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Find Your 2021 Challenge

Need a new challenge for 2021? No matter your skill level, setting yourself a challenge for the year is a great way to keep motivated and keep on track with your training.

Whether you want to set yourself an event-based challenge or would prefer to do something a little more virtual this year, there’s plenty of inspiration out there – so get creative!

If you read our last blog post on how to review performance and set goals, you might already have an idea of some challenges you want to take on in 2021. But if you’re still stuck for ideas, here are a few suggestions.

Running

If running is your sport, there’s no shortage of potential new challenges out there. There are events for every taste (virtual and in person), as well as a wide variety of challenge types for any goal.

Events
Signing up to an event is an easy way to keep you on track and try something new this year – whether you’re taking on a 10k or full marathon. Read our blog post for the must-do running events of 2021.

Distance
Taking on something distance-based is a great way to challenge yourself. Whether you want to rack up 1000km over the course of the year or see what you can take on in one go, challenging yourself to complete a certain distance is perfect for runners looking for a different perspective on their goals. You can easily track your progress in Strava, and it’s easy to split up your goal into weekly chunks.

Why not try:

  • Running from London to New York (482.8km) over the year
  • Hitting 1000km by the end of 2021 (19.3km per week)
  • Hit a PB distance in one session - whether that's 10k, 20k or 40k.

Time
If distance isn’t your thing, you can try a time-based challenge. This could include completing a certain number of hours of training per week or month, training for a longer time, or trying to take on a new PB.

Why not try:

  • Completing a new PB - any distance from 1km to a full marathon
  • Completing 300 hours of activity over the course of a year (about 6 hours a week)
  • Completing an activity that lasts over 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours etc

Other
If you’re after a more unique and different challenge, there are still plenty out there that go hand in hand with running.

  • Strength training challenge: Upping your strength training is a great way to help your running technique and support your training. Try and complete an extra hour or two of strength training per week for 6 weeks straight.
  • Get more sleep: Try and get an extra night’s sleep per month by adding on an extra 30 minutes for 4 nights a week. Sleep is a vital part of recovery and can benefit your training.
  • Run more trails: Make an effort to run some different terrain and try and take on a trail or somewhere off road at least once a week. This can challenge different parts of your brain to running on pavement and can be a fun way to mix things up.

Cycling

Whether you’ve just picked up a bike recently or have been cycling for years, there are a huge range of cycling challenges to choose from. From Sportives or virtual and solo challenges, there’s something out there for every rider.

Events
There are plenty of cycling events to suit any cyclist, whether you want something tough and intense or are looking for something a bit more light-hearted with a good atmosphere. Check out our top cycling events for 2021 here.

Distance
Taking on a distance-based challenge is an obvious step to take for any cyclist, no matter your level. Whether you want to hit a certain distance over the whole year or see if you can take on 100km in one day, a distance challenge can be the perfect goal to work towards. Like with running, you can track your rides on Strava and keep tabs on your progress.

Why not try:

  • Completing 100km in one day
  • Hitting 1000km by the end of 2021 (19.3km per week)
  • Cycle coast to coast, such as Hadrian's Wall (dependent on Government guidelines)
  • Hit a PB distance in one session by seeing how far you can cycle.

Time
Another way of looking for a challenge is to think time-bound. This can include something obvious like getting a new PB time or challenging yourself to cycle a certain number of hours per week.

Why not try:

  • Completing a new PB time for any distance
  • Completing 300 hours of activity over the course of the year (about 6 hours a week)
  • Completing an activity that lasts over 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours etc.

Other
If you're after a slightly more different challenge, there are still plenty you can take on on the bike.

  • Climbing: Another aspect of cycling is elevation – you could try and set yourself an elevation goal, such as cycling the equivalent to the top of a famous mountain if you’re feeling ambitious!
  • Get more sleep: Try and get an extra night’s sleep per month by adding on an extra 30 minutes for 4 nights a week. Sleep is a vital part of recovery and can benefit your training.
  • Different terrain: If you’re not opposed to buying some new gear, this could be the year you try a different type of cycling, such as mountain biking. Try and look for different routes and trails in your area using Strava heatmaps or OS Maps.

No matter what challenge you set yourself this year, HIGH5 is there to support you along the way. Make sure you tag us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and let us know if you take on any of these challenges!

Good luck!

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