Monday, June 8, 2009

Advice on a Streak

I hit a milestone recently and when I noted this on Twitter, someone asked me if I had any advice. I joked that my advice was "run every day." :)

I do have advice, however, for anyone that wants to start the streak. I'm not a professional runner, or even a great runner. I can't tell you what shoes to wear, how to swing your arms, or anything else, but for a 40 year old, I'll give you a few things about just running every day.

Start Slow
One thing I kept hearing early on was when was I going to run more? Run further? Run some races? I ignored all that, sticking to my 1.2-1.3mi daily for the first 4 or 5 months. I wasn't using this as my only method of staying in shape, and I didn't want to overdo it. Sticking with that low number allowed me to run through injury, through tiredness, and it let me run at 10pm a few times (or 5am).

Start easy, and then build up to longer runs. I'm up to about a 1.5mi avg a day after 250+ days, and I'm not in any hurry to raise that.

Get a Treadmill
The weather will suck sometime, and you'll need to run. If you dont' have a way to do that inside, you'll get stuck. For women I'd make this a requirement since running late at night (it will happen sometime) isn't something you want to do outside.
I think is a fantastic site. A mile isn't far, but it's nice to know what a mile is so you can tell if you're pushing hard or not. It's also inspirational to see how far you've gone.

Run Early
My wife tried to do this streak a few times and stopped for various reasons, but I think one of those was constantly waiting until 9, 10, or 11:00 at night to run. Eventually that will catch up to you. I've had to run at 10:30 at night, but rarely. In fact, waiting until 5 or 6:00 was a problem for me a few times. I have karate, and kids errands at night, so I don't want to get in the way of those, or resent them for getting in my way.

I tend to run at lunch, or right before lunch. It's a good time for me, and it lets me move on with my day. However whenever you run, don't wait until after the kids are in bed, or everything else is done for the day. Pick a time, morning, lunch, early afternoon, and try to stick to that. Things will come up, and don't get too annoyed when they do.

A streak of any sort, writing, running, working, whatever works for you, is a bit of an obession. That can be good or bad, but be sure that you keep it in perspective. I'm sure my streak will end some day, and I can't be too worried about it. If it ends, it ends.

But not if I can help it.

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