Friday, 7 June 2013

Run Streak! 3,650km in 365 days

On the 21st of May I decided to start a #RunStreak. The plan is to run everyday for a year, ending May 20th 2014. I hope to cover 3,650km, which would work out at an average of 10k a day for 365 days. I've set 3.65km as the minimum run per day. Training and racing in events longer than 10km will keep the overall average at 10k,,, I hope.

I'm not sure if I will meet these goals. Running everyday for a year will not be easy, let alone trying to maintain an average of 10k a day. I imagine this will be more of a mental endeavour than a physical challenge. My major worry at the beginning is finding time and motivation when the winter months arrive but that's a long way off and I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
Two phrases spring to mind when I question my ability to do this and the necessity to maintain the average distance.

It's better to have loved and lost than never to ave loved at all.

And

The greatest journey starts with a single step.

So why am I run streaking 10k a day for a year?

Over the past year I've been searching for a challenge that would test my limits. I've raced ironman triathlon before and that race definitely ticked the limit box, however the training is long. Bike sessions consume so much time during the week and weekend, not to mention training all three disciplines. At this stage of my life I'm not sure I have the time or the will to put my family through an IM training program. When you train for an event like that it inevitably affects everybody who is close to you including family and friends.

I ran the Paris marathon last April and this kick started the desire to race more. I didn't train particularly well for this race but felt great on race day and afterwards. I decided I wanted to really work on my running and achieve a sub 3hr marathon, a feat I know I am capable of with correct training.
During my training for the Paris marathon I discovered the world of ultra running. I stumbled across the Rich Roll podcast when searching for something to replace the mundanity of music I had on my iPod. Rich Roll is a 2 time top ten finisher at ultraman, a double ironman race performed on the big island of Hawaii over two consecutive days. I was led to the ultrarunnerpodcast.com and from there I was hooked.

I found a couple of people on twitter who were doing similar run streaks of varying distance and I was completely intrigued. I had found something that was going to push me to places I hadn't been before, which also had me intrigued with what other humans can do and are doing everyday.

When I run I am a better person. I feel better, I eat better and my mood is better. I am fortunate that health and fitness has always been a major aspect of my life and I've seen from a very early age the benefits of exercise.
A major question most people have is "won't you get injured?" And my response is "No", at least I hope I don't. If you read my previous blog posts you'll see I don't buy into the whole world of mechanical strain causing running injuries. There are far too many people in this world who run way way way further than I ever could who don't get injured. I attribute most running injuries to 3 main reasons:

Either you are running too hard on every session

You are not getting enough rest, recovery and sleep

Or you are eating way too much junk and not getting your essential nutrients

In terms of rest and recovery, I need to go to bed a little earlier and if I run one day from 6-7am and don't run the next day until 6-7pm then I've had more than a day rest.
The majority of this running will be performed in Zone 2, which is not going to cause a huge amount of body breakdown so long as my nutrition is good. This should prevent or at least limit injury and sickness.

I've been edging towards a plant based diet over the past 2 months, for me it's going to be a long slow metamorphosis from bring an omnivore to an herbivore. I completely eliminated dairy 2 months ago and the benefits of this alone have been immense. I have at least one green smoothie everyday which will ensure good nutrient balance. These factors should cover my nutrient requirement and stave off the looming perils of injury and illness.

Weekly updates will follow!

Neil
@RunSensible