Four discoveries from a 30 day run streak

This morning I completed my 30 day run streak and during this time I made some discoveries about my running. Here they are…..

  1. Aerobic training is beneficial

At the start of the run streak I decided that all my running in these 30 days would be aerobic and I would forget about pace. On the whole I was able to manage this only running twice outside my aerobic capacity. This was a parkrun effort and last weeks goal race pace half marathon run.

Running purely aerobically for the majority of the 30 days has seen me develop my aerobic capacity. Running aerobically often is easy on the body and recovery is simple, when you run within your limits there is no soreness the next day and you are able to run more. Following this when I did increase the intensity and complete a tougher workout, my half marathon felt very comfortable. Building the aerobic engine is very beneficial for running performance.

The take away from this discovery is that during my next focussed training block I will have more aerobic training to compliment the focussed harder workouts.

   2. Technology is unnecessary (almost)

Another goal of this run streak was to divorce pace and use perceived effort to measure my run rather achieve a pace for the run. This has been a successful discovery where I am now unconcerned by the pace my watch is saying and rather the feeling my body gives me from the effort I output.

During each of the runs I have only looked at the time for the run on the watch and not pace. This has taught me to focus on my feeling and breathing to stay aerobic and run consistent pace through effort. During the harder half marathon effort the same applied and I was impressed by the consistent pace I was able to achieve.

The future of my running will feature less reliance on technology, I am committed to continuing to monitor my running by feel and use the data to analyse post run.

3. Running everyday is good for you

While I am normally an advocate for rest days, life balance and letting the body recover from runs I found the task of running everyday good for me. All my runs are completed in the early mornings and the simple task of committing to getting up each morning and going through the process to get out the door and run was mostly pretty easy.

During the 30 day streak I had wet weather on 5-6 of my runs, only one of these days did I consider not running through the rain, however this doubt lasted about 15 minutes before I decided to get the job done.

I enjoyed the day to day commitment of getting out the door to complete my run. Committing to a run streak is a way to challenge you to overcome a small challenge everyday and start the day ready to tackle something bigger if it arises.

4. Minimal footwear is better

This may have not been a discovery but more a reinforcement. Every run I did with the exception of one run were completed in zero drop footwear. these specifically were Gladsoles sandals both the trail 8mm and new 6mm and Carson Footwear Iguana Racers.

If you are fully transitioned to barefoot running then minimal footwear is better for your running. After 4-5 days of the run streak I had a slight pain in my right calf that was evident for a few runs, this went away by itself and I was able to run without pain for the  all the other runs. Minimal footwear keeps you aware, your feet stronger and running with better technique. To run injury free for long periods of time these are important. Without trying to jinx myself to an injury I believe the benefits of transitioning to minimal shoes will help me run longer into my life.

Don’t be scared to make a change to your footwear if you are on a path of consistent injuries. It will take time but it will be worth it.

Overall the run streak has been an enjoyable experience and most likely will continue beyond 30 days. My routine of running every morning is a habit I would like to continue.

Photos from a 30 day run streak

 

Goal Race Time

This weekend marks my first goal race for the year as i compete in a half marathon on Sunday. It’s the time when my training from the last few months gets put to the test and I see where I am at as a runner against my goals and hopes.

My training has been going well, I am injury free and haven’t had any major setbacks over the past few months so i am confident that the training has worked and i will run well on Sunday. I have gotten through my long runs with the longest being a week ago at 30km, I am still building my long run for monger races later in the year but trying to peak for each of my goal races along the way. I have been doing 1-2 interval sessions per week and have enjoyed running with speed. I have regularly been competing in my local parkrun which I find is great to keep me motivated and also to test my short course speed on a weekly basis if I choose.

I am hoping to run this half marathon at 3:55 min/km pace which gives me a time of around 1:22. I ran this half marathon two years ago and ran 1:24 and feel i will be able to push harder if I race smart with my current fitness. My plan is to go out conservatively over the first kilometre at 4 min pace or just slower and then work into my rhythm over the first 1-2 kilometres. From there I plan to hold a consistent pace around 3:50-3:55 min/km for the next 15km and if there is something in the tank for the final 3-4km I will give it everything I have and hope to make up a few places.

Races don’t always go to plan and I have been guilty in the past of letting racing get in the way of my own race plan. I really want to run my own race on Sunday and give myself every opportunity of running a fast race. There is no point trying to take on someone who can run 1:15 or lower for a half in the opening stages as it will hurt me later in the race.

So the keys for my race on Sunday are run my own race and stick to my pacing strategy. If I do this then the training will take care of the rest.