Day #50: Halfway to 100!
If you have been keeping up with your running streak – then today is a very important marker for you. Hitting 50 consecutive runs is quite an accomplishment and illustrates to you convincingly that you can keep this thing going! You have no doubt persevered through some ugly weather days, a cold or two, at least half a dozen ‘flat days,’ a bonk and much more. And yet you have remained constant – getting out there to complete the course you committed to run over 7 weeks ago. Congratulations!! Here’s to 50 more — and that wonderful marker of 100 consecutive runs!
I thought this would be a great opportunity to give you more details about the Run5kaday plan and to flesh out some of the reasons for and how-to’s of the plan. And I also thought the timing – and title:) – was good to plug a book I recently listened to on Audible.com called 50/50, by running legend Dean Karnazes.
First off, let’s get deeper into the Run5kaday Training Plan. As I have mentioned in “A Runner’s Podcast” and throughout this blog (see Day #1), the Run5kaday Training Plan was developed to add structure and accountability to my running regimen and to maximize fitness and the training effect with the least time commitment. I reasoned that running 30 minutes a day would get my heart into the training zone for long enough to establish fitness, but at the same time would not be so taxing physically or mentally that I would quit. In short, aiming to run 5k a day (3.1 miles) seemed a perfect minimum requirement for me to jumpstart my running. And so I began the regimen — and for over 3 years (1,151 days) I kept up the streak. In the midst of the streak, I was able to run multiple difficult races including the 78K SwissAlpine Marathon. In short, I found that my simple training plan was quite effective — and that was the impetus for this blog.
Many will ask a number of questions:
1. Must I run 5k a day? Can’t it just be 1 mile?
2. Do I have to commit to running every day? Can I take a rest day once a week? Wouldn’t that be wise?
3. What are the risks of injury?
These are great questions, and ultimately, I don’t pretend to have the answers to all of them. I only know what I have found to work. But here’s my best shot at answering them: Must I run 5k a day? Can’t it just be 1 mile? For the reasons stated above regarding the 30 minute training window, etc., I like the 3.1 mile distance and believe it is a much better number than 1 mile. My concern with 1 mile is that it does not provide enough time to accomplish any sustained stress on the system. Nevertheless, I encourage you to take my thoughts into consideration and craft your own plan. If 1 mile works for you, so be it. Do I have to commit to running every day? Can I take a rest day once a week? Wouldn’t that be wise? My friends – and wife – know be to be somewhat extreme (:)) So, for me this every day thing isn’t really a big deal. In fact, it enables me to have a reason to get out on those tough days – it gives me a way to connect the meaning of yesterday’s run to tomorrow’s. I love counting up the days in the streak and being able to say that I ran every day of 2008, 2009, 2010 and each day in 2013 so far as well. But I know this isn’t for everyone. What I can say is that we each can make time for a running streak — and, if you are like me, goal-oriented and a bit on the extreme side, this may indeed be just the thing for you. Regarding rest days, I rest by incorporating easy runs during my weeks. Many days, I jog. Some days – like today – when I go hard lead to very easy runs for the next couple of days – with an emphasis on recovery and staying healthy. I am not convinced that you have to go cold turkey one day a week in order to stay injury free. What are the risks of injury? You had to ask!:)… Instead of trying to give my own less-informed 2 cents on this topic, I want to link you over to the USRSA – United States Running Streak Association’s website which has an article on just this subject. Check out that article as well as the Associations site RunEveryDay.com for more information and inspiration.
Lastly in this lengthy post today, I want to tout Dean Karnazes book 50/50 which follows his inspiring accomplishment – with all of its foibles, joys, failings and victories – of running 50 marathons in 50 days in all 50 states of the USA. Wow! Go check out this great read — and consider giving it a listen. What I have learned most from Dean Karnazes is the unbelievable potential of both the human body and the human spirit.
So, there you have it – Day #50 is in the books — and you are continuing your journey to a more awesome new you!!
image credit: Dean Karnazes