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FITNESS CHALLENGES FOR THE NEW YEAR

It’s a new year, and many of us are looking ahead, relishing the thought of embracing new challenges in the months to come. Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned fitness fanatic, there are plenty of challenges coming up this year to keep you feeling motivated. Here are our top picks:

Major Series Obstacle Course Mud Run Race

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Mud runs are becoming popular ways to challenge yourself. The Royal British Legion Major Series races are the ultimate fun and friendly mud-runs. Although they can be physically gruelling, with course lengths of either 5km or 10km they consist of top-notch military-style obstacles, heaps of mud with a party event village to enjoy before and after the event. Find out more at https://www.britmilfit.com/major-series/

Triathlon

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Don’t be put off by thinking triathlons are only for elite athletes. More and more races are springing up all over the country, with courses of varying lengths so there’s something to suit people of every ability and fitness level. A triathlon is a great way to hone your skills in all three disciplines: swimming, cycling and running. Take a look locally to find a smaller triathlon to test the waters if you’ve never done one before.

Half Marathon

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With Park Run becoming so popular in 2016, lots more people are getting into running. If you’ve been a convert to the Saturday morning 5k races around your local park, this year might be the time to push yourself that little bit further. A half marathon is about 21km, so that’s just over four times the distance of your average park run. Experts say you need around 15 weeks to train for a half marathon, so if you begin training now you can book in for your first half marathon in early May.

Night Walk

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If running is not your thing, there are lots of night walks springing up all over the country. These are much more laid back affairs, and tend to be more about the fun and raising money for charity than gaining a PB or training hard. If you’re new to fitness or just easing back in, signing up for a night walk can be a great way to stay motivated and have a good time. The Big Issue organises Big Night Walks around London which can be a great way to see the sights in another light as well as taking part in a great event. See https://www.bigissue.org.uk/events/night-walks

Three Peaks

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The Three Peaks Challenge is something that can sound daunting and a bit bonkers, but again it’s one of those things that’s just great for that sense of achievement and team spirit. The challenge is essentially to climb the three highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland within 24 hours, so that’s Mount Snowdon in Wales, Scaffel Pike in England and Ben Nevis in Scotland. If you’re not so sure about doing all three peaks, why not start off small by climbing one of the mountains and seeing how you get on. There really is a certain sense of pride in the knowledge you’ve climbed a mountain; not to mention the view from the top! Find out more at https://www.threepeakschallenge.uk/

Signing up for a challenge is a great way to keep your new year fitness goals on track, but taking part in a challenge is also fantastic for your mental wellbeing and self esteem. The knowledge that you’ve completed a Major Series mud run or half marathon, whatever your finish time, can do wonders for your self esteem and might just have you signing up for another challenge as soon as you cross the finish line!