August typically is a month where we are either at our peak mileage training for our goal races, or are starting to head towards taper town. No matter where you are in your running/training schedule, it is always good to change things up. Here at Run Like a Girl, we are all about getting out there, living life and chasing after your dreams… no matter what they are. We believe in diversity, in trying new things and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. So… what better way to challenge yourself this august then by getting out and trying something new, something you might have never even thought of trying. You never know if you will love something or be good at something if you don’t get out there and experience new things.
Here are a list of some things to give a try in August! Even if it is not something you’ve never done, it might be something you don’t do very often!!
-SUPing – This is one of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon, especially after a long run. There are now inflatable SUPs which allow for ease of transport if you don’t have a big vehicle to transport them. If you have never tried SUPing before and you are not a confident swimmer, make sure you start with a life jacket. It can take a little while to get your balance on the board, but once you’re on, you’ll realize how stable they are. Start by sitting on the board, progress to your knees and then finally stand when you feel stable.
Where: Lakes are the perfect place to learn as they tend to be more calm… but once your skills are there and you feel confident standing up on the bored, you can paddle in calm rivers and on the ocean for some exploration!
-Mountain biking – This is a tough sport, and a hard one to feel confident about but that is what makes it so awesome. Mountain biking opens up a whole bunch of new locations and options for you and it really can mix up your training schedule from the daily grind of running. Mountain biking is an excellent cardio workout and is a great quad burner as well. You don’t have to hit complicated hard trails, just a cruise on a nice gravel trail will do. If you’ve never mountain biked before, it is a really good idea to start gentle before hitting some of the more complicated terrain. It might not be a bad idea to do some research to see if there is a place that offers lessons in your area!
Where: Check your local neighbourhoods or mountains to see where the best trails are. There are lots of bike rental companies out there so have a look around to see what you can find before buying a bike if you don’t have one!
-Climbing – I have recently fallen pretty in love with climbing. Yes, it is scary and waaaay out of my comfort zone (hello, heights!) but it is so fun and so rewarding. It is an amazing cross training to incorporate in your routine as it truly uses your entire body. Core, arms, legs, back… everything works to get you up the wall!! It is also mentally challenging because not only are you working against the fear of heights but you also have to figure out each problem to get you to the top.
Where: If you’ve never been, the best and safest way to learn is to head to a climbing gym near you. You must take a lesson in safe belaying and knot tying before you can do it on your own. Get a group of friends together and take a lesson together!
Photo credit: @thehilaryann
Slack lining – Have you ever tried slack lining? If not, you really should. It is surprisingly addicting!! It is super hard to learn and get good at, but once you’ve got your balance all figured out you’ll be walking that line like crazy!! It is a super fun way to hang out with friends. Set up the slack line at a park or in someones yard, or at the beach… you just need two sturdy points to attach either end to and you’re golden!
Photo credit: http://briceferrestudio.com
Hiking – It sounds silly, but it is a sport all in its on. You don’t have to run everyday to get to amazing places! Hiking is such an awesome way to explore, see new places and spend an amazing day out in nature! Taking the pace down a notch is not a bad idea if you are in an intense block of training. So literally.. take a hike! Make sure you have the appropriate gear for heading into the back country, always tell someone where you are going and for how long you are going for and pick a route that is doable for your fitness level and ability! Where: There are so many websites with information for local hiking trails in your area! Many of them rate the trails based on difficulty too which is handy!
Kayaking – Kayaking is an incredible way to see different landscapes and take the pace down a notch. It is a great way to spend an evening after a long run and can be a really awesome activity for the whole family. I would recommend sticking to lakes and calm oceans before you head into the river unless you have experience. You don’t need to venture far in the kayak but it is a really nice way to get out there and explore a different area!
Where: Check out places in your area that rents out kayaks! A lot of local lakes and waterfronts rent out gear beach front! No excuses if you have a smaller vehicle!