Going into the winter months it can be hard to find the motivation to keep up your miles and making progress in your training. So one of the tricks I use going into the new year is by taking on some sort of new running challenge to keep me motivated. This year for example, I did the “Run the Year in Total Miles” challenge. Aiming to complete 2022 total miles for the year (will be hitting it soon). And to better help you, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite new year’s running challenges. Perfect for runners of all levels. Many of which include starting early on in the year to complete. So you better get running!
8 New Year’s Running Challenges
Run Every Day for a Month
One of the more popular running challenges you are going to find. This one is perfect for any level of runner and the challenge is simple. Just run every day for a month. And while there isn’t any distance requirement. A lot of people try to make it at least 1 mile on each run. But whatever distance you are comfortable with is perfect.
Bonus: Start this one January 1st and kick the new year off with a long running streak!
Sign Up for the Longest Race Than You Have Ever Run
What better way to challenge yourself than by taking on a race distance you have never run before. Never run a marathon or maybe you have been thinking about your first 50k. No matter the distance, just pick something that has you stepping outside of your comfort zone. This will (hopefully) help you get motivated to start training for your big race.
Tip: Pick a destination race, and make it a long weekend someplace awesome!
Run a 5k Every Month
This is another great running challenge for beginners. But running a 5k every month is one challenge that can also do a lot to benefit experienced runners too. The idea is to go out and push yourself for a 5k run at least once a month. This is meant to be hard and challenging, pushing your lactic threshold. With the goal of setting a 5k personal best each time. But I can almost guarantee that by doing this you will get faster. And that your 5k time at the end of the year will have improved.
Tip: Try to run the same course, or at least similar in elevation and overall speed, so you can get an accurate idea of what your time is compared to previous attempts.
Take on the 1,000 Meter Challenge
This one may be a bit different for a lot of runners. Rather than a distance, the 1,000 meter challenge has runners finding the steepest hill they can find and rack up 1,000 meters of elevation gain and descent as quickly as possible. That’s 3,280 ft for us americans. Here is a link to more info on the 1,000 Meter Challenge.
The 1,000 Mile Challenge
Are you looking to up your total miles for the year? Well challenging yourself to run 1,000 miles for the year is a great place to start. To meet the goal you will need to run just over 19 miles per week for the year. This is a tough but rewarding challenge for most beginner to intermediate runners looking to increase their overall mileage volume over the year. And between you and me, breaking that 1,000 mile mark really opens up the possibilities for the next year in running.
Tips: You can check out my tips for the 1,000 meter challenge here.
Sign Up For One Race Per Month
Signing up for a one race month is a great way to increase your miles, race experience, and meet a lot of great people in the running community. It doesn’t matter the distance or location, just that you get out and compete in a group. Which tends to help us push just a little harder than typical training runs.
Note: This is actually my goal for the new year. I’m trying to run a 50k+ distance race ach month. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Run the Year in Total Miles
This is the most recent running challenge I took on this past year. Running a total 2022 miles for the year. So for next year your goal would be 2,023 miles. I really enjoyed this one and by getting to the last few weeks have been able to catch up on some rest knowing I’m going to hit my goal. And setting me up to go into the new year rested, received, and ready to rock.
Note: You will have to average 38.91 miles per week to run 2023 miles in one year.
Take on the 4 x 4 x 48 Challenge
Are you ready to step up your new year’s running challenge to level difficult? Originally started by motivational speaker and overall badass David Goggins. The 4 x 4 x 48 challenge involved running 4 miles every 4 hours, for 48 hours. Meaning you will run a total of 48 miles in 48 hours. And while the miles are tough, one of the toughest parts of this challenge is mental, forcing you to go on little to no sleep. You can check out my tips for the 4x4x48 challenge here.
When: You can do this challenge on your own, whenever works best for you. But every year David Goggins does this challenge around March. You can check his social media and do it along with him.
Conclusion – New Year’s Running Challenges
New year’s running challenges are a great way to get you motivated in the winter months. While keeping you accountable throughout the year. There are a lot of options, and as long as you can find one day a month, you can challenge yourself to stay consistent throughout the year. One day doesn’t sound like much, but one race a month sounds like a lot. And will help motivate you to do more during the week.
So step up and get a little unforgettable this new year’s!