On 5 January, in preparation for my upcoming challenge, I set myself the challenge of running 100 consecutive days of running at least 10km a day. These runs could be completed outside, as part of organised runs or on the treadmill – they just HAD to total more than 10km each day. The reasoning behind the challenge was to test a numbers aspects of my ability as a runner both mentally and physically. It is very easy to dream big and set yourself a large challenge but in reality actually delivering on what you set out to do can be very different to what you first expected.
To complete 100 days of running, what is considered by many as quite a long run, tests you in a number of ways – What if you get a blister, a small injury, have a hangover or just simply can’t be bothered? You have to be able to organise at least an hour everyday no matter what, you need to be prepared to run in conditions that might not be ideal and you need to learn how your body reacts to the challenge and adapt accordingly.
If you are lucky (and competitive) the satisfaction of getting out there every day actually gets easier as you continue, you start to crave the pain and the sense of satisfaction. Blisters become nothing more that irritations and your learn how to deal with small niggles. A lot of people ask me how to stop bad knees, shin splints etc. Not being a Physio I can’t actually give a real answer but I do recommend to simple change your trainers for a couple of days and see if that helps. I keep all my old trainers to use just for this reason. I ensures that your body is never striking the ground in the same fashion. Technically it might be the wrong advice but if it works for me then it might work for you.
During the 100 days I had the fortune to do some great runs – I have listed a few below:
The G3 Series – This is a series of off road 10km runs that I have been doing for a number of years. There are three events in total – one in January, February and March. The routes are demanding and change on a monthly basis. This year I managed to break into the top ten for the first time.
- The Richmond Half – This is a fantastic little half marathon with a course that runs along the river Thames. About 3000 people take part. This year I managed to finish in the top 50.
- London adventures – One of my favourite ways to train is to explore London. The best way to do this is to pack a small rucksack and get the tube to somewhere far from your house. In March I started in near Millwall and ran to Arsenal, Campden Locks, Regents Park, Ladbroke Grove, Holland Park and completed a course of about 30km – RUN
- Running in France – I am fortunate to have parents who live in the South of France. I spent a long weekend there earlier this year and enjoyed a series of very tough and hilly runs.
- Commuting to and from work – My commute takes my past Buckingham Palace, The Mall, Trafalgar Square and St Pauls – a great way to unwind
- The GYM – Many think that the gym can be a boring place to train but I disagree. On a treadmill you can a) set intervals b) set some serious hills c) watch your favourite boxsets on a tablet – (Dexter, Breaking Bad, Scandal to name a few!)
One key observation after completing my challenge was how the body adapts. After the first few runs I noticed that I lost quite a lot of weight, however, as I progressed through the days I noticed that my body started to get used to what was being demanded of it and the weight started to creep back on. So if you are looking for a way to shape up for summer then I am sorry to say that this is not the challenge for you. For me it has given me the confidence that my body can rise to the challenge of running long distances on consecutive days and that I actually enjoyed it. These are both very important for my next challenge which will be announced later this year.