One Hundred Days of Running

And so ends my continuous everyday running (RED). I didn’t start running every day with any plan or expectation. I just ran every day for the last couple of weeks of December, knowing I’d eat more over Christmas and I wanted to burn what I ate.

Then January started and someone on my running Facebook group mentioned “RED”. I had no idea what it meant. I ran every day for a month some time ago completely oblivious to the fact that there was a name for it.

And then the mythical targets came along – to complete RED January, to do 50 days, to hit 1,000km, to hit 1,000 miles, etc etc. Like all things running related, once you hit one target you immediately see another.

There’s a real danger that I could run every day from 100 days ago until I drop, but I have to ask myself what the point would be. Knowing I *could* continue running every day forever is now a given fact, and all I’d be doing is chasing more mythical targets that don’t mean anything to anyone. Would it be nice to run 2,000 km before stopping? Or 1,500 miles? Then what – 2,000 miles? 3,000 miles? Complete the year?

I don’t need to do that because I know I can do it. The last 100 days have had no days in which I’ve not wanted to run the next day. Doesn’t matter if I’ve run half-marathons four days in a row, or 24-miles including the Dartford Half, or a long day of the Big Half (volunteer, run, and run home). Whatever I did, I still wanted to run the next day.

So what do I really need to prove by continuing to run every day? Nothing.
That’s why it’s time to stop. It’s time to refocus on what I want from my running as the year continues. The one thing I’ve wanted to do is to increase my distance. Once before I wanted to reach a stage where running a half-marathon distance is “just something I do”. It is that now. Doesn’t matter how tired I feel, or when I ran last, if you said “let’s go run a half-marathon”, I’d be strapping my shoes on and running it.

My current goal/aim/target is to increase my distance such that doing a full marathon distance is as comfortable to me as running a half marathon distance is today. It’s going to be a challenge – all worthwhile goals are – and, at least for now, I have to allow my body the opportunity to build up to that level. That means less short “runs for the sake of running”, and more focus on one or two long runs (over 20 miles) each week. The best way of doing that will be to reintroduce one or two rest days during the week.
And so my Run Every Day challenge ends today.

  • RED #100
  • Distance: 1,742 km / 1,082 miles
  • Last rest day: 11th December 2018
  • This month: 359 km / 223 miles
  • This year: 1,373 km / 853 miles

My only concern now is that I won’t be able to eat 3,000-4,000 calories every single day. How on Earth does anyone survive on just 2,200 calories a day?