75 days ago, I started the RunnersWorld Run Streak with the intention to regain some motivation. The RW Run Streak ended at the 4th of July, but I decided to keep going and hit the 100-days mark. Now I’m already at three quarters, and it feels like yesterday I started! As many people have asked my about the effect on my body, my future goals, and my discipline to run every day, that is exactly what this blog will be about!
Running every day…?
If you look at the research that has been done, wether running every day has a positive or negative effect is inconclusive. Some people greatly benefit from it, others need to break off their streak because their body demands rest. If you ask me if it is wise to run every day, I don’t have a one-size-fits-all answer to that. For me, it works really well! When I started the streak, I hadn’t been running for two weeks, but before that I was in full marathon-training mode. My body had built up the strength to run 4 times per week, so when I turned it up to 7 days a week with smaller distances, I did not run into any trouble (sorry, yes, pun intended).
I spent one week in Switzerland to work from home with a different scenery, and I noticed some tension in my achilles. I analysed the possible causes and it was most likely caused by the Klettersteig I did, ascending 820m and then descending while doing some trail running – in heavy mountain shoes, not my best idea ever! – exposing my legs to a different type of strain than usual. Back in NL, the tension is gone. I want to keep an eye on it when we go on holiday, because we will be in the mountains again.
Other than the occasional tension or twitch here and there, I am more injury-free than ever, so I am happy about that. When I feel my body is tired from an extensive training, I take the pace down a notch or I stick to the minimum of 2k. This works SO well for me! I do notice that running a mere 2k a day is not enough to build muscles so my fat percentage has risen a bit during the corona period. That’s no problem, I just want to see if in the upcoming weeks, I can combine the running with alternative training as well!
Nope, don’t think this is discipline!
So many of my friends tend to longingly tell me: ‘I wish I had your discipline!’. Let me crush that dream right away. In some areas I do have some discipline. In others, I procrastinate and drag my feet like any other. So running every day, is that discipline then? I can honestly say it is not. I am committed to this goal, I like the thought and challenge of running 100 days and it thus does not take me any effort to go out and do it. When I trained between 2 and 4 times a week – that’s when I needed my discipline. Because I could also tell myself that it was okay to skip practice. But see, with this streak, it’s not about ‘feeling like it’. I don’t want to break it, and I know I can be back home within 10 minutes. So, I don’t need to practice my discipline, I just trust the rhythm I have built!
And now you might be sitting there thinking ‘yeah sure, still sounds an awful lot like discipline to me’, but I am telling you, routine and small, doable challenges are all it is. I realised I miss the effect of weight training, and I miss cycling these days. When I schedule those training sessions, thát is when I need to find the discipline to go out and actually do it! Because that is more haphazardly and does not fit into a rhythm or routine. With my plan to continue rebuilding my strength as well, I do need some more discipline. Let’s see how that goes for the upcoming few weeks…
And my goals for the next months?
I struggled to find any motivation at all with all the canceled races, not going to lie about that. But during the past few weeks, I have been looking into virtual races and I am starting to see the upside and charm of those as well. I ran the RunnersWorld 10k and the Virtual Superhalf (which could be split into multiple runs, so I did that haha). For August, I really, really, really, want to run the SeaWheeze Virtual half marathon. That means I will run a half marathon between 15 and 23 August. Not great timing with our holiday, but I have been trying to run it for a few years now and I always backed down because August is always a blur of heat and holidays!
This year, I honestly plan to do it! With the current heat streak going on in The Netherlands (it’s 33 degrees Celsius here, something we are definitely not used to), I need to figure out what the best day and time will be. A bigger challenge and question mark, is whether I am ready to run a half marathon… I haven’t done any long distances in the past months, breaking it off at 14k because I *ahum* ‘didn’t feel like it’ (see! That’s the lack of discipline, whereas 2k is doable for me). So we’ll see if I can complete it after all. I have ran 13 half marathons so the distance is not new, but I am not exactly trained for it at the moment. So, what would you do?
Other than the SeaWheeze half, I do not have any specific goals at the moment. Like I mentioned, I want to regain some strength and we will be doing a lot of hiking in the mountains, but from September onwards, I will see what new goals I can set. Do you have any cool virtual events planned? Or maybe some specific plans for the upcoming few weeks?
Whatever your dreams are, if you want to work towards a goal, I can definitely recommend breaking it into doable pieces that you can create a routine with. Taking a walk every day for example, or going to the gym every Monday come rain or shine. Let me know what your goals are!