Finding the impetus to get off your couch and into your trainers can be a tricky one if you don’t have a particular goal in mind. So, rather than begrudge your expensive and untapped gym membership, why not step out of your comfort zone and sign up for a fitness challenge as a fun way to get you motivated and moving.
We reached out to GTG expert and Freedom2Train Personal Trainer, Steve Mellor , to get a round-up of the top races happening this year and why taking part will give your 2015 a true start better boost.
What is it: A 5km un-timed run in which thousands of participants are doused from head to toe in different colours at each kilometre.
When does it take place: From 7th June 2015 onwards in a host of major cities.
Why do it: As the shortest and most easygoing race, this 5km is definitely a great way to #startbetter . Known as the Happiest race on the Planet this is a totally unique experience that celebrates healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back to the community. Not to mention it also ends with with a gigantic ‘Color Festival’ at the finish line.
“This is an awesome race to get people started and enjoying exercise as there’s no pressure on time or how far you run or walk,”says personal trainer Steve Mellor. “Relaxed, fun and colourful, this is one for the whole family and a great option for those trying to encourage friends or family that exercise can be fun!”
What is it: A 10km run around Wembley park with music stations dotted throughout.
When does it take place: 13th September 2015.
Why do it: Because it’s London’s only music inspired race with DJ sets and big tunes played around the race as you run, as well as a headline act to finish. More importantly however, this race raises money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma research - a truly worthwhile cause indeed.
“With DJ’s and big beats helping you to power your way through this challenging 10km course, this race is really like no other,” says Steve. “A fun-filled and inspiring cause, this run will leave you with a huge euphoric feeling that will carry you into the after party where big acts including Jessie J, Tinie Tempah and Calvin Harris have all performed previously - this is a definite must-do.”
3. Tough Mudder
What is it: A race spanning 10-12 miles filled with extreme obstacles and challenging hurdles throughout.
When does it take place: Worldwide from 1st May onwards.
Why do it: Truly in a league of its own, this race is renowned for its hardcore route and upbeat camaraderie. A real test of physical strength, fitness and endurance this is an absolute must for anyone really looking to really get in shape and push themselves to the limit.
“The fastest growing race in the world right now, Tough Mudder is all about teamwork and challenging yourself to conquer fears and push past your boundaries,” says Steve Mellor. “By the time you’ve finished you’ll have navigated cliff jumps, taken the 'leap of faith', been electrocuted and run up vertical walls. It might sound intimidating but this is a great race for thrill seekers or someone who wants to try something a little different from the norm. If you’re nervous though they do provide a training schedule for those that think they can't do it, just follow the plan and you'll be ready!”
What is it: A 13.1 mile run
When does it take place: A whole host of half marathons take place throughout the UK during 2015 - see a full list here
Why do it: As a fairly serious distance, a half marathon is a real milestone challenge and one to tick off the bucket list. While it might require a more serious approach to training than other races, you’re likely to be stuck with the fitness bug after this one - it’s a potential game changer.
“Whether you're running for a particular time or just to finish, a half marathon delivers amazing post race euphoria,” says Steve. “With loads of races throughout the country in both the winter and spring months, there’s no reason whatsoever to not get yourself signed up and out there training. It’s also a fantastic option for the budget conscious as with no equipment required this is the cheapest way to get fit!”
What is it: A race around Blenheim palace that includes a 400m swim, 13.2km bike and a 3.1km run.
When does it take place: Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th June 2015.
Why do it: Whether you want to smash a PB, complete your first triathlon or compete with friends in the team relay, you’re guaranteed to have an amazing time at the world's most picturesque triathlon.
“This is an increasingly popular race amongst a new wave of fitness fanatics,” says Steve. “To the more seasoned runner, cyclist or swimmer, this is the next big challenge to look towards. If you’re a beginner though, don’t worry, there are distances for everyone from children to old-age pensioners. As one of the fastest growing and widely accessible sports in the world the most daunting part for many is the swim, as the thought of being in a lake with lots of other people with no lane ropes to hang on to is particularly worrying. However, the race organisers at Blenheim have canoeists on hand all the way along the course to help those less confident swimmers and offer a little breather if required. This truly is a great race for beginners or experienced pros and best of all, is all set in the beautiful grounds of Blenheim Palace.”
This feature was written in partnership with Clinique. #StartBetter.