Tips for taking on a challenge

Thank you on behalf of everyone at Battersea for choosing to take on a challenge to raise money for the dogs and cats in our care. You are embarking on an exciting journey with Team Battersea so we've got some tips to help you get started with your fundraising and training journey.

I'm on board – what do I do now?

You are about to embark on an exciting challenge for the dogs and cats in our care and whether you’re a seasoned pro or an absolute beginner, we hope you’ll find these tips useful and inspiring. We've spoken to health professionals and former Team Battersea members to find the best training and fundraising tips to help ensure you have an amazing, fun and exciting experience.

1. Plan

Creating a training plan is the first step to achieving your goal, and it is a great way to motivate yourself. Start by breaking down your overall distance into small achievable milestones which can act as small, medium and long-term goals. It is incredibly important to ensure that your plan is realistic, that you can fit your training into your routine, and that you can build up your distance slowly, to avoid injuring yourself.

2. Get into a routine

A realistic plan is one that can become part of your daily or weekly routine. Decide whether you would prefer to train in the morning, during your lunch break or in the evening and stick to what you’ve planned. It is fundamental that this routine also includes stretching before and after your training – warming up and cooling down are essential elements for recovery and progress.

3. Start your fundraising early

It’s easy to get caught up in your fundraising and leave your training until the last minute. By starting early, not only can you keep people updated on social media as your training progresses, but you can spread awareness about why you’re taking on a challenge for Battersea. Getting organised also leaves you with more time to concentrate on your longer training sessions in the run up to the big day. Taking pictures of your routes and your fundraising journey also proves to people who have sponsored you that you are doing this!

4. Get kitted up

Having the correct kit is essential. This doesn’t mean spending lots of money on the latest gear, just ensuring you have comfortable, appropriate clothing which you have trained in before the big day. The most important element for your challenge is shoes, as the right footwear keeps you comfortable and prevents you from injury.

5. Rest

Ensuring you have time to rest and recover is just as important as clocking up the miles. This includes getting plenty of sleep; your body needs time to repair from all the extra work it’s doing. Make sure you plan rests into your schedule, particularly in the run up to your event as this reduces the risk of late injury and ensures you are in peak condition.

6. Eating well

It is important to fuel your body to support your regular training as it places additional demands on your body. Eat a nutritious and balanced diet, with a focus on fresh fruits and vegetables as a source for the vitamins and minerals you need. Stay hydrated with at least two litres of water per day, and even more when you’re training. When you sweat you lose electrolytes like sodium and potassium, so it is important to replace these with either an isotonic drink or a drink naturally rich in electrolytes, like coconut water.

7. Believe in yourself and have fun!

Taking on a challenge is an amazing thing to do and you should be so proud of yourself. Training is a rollercoaster, and you will have ups and downs. Don’t sweat it when your session doesn’t go as you’d hoped and make sure you treat yourself occasionally too. Taking on a challenge for Battersea should be a fun experience, and although it’s important to follow a plan, don’t put too much pressure on yourself and enjoy the journey. You are doing it for a great cause!

If you're stuck for ideas on how to raise money for Battersea, we've got a full page of top tips to boost your fundraising as well as an an A-Z of fundraising ideas to help get you started on your fundraising journey.

How your support makes a difference

Below are just a few examples of how the money you raise could be used:

£25 could pay for a cat essentials bundle £25

could pay for a cat essentials bundle which includes an igloo, bowls and a litter tray.

£45 could pay for a dog essentials bundle £45

could pay for a dog essentials bundle which includes a cosy bed and food bowl for a small dog.

£85 could pay for a small dog enrichment bundle £85

could pay for an enrichment bundle for a small dog including items such as toys, treats, blankets and a relaxing plugin diffuser.

£300 could pay for a mum and puppies essentials bundle £300

could pay for a bundle to care for a mum and her puppy’s including items such as puppy pads, a puppy Kong, scales and puppy teether toys.

Haven't signed up for Team Battersea yet?

Get muddy, work up a sweat, trek the coastline or get wet. Whatever you decide to do, do it for Battersea. Because with your support we can be here for every dog and cat.

On our Challenge events page you can find a range of different event types to take part in.

If you have already secured your own place in a challenge event, you can still raise money for Battersea to help the dogs and cats in our care. Just visit our Own place challenges page for more details.

I'm ready to get training! What's next?

Run, trek or cycle, see our tips for each event type to help kickstart your adventure and keep you going you every step of the way.

Read our cycling tips

Read our running tips

Read our trekking tips

Fundraising tips

We've put together our top tips for how to make the most out of your fundraising

Read our ideas