At the beginning of ‘lockdown’ I was wary of setting challenges. We’re all going through a stressful period affecting us each in different ways and some of you may well feel that adding another layer to that in the form of a virtual challenge is the last thing you need! Fair enough!
For myself then I have a couple of goals to help me stay motivated: in the first place I want to stay fit so that when we’re back together again I’m able able to lead the groups. Secondly I’m hoping that Palma Half Marathon will go ahead and I want to feel confident about the run. It will never be a great time: too hot, too much partying but I want to feel confident at the start line even if a touch jaded!
Two weeks into ‘lockdown’ and what I’m reminded that having a long term goal is fine but humans respond best to short term targets because this way we feel we are making progress! We all know that exercise is good for us, will help us sleep and we will feel much better afterwards but sometimes we just need that extra push to get on and do it! Signing up to a Virtual Challenge might be the extra push you/I need!
Set your Own Challenge
The simplest thing to do is set your own challenge. Please be responsible and stick to the Government advice. Leader Sarah Vaughan has set herself the challenge of running 19 miles every week for Covid 19. This is less than 5K every day so would work well for runners and walkers alike.
STRAVA is a free APP for runners, walkers and cyclists. It helps keep track of every mile and introduces competitive elements for those who want them. You can use your phone or sync to your watch / heart rate monitor. If you haven’t already joined the SE Fitness Group on STRAVA then find us here: https://www.strava.com/clubs/208687
Most months STRAVA set up a series of virtual challenges which are free – usually a 5K challenge, 10K challenge and half marathon challenge. You sign up and then get a digital finishers badge for completing.
There are also group challenges on STRAVA some are free and some take payment and some will donate to charity. For example at the moment you can join NHS Active challenge. Donate at least £5 to NHS then join the challenge and upload any activity, indoor or outdoor, for at least 10 minutes every day for 12 days. Receive an exclusive digital finishers badge and show the STRAVA community you completed the challenge and supported the NHS.
Plan B Virtual Run Challenge
The image I’ve used is from this increasingly popular virtual challenge which is raising money for World Health Organisation’s Covid 19 Solidarity Response Fund. You choose a challenge, there are lots to choose from including total distance challenges, race challenges, kids challenges and indoor activities. Complete whichever challenge you sign up for then send in some proof by end April and earn a medal. Check out all the details here: https://findarace.com/plan-b-virtual-race
Other Charity Challenges
Other charities are offering their own versions of virtual challenges. Such as Running Down Dementia. Sign up for your chosen challenge on the website. Setup a fundraising page and connect your means of tracking what you do. Complete as much as you can between 1 April and 31 August.
Similar is Miles for Mind. You can sign up to distance targets during the month of May to coincide with Mental Health Awareness week. Challenge yourself to: 25 miles, 50 miles, 75 miles, 100 miles, 125 miles, 150 miles and a whopping 200 miles! Sign up and start clocking up the miles and raising money.
These are just a few suggestions there’s a lot of different challenges out there. If you’re struggling for motivation perhaps one of them will help and you might even raise some money for a good cause into the bargain. Let me know what you decided to take on and show us how you get on! Good Luck!