Without the fancy equipment, airy studios and bossy instructors at your local gym, our motivation to pump out a ton of reps every morning has started to wane.
That’s where marathons and other kinds of fitness challenges come in handy. Not only do they help you to set some actual goals, but you can get your mates to sign up too, so the training isn’t your typical solitary grind.
Scorch all of the calories and have something to feel proud about with these epic physical challenges, which are all currently planned to go ahead in line with government guidelines.
1. Rat Race Coast to Coast
If you’re looking for incredible scenery, it doesn’t get much better than Scotland’s Coast to Coast challenge. Run, ride and kayak 105 miles across the Highlands on a route that takes in the historic Cawdor Castle, the legendary Loch Ness and the mountainous Glen Nevis and Glen Coe.
The wild hills and tricky terrain make this brutal challenge suitable for those with a good level of fitness already – or you could sign up to the 2022 event now and get a head start on your training.
When: September 11-12, 2021
2. John West Great North Swim
If swimming is more your thing, why not try out the John West Great North Swim, which allows you to drink in the natural surrounding beauty of the iconic lake Windermere in the Lake District?
The cold water event has lots of different distances to take on, from 250 metres right up to 10k. Event organisers say the swim will follow Covid-secure procedures and that there are fewer places this year, so that everyone taking part can socially distance.
When: June 11-13, 2021
Price: Prices start from £19 per entry, depending on the length of your swim. (greatswim.org)
3. Chester Marathon
The Chester Marathon course is notoriously flat, which means it’s a great place to score a new personal best. During the event, you’ll pass some of Chester’s most iconic landmarks, like the Roman walls and amphitheatre, before striking out to the stunning Cheshire and North Wales countryside and villages. The final stretch takes you alongside the gorgeous River Dee for a photo finish at Chester Racecourse.
When: October 3, 2021
Price: Standard entry is £49 (activeleisureevents.co.uk)
4. Tough Mudder
Tough Mudder is famous for its towel-bitingly difficult team-based events, which involve plunging into icy water, scaling obstacles and, naturally, wading through loads of mud.
Events happen at different times and locations during the year, and you can choose from 10-mile obstacle courses or easier 5km options.
When: Throughout the year
Price: Prices vary per event (toughmudder.co.uk)