In last week’s blog post I looked at entry level fitness challenges, ideal for those who are new to this world. As I previously mentioned, there has been a boom in the participation of fitness challenges and I feel they provide a great platform against which to measure your fitness and develop your personal ability. If you are interested in the intermediate or expert fitness challenges than you will no doubt have some experience in the time and dedication required to complete such a challenge. The next logical step would be to take on some of the intermediate challenges but you can tackle the expert challenges if you feel ready. Hopefully you already know the type of challenges you enjoy and the time required. Below is my list of intermediate and expert fitness challenges.

 

Running

If you want to take a more demanding running challenge then you have two options. The first is the Half-Marathon which is a great stepping stone between the 10km runs and the full marathon. The training, and impact on the body, is significantly less than a full marathon and completing a half-marathon is no easy feat. If, however, you want to take on the expert level challenge, then you may want to consider taking on the full Marathon. Often cited as a very worthy challenge, the marathon is a mental as well as a physical challenge taken on by many.

Intermediate

  • Events: Half-Marathon
  • Completion times: 60-180 minutes
  • Training requirements: 20 weeks

Advanced

  • Events: Marathon
  • Completion times: 120-480 minutes
  • Training requirements: 20 weeks

 

Cycling

In the last blog post, I suggested a 30-mile bike ride as a great starting point as a cycling challenge. Assuming this has been conquered, the next option would be to take on either the 60-mile bike ride or the 100-mile bike ride. The natural progression would be the 60-mile bike ride and then the 100-mile bike ride, but it depends on your ambition. A 60-mile bike ride can be completed in a morning (assuming you set off at 8am) with the 100-mile bike ride taking a couple of hours longer, depending on cycling speed and the terrain.

Intermediate

  • Events: 60-mile bike ride
  • Completion times: 180-240 minutes
  • Training requirements: 20 weeks

Advanced

  • Events: 100-mile bike ride
  • Completion times: 300-420 minutes
  • Training requirements: 20 weeks

 

Swimming

Having completed a 1.5km swim, it is at this stage you now have a choice in whether you would like to keep swimming to the pool, which I will assume is where you have completed the 1.5km swim, or whether you would like to move to open water. I need to say that I haven’t ever completed an open water swim. The closest I’ve come to open water swimming is swimming in the sea, so I am not the best source of knowledge, but if you would like to move to open water, you will need to consider sighting, which is being able to look at targets during the swim, and a wetsuit. A good starting point for new open water swimmers would be a 3km swim or, if you are a little more adventurous, a 5km swim.

Intermediate

  • Events: 3km swim
  • Completion times: 40-90 minutes
  • Training requirements: 12-20 weeks

Advanced

  • Events: 5km swim
  • Completion times: 60-140 minutes
  • Training requirements: 12-20 weeks

 

Triathlon

If triathlon was your challenge of choice then stepping it up from a super sprint triathlon means completing either a Sprint Triathlon or a Standard Triathlon. The distances for each event are as follows: Sprint distance triathlon: 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run, and a Standard distance triathlon: 1500m swim, a 40km bike and a 10km run.

Intermediate

  • Events: Sprint/Standard distance triathlon
  • Completion times: 60-200 minutes
  • Training requirements: 12-20 weeks

Advanced

  • Events: Middle distance triathlon
  • Completion times: 110-200 minutes
  • Training requirements: 24-36 weeks

 

Obstacle Race

Obstacle races have become hugely popular in recent years as a more interesting alternative to the typical running, cycling or swimming. The Spartan Super is a great starting point at 10km in length with no clock or competition or a Tough Mudder Half which is 5 miles or more with 20+ obstacles.

Intermediate

  • Events: Spartan Super
  • Completion times: 120-180 minutes
  • Training requirements: 12-20 weeks

Advanced

  • Events: Tough Mudder Half
  • Completion times: 60-240 minutes
  • Training requirements: 12-20 weeks

 

Hiking

Ten Tors is an annual weekend hike in early May on Dartmoor, southwest England. Organised by the British Army, it began in 1960, and every year brings together teams of four to six young people, with 2,400 participants hiking to checkpoints on ten specified tors. Many of the entrants are from schools, colleges, scout groups and cadet squadrons from South West England, though groups from across the UK have regularly taken part, as have teams from Australia and New Zealand.

The Lake District 24 Peaks Challenge is a two-day challenge over a walking distance of 31 miles which will push your mental and physical strength to the limit.

Intermediate

  • Events: Dartmoor Ten Tors
  • Completion times: 24 hours
  • Training requirements: 24-36 weeks

Advanced

  • Events: Lake District 24 Peaks
  • Completion times: 24 hours
  • Training requirements: 24-36 weeks

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Personal Trainer