Sure, shooting hoops in the backyard or a quick nine holes of golf is a nice bit of exercise on the weekend.But some people require a little bit more of a challenge. Like climbing a skyscraper.
Or running a triathlon … or three or four.
Maybe a car race that lasts an entire day … or a month?
Whatever kind of insane physical and mental challenge you’re looking for, one of these endurance challenges should fit the bill.
You've heard of an Ironman right? A 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride, followed by a full 26.2 mile marathon?
What if that wasn't enough? What if the only way to push yourself was to do it at twice the distance? Or three times? Or four? Or 10?
Or let's say you're completely insane. Then you should put your name in the hat for the Double Deca Ironman. A full Ironman Triathlon, every day, for 20 days in a row.
Then you die as the winner.
The supreme test of any cyclist, the epic, month-long race forces riders to scale some of the highest peaks in France, while dodging spectators, animals, cobblestones, and the occasional car.
The 2011 Tour had 21 stages and covered 2,132 miles and more than few ugly crashes.
It's simple. Get a team of sled dogs and mush them 1,049 miles from Anchorage to Nome.
Oh, and you also need to keep you and your 12 dogs from freezing to death in the Alaskan wilderness as you battle snow, ice, wind, and sub-zero temperatures for about nine days.
Also, it's only 1,049 miles if you don't get lost in the whiteout conditions. Then it's a bit longer.
Like all good endurance races, this test is not just about speed, but about durability.
And Le Mans doesn't just challenge its competitors -- it also challenges their equipment. The cars they race in must not only be fast, they must operate for 24 straight hours with out breaking down.
That's not as easy as it sounds. Half the cars did not finish the 2011 race.
Each car has three drivers who share the duties, with the goal of circling the course (that includes both a track and public roads) as many times as they can in one day.
The current record is 397 laps or about 3,234 miles -- six times the distance of the Indianapolis 500.
An off-road version of the long-distance car race, the rally begin in 1978 with 170 drivers and motorcyclists heading south from Paris, France, hitching a ride across the Mediterranean, then winding their way through North Africa to reach Dakar, Senegal.
Unfortunately, the 'Dakar Rally' has actually been in run South America since 2009, after threats of terrorist attacks forced the race to be canceled in 2008. Now it takes place in Chile and Argentina.
The routes and dates have varied, but the race typically takes 2-3 weeks with drivers/riders covering 500-600 miles a day.
Yes, it's not that 'long' by endurance standards, but since most people look for an elevator after five flights of stairs, running up 86 stories to the observation deck of the Empire State Building is a pretty tough feat.
The race covers a vertical distance of 1,050 feet and 1,576 steps. The record time is 9 minutes and 33 seconds.
This one is more of an endurance test for your stomach.
Run two miles from the NC State Belltower to the Krispy Kreme doughnut store in Raleigh. Eat one dozen glazed doughnuts. Then run back.
Even if you win, you might lose ... your lunch.
Spartan Races are a new breed of challenge that combine obstacle course, mud runs, trail climbs, and other outdoor adventures meant to push the stamina and metal toughness of weekend warriors.
Most of the races cover 3-10 miles and take a few hours to complete. But for the true warrior, there is also the Death Race, a 48-hour test of strength and sanity that sounds more like punishment than sport.
Log-splitting, diving in muddy ponds, crawling under barbed wire, putting together Legos in the rain? Less than 10% of entrants have even finished the race.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.