Posted in Blog.
365 Days of Running
“You’re crazy. Why would you ever do that? 2,565 miles – that’s insane!”
Those are just a few of the common things people would say when I said I would be running every day in 2017. When they asked me why, my answer was simple: I want to.
In December 2016, my old roommate and good friend looked at me and said she would be running every day for the next year. When I looked back at my training schedules, I realized I never took many days off in the first place. With that being the case, why not try running every day for a year?
Running has been a big part of my life for the past 10 years and has turned into one of the only medicines that helps soothe my daily stressors. By being involved with Cross Country and track in college, running became a major staple in my post-collegiate life. I run many races throughout the year and recently joined the Dashing Whippets – a group I raced for in 2017 and look forward to racing for in the future.
So why did I run for 365 days straight?
One of the main reasons I decided to do this was to make sure that every single day, I took the time to do something for myself. I feel like that is something a lot of people forget to do and something I have overlooked most my life. As much as you have loved ones, work and friendships to tend to – you will always have your own happiness to tend to as well. You need to make sure you take the time to emotionally and physically take care of yourself.
Another reason I did this is because I am a crazy runner myself! It is something you see some runners do and you tell yourself you’d never do – but I said to myself, “Why not?” Luckily, I have had a good track record with injuries (or lack of). I wanted to take some time to focus on myself and complete this ‘challenge’ – if I was physically capable of doing so.
That said – NOT EVERYONE IS BUILT AND MEANT TO DO THIS. Everyone has different genetics, build, muscle fiber make-up, and endurance levels. Something else I think a lot of athletes/runners need to remember is this: don’t compare yourself. Everyone has there own way of training and recovering and you should find the one that works best for you. If you are someone that has been able to handle higher mileage, maintains a good foam rolling routine, and self understanding to run slower and seek help when needed, maybe you could try it too! There are things that I did that I feel did help complete this task and I have listed them below:
- Strength Training: Twice a week (or at least once), I did strength training workouts for my lower body, core, AND upper body. Adding in functional strength training in multiple planes of motion helped me stay strong to prevent the overloading of certain joints and fatigue with increased mileage. This can lead to those nagging overuse injuries some of us may experience. Making sense of the exercises you are doing, specific to the things you are training for, helps keep our body primed and ready for the stresses you apply to it.
- Mobility: Oh, the beloved foam roller… and use it as much as you can! Keeping the soft tissue/muscles loose and mobile helps prevent restrictions from forming and maintains proper triplanar movement. Adding in a good 3D warm-up/cool down to every workout is also key to prime the muscles to be ready to move in the different ways they will need to be when you are running.
- Listen to your body: Of course there were days when my schedule was completely full with a staff event after work or I was leaving to travel right after my last patient… or my body was just gosh darn tired! Those are the days you don’t force the extra miles and run the minimum at an easy pace. Like any sort of training, there is reason for every pace you run and making sure to take the easy days easy is one of the most important things to remember (especially when you have to get back up the next day to run!).
- Have Fun!! I chose to do this! There was no reason I should be dreading or complaining about doing my run, even on those busy days with limited time. Enjoy each run you do, give it meaning, and always remember to appreciate that time you took for yourself!