Friday 31 October 2014

Amazing adventures will help you to form good habits early

Roisin Finlay

Published 18/08/2014 | 00:00

Night swim at Greystones. Photo: Ruth Kennedy.
Roisin Finlay

It will be much easier to keep up training and an active lifestyle through the winter if you get going in the summer with its long evenings, bright early mornings and warmer temperatures. The good habits will be formed and you'll be feeling the benefits, which will help you ignore the chillier weather and the strengthening draw of the couch.

To top it off, summer and autumn offer an amazing and diverse list of adventures and activities to get stuck into to suit every person and fitness level.

If you're looking for easier events to get started with, check out the Great Pink Run (August 20 - www.greatpinkrun.ie). In aid of Breast Cancer Ireland, the event offers 5km or 10km options through Phoenix Park and a really encouraging and fun atmosphere as men, women, children and dogs - all dressed in pink - run, jog and walk the flat course.

If you fancy upping the ante a little, The Irish Mountain Running Association (IMRA) Mountain Rescue Benefit Race (August 20 - www.imra.ie/events/view/id/1146) which takes place at 7.30pm near Laragh, Co Wicklow, is a great choice. The course may only be 7.2km but the undulating terrain over Paddock Hill and the great scenery will both challenge your legs and lift your spirits.

Or the Donadea Forest Duathlon (August 23 - www.donadearunningclub.com/racecalendar.html) is a good option. This race involves a 3km run followed by a 21.5km cycle and then another 2.75km in the lovely surroundings of Donadea Forest Park, Co Kildare. While covering more than 27km in one event might seem daunting, you'll be surprised how far your legs can take you if you switch disciplines. And you'll be amazed by the fitness boost you'll get too.

Another brilliant multi-sport option is Achill Roar (September 6 - www.roar.ie). Taking place on the Co Mayo island, it offers Mini (18km), Sport Solo (31km), Expert Solo and Expert Relay (63km) categories. Participants in each choose between swimming and kayaking followed by a run and cycle.

Or if you want to keep things nice and simple, what about doing sea swimming? To test the water, you could sign up for the Wicklow Night Swim (September 5 - www.active.com/greystones-greystones/water-sports/swimming/wicklow-night-swim-2014) which kicks off from south beach in Greystones.

This is a fun event, not a race, and offers distances from 500m to 1,500m. You can swim in either your togs or wetsuit and swim leaders and kayak support will be provided. Everyone will wear glow sticks in the straps of their goggles so you can expect an amazing atmosphere. And you can warm up after with complimentary tea, coffee and well-earned cake. Again this is a fundraiser for the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association to buy crafts and safety equipment, so your efforts will be for a good cause.

 

Roisin Finlay is editor of Outsider magazine, Ireland's adventure magazine

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