Great for fitness and lots of fun, distance cycle rides are a great challenge for those looking to increase their usual cycle mileage, try a new sport, or to get fit. Partner up with a friend and enjoy the scenery and chat as the miles tick by. Bike races such as the 54 mile BHF London to Brighton are open to all regardless of ability, with the emphasis on taking part. Cycling is great for your cardio health and is also a great way of getting around town.
Can’t decide whether to run, swim or cycle? Triathlon gives you the opportunity to take on all three, starting with a swim, followed by a bike ride and following up with a run. Distances vary from super-sprint (400m swim, 10k cycle, 2.5k run) to ironman (3.8k swim, 180km cycle, 42k marathon run), adult meaning that regardless of ability, there is a distance to suit all. There are many mass participation events such as the London Triathlon, open to all abilities and triathletes will usually train in the months leading up to the big day. Training is varied, leading to increased cardio and core strength as competitors practise transitions and switching from one event to another. Triathlon is becoming increasingly popular, with leisure centres now offering “tri classes” to aspiring triathletes.
Not bothered about running for a time? Get your feet wet (literally) and your hands dirty by taking on a mud run. From the fun Gauntlet Games to the hardcore Tough Mudder events, mud runs boast a variety of obstacles and mud over varying distances. The spirit of friendship at a mud run is like no other as participants help each other out to take on the obstacles. Runners can expect to take on walls, water, jumps and climb as they make their way to the finish, covered in mud, for a well deserved beer. It’s also a great excuse to revert to childhood by tackling the monkey bars to build up upper body strength.
Enjoy walking and beautiful scenery? What about taking on a trek? Keen walkers often tackle the famous Three Peaks Challenge, taking in the sights of Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike. The more adventurous may enjoy a charity expedition along The Great Wall of China or Mount Kilimanjaro. These events aren’t cheap, but make for a once in a life time opportunity. Training should start several months in advance to prepare for these events, by tackling similar terrain, researching the conditions and making sure you’re fit. Idyllic treks closer to home include the beauty of the North Downs and South Downs way, with keen walkers often tackling the entire length.