Running is an excellent form of exercise that can burn 100 to 200 calories every ten minutes.
However, running the same trails every day can become repetitive and mundane.
If you’re looking to boost your motivation, or for some fun ways to introduce running into your routine, we have the answers.
Today we are going to be exploring 10 challenges that you can complete while running to keep it fun and your motivation levels high.
Beginner Running Challenges
Beginner challenges are for people who are just starting out on their running journey.
Alternatively, they could be used by seasoned runners who simply want an easier challenge to ramp up their motivation.
Marathon in a Month
The basis of the challenge is that you need to complete the same distance as a marathon - 26.2 miles - over the course of a month. You can split this however you want over the course of a month.
No matter how you split the distance up, by the end of the month you’ll be able to revel in the fact that you ran a full marathon in your own way.
Run Every Day for a Month
A running streak can be very motivating once you build up an impressive amount of time.
Try to run for at least 10 minutes every day for an entire month. Make sure some days are easier than others to account for your rest days.
By the end of the month, you’ll have a 30-day streak under your belt that you won’t want to give up as easily.
Run a race in Every State Around You
You might be surprised at how many races there are around you, and they’re quite cheap to enter as well.
Look for races in every state that has the same time zone as you so that you don’t have to pay too much for transportation costs.
Running a race in every state around you is a great way to get your motivation back as you won’t be seeing the same old sights that you have seen time and time again.
You might even find your new favorite trail that doesn’t require too much travel to get to.
Run 5k Every Month for One Year
5k races amount to 3.1 miles, so they’re not that harrowing on the body.
However, many 5k races are competitive and fun to compete in. Challenging yourself to compete in one of these races every month for a year can get you excited and motivated while not pushing yourself too hard at the same time.
If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly race to compete in, the 5k races could be an excellent choice for you. Plus, you’ll be able to see some great new places and maybe meet some more people like yourself.
Run a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon in One Month
This challenge is fun and exciting, although can be a pain to coordinate all of the races.
Find the marathon that you want to compete in before looking for the other races, as these are more common and easier to find.
Once you have found all of your races, get training! This month is going to be challenging to say the least, but so worth it once you can brag about the four races you completed in under 30 days.
Complete Your Running Bucket List
Is there somewhere that you have always wanted to run? Perhaps a particularly difficult trail or somewhere with amazing sights?
Write all of your dream running destinations down and give yourself a time frame of when you want to achieve them all by.
This will give you something to look forward to and get you on the journey to running in the place that you’ve been dreaming of.
A quick internet search will help you find the best running destinations in the USA or even the world. Some of our favorite destinations are as follows:
- McKenzie River Trail - Eugene, Oregon
- Appalachian Trail - Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Mount Katahdin, Maine
- Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Ice Age National Scenic Trail
- Palos/Sag Valley Trail Systems - Palos Park, Illinois
- Mesa Trail - Boulder, Colorado
Advanced Running Challenges
If the above challenges seemed too simple for you and you want a tougher challenge, the advanced options could be right for you.
Don’t be shy - you might be able to complete more of these than you first think.
Run a Half Marathon/Full Marathon Every Month for One Year
Running a half or full marathon once a month might require you to travel further to the races, but this can be an advantage when you’re bored of your repetitive running spots.
The reason why we included half marathons into this challenge as well is so that you aren’t running too many long-distance races too often.
Try to alternate between running a full marathon and a half marathon every month so that you don’t burn yourself out.
If this seems like too much, run mostly only half marathons with a couple of full marathons sprinkled in periodically.
Complete a Race in Every State
This challenge will require a lot of traveling and planning, so be prepared to sit down and coordinate all of the marathons that you can run.
This challenge won’t have a time limit on it as you shouldn’t run too many marathons too close together, so look after your body.
It might be fun to get a map that you can cross of each state as you complete a marathon there.
Running a marathon in 50 states will also take a considerable amount of time, so completing the challenge will leave you with an immense sense of pride.
Run Every Day for One Year
Running every day for an entire year is a bigger challenge than it sounds, but you’ll have a great story to tell at the end of it.
Again, make sure that some of your runs are shorter and easier than others to account for active rest days.
Running for at least one mile every day for a year will get you an inclusion on the USRSA's Official All Active Running Streak List.
You’ll have a ways to go to get near the top of the list - which is currently showing a running streak of 18,894 days - but you’ll be on your way.
Complete Four Races on One Weekend
Finally, the four-race weekends are incredibly difficult on the body - that’s 48.6 miles run over four consecutive days - but imagine the bragging rights!
An example is Walt Disney World’s Marathon Weekend that is hosted in January. Complete one of these challenges and you’ll feel unstoppable.
We hope that you’ve found an interesting challenge to start here on our list. If you’re up for a mega challenge, why don’t you set yourself the task of completing all ten challenges?
It might be difficult to get all ten of them completed, but the longer your challenge is the more rewarding the end result is. So, get out there and have fun again!