30-day April challenge

If you're missing races, we've got 30 mini-challenges for you to take on during the month of April


by Trail Running |

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Run the UTMB: 100 miles in the next 30 days

The holy grail for all trail runners. Elite runners take just over 20 hours, while us normal folk take anywhere between 30 and 48 hours. But hey, you have a whole month.


Complete a two-hour run

Research tells us that the half-marathon is the most popular race distance, so this is pretty much a gimme.


Run a fast 10km

As it says. Downhill, with the wind. We don’t mind. Just get a quick one in.


Do the plank for 3min (or 3x1min)

We did have this down for one session of 10 minutes, but that caused uproar. Give it a go and let us know how long you lasted.


Run 5 days in a row

To put it another way; take two days off together in that week.


Learn to make your own energy bars

A fun way to refuel.


Try a new route

Surprisingly refreshing and rewarding, and incredibly easy to do. Turn left instead of right and see what happens.


Run 1000ft of elevation in two days

If you live in the Fens this will be tough, though Lake District or Highlands residents will laugh at the ease of this challenge.


Make your own energy drink

Like making your bars, fun.


Read a running-themed book

Suggestions on page 84 of this month's Trail Running magazine.


Take an ice bath

If Paula Radcliffe says they’re great, who’s to argue?


Run the length of Hadrian’s Wall in one week

Or a local equivalent that is suitably testing.


Learn five new drills to work on mobility

Easy to do and worth it. Tick that box.


Do a virtual race

There are loads to choose from.


Download the OS Map app on your phone

This will open up a new world of trails you never knew existed.


Do a Fartlek session

Simple to do, no rules. Run hard when you feel the need, go slow, and repeat. Go as far or short as you like – anything from 10-second efforts to 10-minute surges.


Do some plogging

Something we should all do - litter pick on the run.


Do an FKT route

There are plenty to choose from at fastestknowntime.com. Or you can devise your own.


Do a ‘count your off-road steps’ run

Paula Radcliffe used to count to 100 to pass the miles in a marathon, so a pretty useful skill to have.


Do a weights session

But don’t blame us if you’re stiff as a board afterwards.


Get outside and do a progression run

Hugely effective, but very tricky to do. Run each mile quicker than the last. Obviously, the first mile is paramount in pacing this session properly!


Organise a small handicap race for your running buddies (restrictions allowing)

Fun, historic (it was very popular in the 1920s), and a great way to liven up a familiar route.


Do a route without a watch and guess your time in advance

Also great fun but rather tricky – 5km or so is a good distance.


Do a scavenger hunt run

Similar to the handicap race, it has a touch of history about it – a bit like a paperchase at 19th century Eton.


Run your age in kilometres or miles for the week

Youngsters, you have no choice. Miles. Veteran athletes may like to go metric.


Run your age in kilometres or miles in one go

Or if you’re super-advanced in years, apply a decimal point. (Eg, 5.7km instead of 57km!)


Learn to use a heart-rate monitor

We all run too fast. Get loads of miles done in your personal zone 2 (slow) and you’ll reap the rewards when the time comes for you to run fast.


Learn yoga

A great routine to have in your armoury for keeping injury at bay.


Do an active recovery day

Cycle or swim instead of doing nothing.


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