involve rolling around in mud). Check out charity websites to see what they have on offer. As with a lot of running events there are now events all over the country so why not sign up to an event in a city that you'd love to visit and tick off two things in one weekend: explore a new city and challenge yourself with a fitness event.
My Challenges for 2017
This year I'm looking forward to Royal Windsor Half Marathon on 21 May 2017 with one of my best friends for her first half marathon. I'm also hoping to get a place on one of two events from the Saloman Skyline Series: the vertical km and the Ring of Steall Skyrace. Entries for this series open at 10am on 9th January 2017. I'd also love to race the vertical km in Chamonix this June if I can get a place.
Let me know what you get up to this weekend, or if you sign up for any races by sending me an email or commenting below. Or by tagging your pictures on social with #LivingInTheWeekend.