MICRO-RUNNING ADVENTURES
Outdoor Fitness Adventure|January 2020
You don’t have to go on a grand expedition to have fun on the run – here are quirky ways to rev up your running mojo that will add a dash of excitement to your training.
Lisa Jackson
01 PLAY HUNT THE PLAQUE

‘Our Backpackers Blue Plaque Challenge involves splitting into small teams and trying to find as many English Heritage blue plaques as possible,’ says Leeanne Adu, Community Captain of Backpackers (instagram.com/backpackersclc), a running group that runs from the ASICS store on London’s Regent Street each Thursday. ‘You get points for every plaque you find (you get even more points for rarer green or brown plaques) and have to take a group photo with each one. I always come away with a list of names to look up to understand their impact and how they became worthy of a blue plaque.

‘I really love treasure hunts, but they can be quite hard to organise on the busy, central London streets our group runs on, so we needed checkpoints of “treasure” that were already in place and easy to access. I wanted our runners to relax, take in their surroundings and forget they were running. We all remember the fun we had playing as kids and how time just zoomed by, so I applied that concept to our runs. Part of the ethos of Backpackers is that it’s not about distance but about getting out there, so I try to encourage our members to take off their watches, stop worrying about pace, distance or time and just focus on having fun!’

02 RESEARCH YOUR LOCAL AREA

‘I’ve lived in Croydon for 25 years, but it wasn’t until I started running that I really got to know it,’ says Graham Williams. ‘To make my training more interesting, I set out to get to know the neighborhood and then research where I’d been afterward. One of the places I ran through was Surrey Street Market and I was amazed to discover not only that it’s been trading since 1276, but that it inspired one of my favourite songs, Streets of London (‘Have you seen the old man/In the closed down market/Kicking up the papers/With his worn out shoes?’ is a reference to it). I’ve also stumbled across the house where Cecily Mary Barker lived when she wrote her world-famous Flower Fairies books.’

03 TURN IT INTO A GAME

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM OUTDOOR FITNESS ADVENTUREView All

PUTTING THE TRAINING HOURS IN

Are your training goals ambitious? How can you find time to work out when you have a busy job and a family, yet want to train hard and long? Personal trainer Jeff Archer has some advice on finding the right balance

5 mins read
Outdoor Fitness Adventure
January 2020

SECRETS OF THE 100 MARATHON CLUB

Just how do the members of this small but high ly prestigious club, some of whom have run over 500 marathons, race 26.2 miles or more, week in, week out? Lisa Jackson finds out

6 mins read
Outdoor Fitness Adventure
January 2020

HIKING HOLIDAYS TO BOOST MENTAL HEALTH

While hiking is a wonderful way to get fit, it is also noted for its benefits for mental wellbeing.

4 mins read
Outdoor Fitness Adventure
January 2020

‘I CLIMBED MY WAY OUT OF DEPRESSION'

Thomas Palmer was suffering from anxiety and felt unable to leave the house. Then, he was inspired to climb multiple mountains despite having no previous climbing experience. He tells Christina Neal how he turned his life around…

8 mins read
Outdoor Fitness Adventure
January 2020

DON'T BE A FAIR-WEATHER CYCLIST

British pro cyclist Alex Dowsett, a six-time national time trial champion and former hour world record holder, reveals how to stay motivated to keep cycling in winter.

4 mins read
Outdoor Fitness Adventure
January 2020

MICRO-RUNNING ADVENTURES

You don’t have to go on a grand expedition to have fun on the run – here are quirky ways to rev up your running mojo that will add a dash of excitement to your training.

5 mins read
Outdoor Fitness Adventure
January 2020

DARK SKY ADVENTURES

locations are areas where the sky at night is unaffected by light pollution from big cities, enabling us to have a much clearer view of the stars Angela Youngman explains where they are and how to combine viewing them with outdoor exercise

5 mins read
Outdoor Fitness Adventure
January 2020

BRAVING THE WATER IN WINTER

We often associate surfing with summer, but many UK surfers happily do it all year round. With the right kit and a little winter sun, it’s an invigorating and fun activity, says Ruth Pocock

4 mins read
Outdoor Fitness Adventure
January 2020

Get Confident In The Mountains

Taking a Mountain Leader course isn’t just for those who want to do it for a living – if you enjoy exploring the mountains, you’ll feel more confident and safer if you undertake this training.

4 mins read
Outdoor Fitness Adventure
January 2020

15 Ways To Be A Better Runner

Whether you’re hoping to run faster, further or simply increase your motivation, Christina Neal has these top tips on how to improve your running

5 mins read
Outdoor Fitness Adventure
January 2020