Run 100 Miles
100 miles is the new 26.2. Ten years ago ultramarathons were known only to a small handful of runners, but the number of runners entering 100-mile races has grown dramatically over the years. Training for a 100 miles race isn’t as difficult as you may think either. If 2016 might be the year of the ultra for you, read my article, ‘Tips for Running your First Ultramarathon’.
Hike the Appalachian Trail
Famed ultra runner Scott Jurek brought attention to the Appalachian Trail in 2015 when he set the record through hike time of forty-six days, eight hours, and seven minutes. Even the best hikers usually take six months to complete the trail. A through hike will not likely be in your future if you haven’t already planned, but you can hike any breathtaking section of the trail in just a day. The trail goes from Springer Mountain Georgia to Mount Katahadin in Maine. So if you are planning on visiting any of the states along the trail in 2016, consider taking a walk along the famed Appalachian Trail.
Complete a sprint triathlon
Are you a runner and a cyclist, but not a swimmer? Are you a swimmer, but not a runner or a cyclist? Consider challenging yourself by entering a sprint triathlon. You may think there is no way you could ever do it, but you just might surprise yourself. When I trained for my first sprint triathlon I couldn’t even swim the length of the pool without flipping on my back to float. On race day I still couldn’t maintain a freestyle stroke for the entire course, but despite being the second to last swimmer out of the water, managed to finish 17th out of 71 min my age group. Most triathletes are only strong in one or two of the events. So consider stretching yourself athletically by participating in a triathlon.
Bike or run across America
I can’t even count on one two hands the number of people I know that have either biked or ran across America. If running 100 miles isn’t impressive enough, try running or riding coast to coast. Sponsored athlete Patrick Sweeney ran across American in 2015, starting in California and ending in Boston. He did the entire 3,355 mile trek in Luna Sandals in an impressive 114 days. A feat like this takes careful planning, but if you start now you could start your journey early Summer or early Fall.
Go rock climbingRock climbing is by far my favorite sport. It’s a great full body workout and it gets you outdoors. If you have never been outdoor climbing there are plenty of guide services that will take you out for the day. Consider joining your local climbing gym, as well, if outdoor climbing intimidates you. If you live in Austin you should definitely check out Austin Bouldering Project, our newest climbing gym. However, outdoor climbing is by far a more fulfilling experience, and my personal favorite way to connect with nature and get some outside time.