LBAC January Challenge

Happy New Year everyone!
We are obviously all looking forward to brighter days ahead in 2021 and the return of “proper” events at some time in the not too distant future. However, we’re not there yet and so we thought we’d try and come up with something to focus on in the dark days of January, particularly for any of you for whom motivation might be a struggle at the moment!
The idea is to set a few small challenges that might encourage you to broaden your horizons. Even if your horizons are already very broad, it might give you the odd idea of something new. We’ve tried to tailor it so it’s suitable for everyone. As long as you can run 5K, you should be able to do them all. If you feel like naming your runs on Strava to include the above then that will help to get it going and hopefully encourage each other through the month.
There are ten challenges. Some easier than others, some that might be right up your street and some you might shy away from, but the idea is to tick them all off and earn as many points as possible. There isn’t a prize, it’s just for fun, but we will give a big “shout out” to all those that complete it.
You could quite easily do more than one of the challenges in a single run, but the idea is that you get out at least ten times over the course of the month to gradually get them done one at a time.
So you have 31 days to do the following in any order you like:
#1 Run somewhere you haven’t before. Perhaps you’ve driven past a footpath sign in a layby and always wondered where it goes. Perhaps you’ve been recommended a route that you’ve always meant to do, but never got round to. This is your chance to do it!
#2 Squared sprints. Most of us rarely do speed work with efforts of less than a minute so this will be different for most. Have long recoveries, have short recoveries, do it in blocks of five or ten, it’s up to you but do a session that is either 20 x 20 seconds or 30 x 30 seconds to really get your speed up high.
#3 A lap of a lake. This should be pretty easy for most, but don’t shirk it! You have to complete a whole lap, not 90% of one. Make sure you get back to where you started before you carry on. Which lake is up to you, but we’re not recommending Loch Ness!
#4 Progression run. In case you don’t know. The idea here is that your pace increases with each mile (or kilometre if that’s your preference). We think that it should be your whole run, and at least 3 miles/km’s but beyond that is your choice. Just remember not to start too fast otherwise you’re making a rod for your own back!
#5 Get off my road. Most of our members love an off-road run so this shouldn’t be too tricky. All we’d say is that it doesn’t count if you just run across the grass in the park! Go explore a field or a wood and make sure your shoes come back muddy!
#6 5K Tester. Most people are out of the habit of racing, so seeing how fast you can run 5K in your own territory at a time that suits you might just be the gentle reminder you need to see where you are with your running. Perhaps a good one to do twice?
#7 L.B.A.C. This requires a little planning! In a single run, you have to take in the full length of four roads that begin with the letters L, B, A and C. Those feeling so inclined may wish to take photographic evidence!
#8 Double Strava PR’s. We think that the vast majority of the club are on Strava (huge apologies if you’re not) so the challenge is to get two segemnt PR’s on a single run. You can pick a couple of easy ones that you’ve only done once before or go for a couple on a regular route, but seeing two gold medals on your run is the aim.
#9 Counting climbs. This is for those who avoid a hill if you can. Essentially it’s a hill session that you design yourself. The hills can be long or short, but you have to do at least three repetitions of the same hill to get a tick in this box. Push yourself a bit here. Don’t just go for the easy option!
#10 Find your happy place. Whether it’s at Turf Moor or not, go on a run that you know you love. It might be squelching through mud, taking in a stately home, doing a route with a beautiful view or running past your Gran’s house, but it has to be a run that put’s a smile on your face and we’d love to see the proof!
Take whatever you want from this challenge, but remember to enjoy your athletics, which ever form it takes. Bring on 2021!