So, it’s been a while since I’ve put pen to paper as the saying goes and written a blog, but as it’s a big milestone coming up with the run streak I thought, let’s get back on the horse and write one.
I’ve been so pre-occupied with work, making content for social media and YouTube and of course running every day, I’ve just not had the effort level to write a blog. I was actually sat at my desk in the Ops Room with time to spare; it seemed a good opportunity to do so.
The milestone I’ve just hit recently is the 1500th day of running every day. That is just over 4 years of running every day with out fail. For it to be an official run streak it has to be at least one mile a day, but I’ve not had to do a mile day in a long time now. I will always have that in my back pocket though should I need to a streak saver.
I’m currently away with work at sea, and I’ve had a few people ask “How would I keep my streak up at sea?” and “What am I going to do when I go back to sea?” They weren’t curious questions with good intentions. They were asked with expectation of failure.
|The day the streak started 19th May 2019 Plymouth Half|
If anything, the last 1500 odd days of running everyday has taught me, that there are only excuses. I’ve built my discipline up, that even after the many races I’ve done including ultra marathons, I’ve got myself out and ran. Even when in my last role in work where I was in work at 0530 and finishing at 2230, I was still getting my run done at 0330/0400 those days. So why wouldn’t I be able to keep my streak up at sea.
Running everyday isn’t easy by any means, many fail for one excuse or another. It’s why it’s deemed as a challenge. As for something to be deemed a challenge, there must be a chance of failure. This is why I never set my self any goals for the run streak, that way I can never fail!
Since I started the run streak over 4 years ago, I have broken personal bests, achieved a podium and a couple top 10 finishing results in some ultra marathon events. I pass the stair test now every time after a marathon or ultra marathon. What’s the stair test? You know being able to go up and down stairs not looking like you’ve shit your pants. DOMS disappear pretty quickly, which is down to nailing my recovery very well. Which also has lead me to not being injured through running or running everyday. Some people say I’m just lucky, they maybe right but those are the same people I know have been injured a lot over the same period because they don’t do recovery properly.
|Hope24 - 24 hour running and I still kept run streaking|
What have I learnt over the last 1500 odd days then?
- No excuses – It’s so easy for people to find an excuse not to some thing everyday. We were born to be mobile. It doesn’t have to be running.
- Recovery – Being disciplined in your recovery is one of the key things. Recover properly and it would lessen the chance of injury. You will see people go for a recovery/easy run on strava because that’s what they’ve called it, but it’s the same pace as the hard/threshold etc run the day before. Sleep well and eating well as just as important to the recovery as doing your recovery activity properly. Not a single ice bath or foam roller was needed ;-)
- Discipline – It took me a little while, but I found I can be disciplined, listening to my body, sticking to recovery programme after a big race even if felt strong. If I have to do a recovery run or easy run then I’ll do it. Plus they are my fav kinds of runs as well.
- Making it fun and keeping it fresh – Not a single run has been the same; something has always been different, even if it was a little change. Fun is always in my opinion the most important thing. If you’re not enjoying it, then you’re doing it wrong. Much like pretty much every thing in life.
- Planning – A lot of people fail due to poor planning. Then it becomes and excuse.
That is just some things I’ve learnt.
Don’t be scared to take selfies, action shots or anything. Logging your runs, however you want to keep you accountable is up to you. If it gets you out there, then you take that selfie.
I’m still a toddler in the run streak world; I’ve grown from the baby stage into the toddler stage. There are runners out there with 10,20,30,40 years plus out there. Although the legend Dr Ron Hill still owns the World Record of 52 years and 39 days, although he sadly past away a couple of years ago.
|2nd Place at the Madness of King George 36 hour non stop race|
But what’s it like running every day at sea?
Now, up until I went back to sea I ran every run out doors. It was amazing, then I joined my latest ship and due to weather conditions in the North Sea and the Arctic Circle most of my runs at sea were on the treadmill (insert puke face). I did manage to grab a hand full of runs around the upper deck but the treadmill kept my streak going. Them the next part of the trip, at the time of writing this I’ve been super lucky the weather, and ship’s programme has allowed me to run every day at sea around the upper deck.
Along the way I’ve run in some great countries in the streak and this recent deployment. But as always, planning has been important. Working my runs in and around my work which includes watchkeeping (shifts) be it 6 hours on 6 hours rotation or standard cruising watches etc. I’ve had to plan when I was going to run and get it done. For instance, currently I’m doing 12 hours on watch and 12 hours off watch. I come off watch at 1am, go to bed not long after, get up at 5am and go for my run, then get back in bed afterwards until lunch time. That’s when I get breakfast, and then go back on watch.
During the run streak I’ve had all the comments about its bad for you etc. If there was a run streak comment bingo, I think I could tick it all off more than once.
|Not all the running at sea have been on the treadmill of doom|
Run streaking, isn’t a cool thing. It is though something runners can incorporate into their training without the worry of injuring themselves from it. Runners get injured because they do something wrong in the majority of cases and that doesn’t matter whether they run every day or every other day. If someone came to me for advice on run streaking or looking to give it a go, I’d support them and not give them false information of how bad it is. I’ve seen it a lot, especially on social media.
Do I recommend running everyday? Only if running is your thing, but its not for everyone, even if they are a runner. I get it, I do but what I highly recommend is being active everyday. We can fit something of benefit in every day. Active Recovery should not be dirty words, there are a lot of benefits from it and I see it all the time with those I know who carry out active recovery in some form. I see more injuries in runners who don’t do active recovery than I do in those who do something.
|Running in the Mountains of Bergen, Norway|
It's quite funny but leading up to this big milestone, I’ve never been injured through running or running everyday itself but whilst in Kiel, Germany, I injured myself by doing other stuff LOL. Firstly, after quite a few drinks, I thought it was a bright idea to electric scooter back to the ship giving an Oppo a lift. We didn’t see a curb at 3am in the dark and crashed quite heavily. I had a swollen elbow; bashed head and I pulled my calf a little as I went head first into an ATM booth LOL. The following day walking back to the ship sober after some food out. I stopped to talk a pic (air balloons in the sky with loads of warships in the background, sad I know), and I wasn’t paying attention. I took the pic, turned around and caught my left foot on a raise manhole type cover. This led me to try and stop myself stacking it by ending my right leg. This then over extended my calf muscle the one already hurt from the scooter crash and proper pinged it. DOH! So since then, I’ve been doing the minimum 1 mile run slow and at the pace comfortable enough to run to keep the streak alive (insert facepalm here). But like I said the majority of injuries are caused by mistakes and that includes most of those runners who are injured.
|Taken during one of shorter runs in Kiel, Germany|
So, here we are, still running every day, no injuries caused by running or running everyday. Running isn't bad for you, running everyday isn't bad for you. People make excuses not to be active everyday. Go out and do something!
Anyway I think I’ve waffled on enough. Remember however you choose to run be it everyday or every other day. It should be fun, not a chore and recovery is the key! Don't forget you can find me on Instagram Click Here or on TikTok Click Here or on YouTube Click Here
Until next time.