So today marks the 100th day I have run at least 5 kilometres every single day this year, starting from 1st January 2020. I have run 655km in total so I have actually averaged just over 6.5km a day. My accomplishment has included some very late night runs (2330 is the latest start I have been able to find) and some early runs (a few around 0600 – I’m not someone who usually runs in the mornings) , runs before and after long-haul flights and one significantly slower run after a curry and some beers (I forgot I hadn’t been for my run…) I have also broken the 20 minutes – 5km barrier for the first time in my life with a time of 19:36 as well as setting new PBs for 10km and 15km but I am currently carrying a knee injury which is preventing me from pushing myself too hard, so quite a mixed bag really.
So what have I learnt so far?
1. It isn’t always easy. There have been numerous days where I have wished I didn’t need to go for a run and would much rather spend my time inside, in bed. During February there was a couple of weeks during which every single day the temperature was hovering around freezing, it was raining and more often than not it was raining (Storms Brendan and Ciara). During this significantly wet time I had to rotate my shoes between the corridor, my radiator and actually running in them so it was handy to have a stock of newspaper to stuff the wet shoes and it is also helpful that I have more that one pair of running trainers, these are what I have been running in so far this year:The Saucony Triumph Iso 5 is my main road running trainer and the one I use to race in and run longer distances as it has good ankle support and a very comfortable foot bed.
The Adidas Men’s Ultraboost was the first serious running shoe I bought and is super lightweight, it is now my backup trainer but I still use it a lot in wet weather as my Saucony’s need time to dry.
The La Sportiva Akasha is an excellent shoe for running on Salisbury Plain and the surrounding area, it especially comes to the fore on muddy ground but is equally good on gravel, woodland trails and I have run long distances on tarmac with these too.
2. As well as rotating my shoes I have had to buy additional running socks to avoid having to put a load of washing on every couple of days.
For long runs I wear Hilly Men’s Supreme Quarter Socks
, they’re low profile, comfortable and no irritating stitching or rucking even after a couple of hours.
For crosscountry runs or when I know that it’ll be exceptionally muddy at points then i will wear Hilly Ultra Marathon Running Socks
as they have a higher ankle but still offer excellent comfort.
For shorter runs I am less fussed by my socks and will happily wear a regular pair of cotton socks (I know some people will shoot me down for saying that).
3. I have found that I am a prolific podcast consumer. When I first started running years ago i always listened to music, like most people. I spent hours working out playlists and researched all the right ‘pump up’ songs and even looked into the tempo of songs to match it to my running tempo. I have since stopped listening to music as I wanted to be more productive on my runs so about two years ago I started listening to podcasts on a whole variety of different things. My current favourites include:
Jocko Podcast – A retired Navy Seal Colonel who interviews inspirational military personnel.
My dad wrote a porno – Do you need any more details…
The Gentlemen’s Journal – Interviews about successful British (predominately) businessmen.
FT Money Show – A weekly round up of the latest financial tips and concerns.
Marathon Talks – Another weekly round up, this time all things running, including an interview with a different running great each week.
4. I have also learnt that injuries take a lot longer to recover if you continue to run and don’t let them rest. Yes you probably already knew that, and so did I but actually seeing in practice with my knee (which after a month is still giving me problems) has really highlighted the issue.
5. Even if the weather was terrible on the run, I was feeling ill or my knee has been hurting then I have always felt better after a run, those little endorphins do do a good job.
So, what will the next 266 days of running entail? I suspect more of the same, some days where I am very motivated to run and others where it is a matter of just ‘logging’ the distance and running no further than the 5km. Hopefully my knee will sort itself out without needing a break from running and hopefully that will be my first and last injury for the year. If i continue for the rest of the year I can only see my cardiovascular fitness improving and with it my running PBs coming down. Watch this space.