5 x 50 x 50

5 by 50

On 9 September the 5 x 50 challenge began. Quite simply, this asks participants to run, walk, jog or cycle 5km every day for the 50 days until the end of British Summer Time on 28 October. In their words, the 5 x 50 is:

“A charity challenge encouraging people to run, walk, jog or cycle 5k every day for 50 days with the aim of changing habits for a lifetime. This challenge started with a vision to make sport part of everyone’s daily life. Not everyone will run a marathon, however anyone can complete the 5×50 challenge and experience the physical and psychological benefits that come from taking part.”

Hopefully, since starting this blog a few months ago, I have already taken the first stumbling steps towards understanding some of the benefits of a little more exercise, but this feels like a good way to step up to another level. 5km every day is significantly more exercise than I have been doing so far. But, whilst it sounds daunting at first, the first week has proven that it really isn’t as hard as I had expected to get 5km’s worth of exercise every day.

A few small changes can make all the difference. These have been as simple as choosing to spend a small part of our weekend cycling along the Granite Way, walking into Exeter from the outskirts rather than taking the bus, extending my 4.09km running route with an extra kilometre and making that extra effort to go out for a short cycle ride of an evening, even though the nights are drawing in and, more importantly, The Great British Bake Off was starting soon! (We made it back in time, don’t panic).

And, whilst it’s not strictly covered by the ” run, walk, jog or cycle” mentioned above, the challenge rules allow you to count 30 minutes of an alternative exercise in lieu of strapping on your running shoes or hopping on your bike. Why is this good? Well, it has inspired me, after a long absence from the pool, to renew my membership and to start swimming again. I shall be flying up and down that pool like a Tancock or a Simmonds. Just as soon as I can find where I put my swimming shorts…

5 by 50 by 50?

So where does the other 50 come from? Well, this seemed like the ideal opportunity to begin my other challenge. This summer, the Independent released their latest list of the 50 best beers. As a counterpoint to the endeavours of the 5 x 50 challenge, and to remind myself of one of the reasons why it’s important to keep on with the exercise (namely, to be able to enjoy the occasional pint or two), I decided to sample their selection.

50 beers. 52 weeks in the year. It’s almost perfect; one a week with a couple of weeks off. For Christmas, perhaps. And so my second challenge starts: A Year in Beer.

Updates on both challenges will appear in future blog posts. And to anyone out there working their way through the 5 x 50 challenge, or through the 50 best beers, or any other challenge, I wish you all the best of luck.