Written by Meghan Burrows, BSc | Photo by zoff/istockphoto.com

We all need a new challenge to keep things fresh and to remind our muscles what they’re made of. And while many in-person race days and events are slowly starting to open up for booking, you may not be ready to join the masses just yet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t set some massive goals for yourself that have hard deadlines to adhere to. For some of us, that’s a huge motivator.

Virtual races are still a thing, but if you’re craving something a little more creative, we’ve got you covered. If you’re still looking to get your virtual race on, websites like RunGuides feature events from across North America that can help you join teams and compete safely with your friends. Otherwise, test your limits in your own backyard with these mix-it-up endurance quests.  


Everesting

To attempt an Everesting challenge, first select your sport: typically hiking, running, or cycling, and then complete the elevation gain of Mount Everest in a single activity—a not-so-casual 8,848 m climb.

While you can choose to be legit and have your name on a scoreboard (check out everesting.cc), taking a more sustainable approach by spanning out your Everesting over a week or a month is a-okay by us. To get started, here’s what you’ll need.


YOUR TRAINING PLAN

1. Decide if you would like to split up the challenge over several days or weeks, and plan out the meters you need to hit during each training session accordingly.

2. Decide on your mode of climbing: bike or foot.

3. Find a hill that fits the challenge. We recommend a local ski hill, golf course, escarpment, or staircase.

4. Set your Everesting date for 8-12 weeks out from your first training day (training timeline will vary depending on your fitness level).

Trainer Tip: Enlist a training buddy! The challenge will be more fun (although no less grueling) with a fit comrade.

ON RACE DAY

1.  Show up to the hill on “race day” extra early to take advantage of cooler weather.

2. Have your nutrition packed and ready to go. Everesting requires anywhere between 100-300 calories per hour.

3. Tell someone where you’re going and how long you expect to be there. Check in with a buddy every few laps via text.

4. Start your watch/Strava/pen and paper and let those legs fly!


Mini-Triathlon

Claim the title of Backyard Triathlon Champion with this flexible racing strategy. The traditional triathlon is called an “Olympic Triathlon” and goes in the order of 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike, and 10 km run. That said, you’re the boss here so mix it up however you prefer. Live near great trails? Swap the road bike for a mountain bike and the road run for a trail run. Don’t enjoy running? Double up on the bike and put the swim in the middle. The options are endless, but to keep some regulations around the race, here are some guidelines to ensure your event goes swimmingly.


YOUR TRAINING PLAN

1. Pick your distance.

  • Sprint Triathlon (750 m swim, 20 km bike, and 5 km run)
  • Olympic Triathlon (1.5 km swim, 40 km bike, and 10 km run)
  • Half Ironman (1.9 km swim, 90 km bike, and 21.5 km run)
  • Full Ironman (3.9 km swim, 180.2 km bike, and 42.2 km run)
  • 2. Choose your sports (mountain bike, road bike, lake swim, ocean swim, pool swim, trail run, road run).

    3. Plot your course. (TIP: Choose an area where you can park your car to use as a “transition” station to store your gear, grab nutrition, and change for the different sports.)

    4. Set the race date for 8-12 weeks out from your first training day (training timeline will vary depending on your fitness level).

    5. Begin training. Focus the first 1/3 of your training on building your endurance and power in each sport, then begin building on the skills required to transition from one sport to the next. Sometimes this will mean doing one sport directly after the other, which is called a “block” workout.

    Trainer Tip: Practice your nutrition (100-300 calories per hour) during transitions from swim-bike-run before race day.

    ON RACE DAY
    1. Leave a copy of your race plan with a family member or friend.

    2. Have your gear and nutrition set out the night before so you can hit the water or bike first thing in the morning to take advantage of the cooler temperatures.


    3. Meet your friends at your starting point and have the best race ever!

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