Fitness challenges you can start training for now

It’s January, it’s a new decade, you’re feeling ready for action.

Now is the perfect time to sign up for that fitness challenge you’ve always talked about doing. Maybe 2020 can be the year that you actually make it happen?

From running vast distances to scaling mountains, open-water swimming to warrior-style muddy obstacle races – there are so many different ways to challenge yourself mentally and physically. And signing up now can give you a real focus for the rest of the year.

Don’t worry – you don’t have to be an elite athlete to take part in any of these events. With the right training, you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.

Here are our top fitness challenges to get you inspired in 2020:

Fitness challenges

Quest Wales

Where: Snowdonia National Park

When: 20 June

What: Running/cycling/kayaking

This one-day event encompasses three disciplines. Racers will test their ability with a choice of three demanding and scenic routes through the breath-taking Snowdonia National Park.

Organisers say that if you can run a 10k then you can complete this course, easily.

Plus, there’s a free after-party and Japanese hot tubs for everyone who finishes.

Two women kayaking on a lake

We would be this excited if we could see the finish line too (Picture: Quest Wales)

London to Amsterdam with Skyline

Where: Starts in Crystal Palace, London

When: 10 June

What: Five-day, 360 mile cycle

Cycle from London to Amsterdam via the beautiful city of Bruges on a charity bike ride challenge of a lifetime.

The London to Amsterdam bike ride takes cyclists through beautiful English villages and on into Europe, passing through historic Bruges and Breda before finishing in any cyclists dream city – Amsterdam.

Rat Race Coast to Coast

Where: Cawdor Castle

When: 12 September

What: Run/cycle/kayak

Join 1,000 rat racers over 105 miles through one of the most famous mountain landscapes in the world. Awe inspiring views and a stunningly epic course await you in the Scottish Highlands.

The two-day challenge is not for the faint-hearted and involves camping overnight at Fort Augustus.

The Nuts Challenge

Where: Henfold Lane, Dorking

When: 7 March

What: Muddy obstacle course challenge

This epic obstacle course has a range of different levels and you can run either 7, 14, 21 or 28k. One lap is 7k and perfect for newbies.

If you’ve done events like this before and you’re feeling brave – take on four laps for the ultimate challenge.

Military Mud Run Crawl

Fancy getting muddy? (Picture: Getty)

Total Warrior

Where: Wetherby, the Lake District

When: 26 June

What: A 12k muddy obstacle course

Now in it’s 10th year the 12k course gives you the full warrior experience with classic obstacles (with terrifying names) like the ‘Human BBQ’, ’The Plunge’ and ‘The Shocker.’

Don’t let the idyllic scenery and stately home fool you – this is one hell of a course.

Cotswolds 5k swim

Where: Ashton Keynes

When: 16 August

What: 5k open water swim

This popular 5k swim is set in the stunning scenery of the Cotswolds, and it sells out every year – so you need to get a move on if you want to sign up.

You need to be a proficient swimmer to take on the 5k distance – but there are also 1.5k and 3.8k options for younger or less experienced swimmers.


There’s nothing quite like wild swimming (Picture: Getty)

Three Peaks Challenge

Where: Ben Nevis, Fort William

When: 1 May

What: Climb three mountains

Climb the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales in ‘one go’. These peaks are Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England, and Snowdon in Wales.

This is no walk in the park and the aim is to complete all three peaks in 24 hours – with no sleep. So you need to put the training in. The distance is 42k in total (mostly uphill) and you’ll be treated to some stunning views.

The Moonwalk Scotland

Where: Holyrood Park

When: 6 June

What: Nighttime walk

Now in it’s 15th year, the Moonwalk encourages women to take to the streets at nighttime wearing visible bras (don’t worry you can wear it over your top if you prefer!).

Choose from 10K, 13.1, 26.2, and 52.4 miles – there really is a distance for everyone. And it’s all to raise crucial funds for breast cancer research. This year’s theme is music – so unleash your inner pop diva.

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