Run 5 Kilometers Every Day For 30 Days
Born to Run: The hidden tribe, the ultra-runners, and the greatest race the world has never seen
A new year is upon us and as usual, I have eaten way too much over the festive period and made myself even fatter. So I will be doing a ’30 Day Challenge’, to run 5 Kilometers every day (consecutively) for 30 days to see firstly, If I can stick to this goal and secondly to try and get a bit fitter (obviously).
I haven’t even started yet and it looks like I have under an hour to get my runners laced up and get myself out into the cold night air before the clock hits 12am and we are into the second day of the new year.
Below is my progress calendar, which I will be updating every day with my stats. I am using the awesome RunKeeper app to track my runs and if you haven’t tried it, you really should download it. It’s great fun and a lot of the features are free.
Right, let’s go.
I completed my first run of this 30 day challenge and it has got to have been one of my worst runs ever, in terms of duration and also how bad I felt afterwards. Maybe starting such a challenge was a bad idea directly after gorging myself on sugar for the past two weeks?
When I was finished, I sat on a bench for about 5 minutes to catch my breath and wondered what did I sign myself up for and why did I think it would easier. Anyway it’s done. Roll on day 2.
When I finished work for the day, all I wanted to do was crawl into my bed and sleep, but I knew if I even sat down for a few minutes, I would probably do just that. So after a moment of thinking about it, I put on my track suit and got spotify + runkeeper fired up and went out into the drizzly night.
I felt a little better today but still, overall like crap. My left knee had a bit of a twinge around the 4km mark but it didn’t give me too much trouble. I even shaved some time off of yesterday’s run which was unexpected. Now to shower and sleep.
The twinge from yesterday was still there when I woke up this morning unfortunately. So just to be safe, I purchased a knee support to see if it could help me. So after arriving home, I popped on my running gear with my new support and after a few minutes on my way, I didn’t feel any discomfort. Great little investment I think.
So anyway, I ended up clocking in at 28 minutes and 16 seconds tonight. I should also note, that as I am doing this 30 day challenge, I am not eating as much junk food as normal. This is definitely contributing to my improved times and I do feel alot better by not being as bloated. Onwards and upwards.
Yesterday, I reflected on my improving time and was thinking I am going to have to slow it down a tad as I noticed I was subconsciously trying to achieve a new goal; ‘Beat the previous day’s time’. This is not the plan and I will only burn myself out, if I try to push myself too hard each day. Even today, my foot hurt a little, so I took it extra slow today and just concentrated on achieving my original goal of 5 kilometers.
It was my longest time so far today, but I don’t mind that. I finished and was quite comfortable. That is until the last few hundred metres, when my body knew I was nearing “the finishing line” and decided to slow down and fatigue was kicking in extra hard. Day 4 done, happy with the progress.
Day 5, and I’m surprised I made it this far to be honest. I tried something new today. Most times, I run ~2.5km somewhere, and then once I hit this distance, I run back. It can get a little boring though, so today I brought the oyster card and some cash with me. I just ran southwards and seen where it took me. Once, I clocked my 5 kilometres, I grabbed the tube back and got some food on the way. It’s one way to earn your dinner.
The leg “injures” caused no trouble today and I felt fine. By the way, If you want some running music, check out Holy Fuck.
I was pretty tired when I arrived home this evening and decided to go for a 20 minute power nap. My alarm went off and I woke up groggy and had second thoughts about going out. I was thinking of just going to bed, but my logic was that I already have five days behind me now and so I said fuck it, it’s only half an hour till I get back to my nice warm home.
It was freezing outside, but I’m so happy I completed day 6, as I have a bit of momentum to keep going now. Jody Wisternoff kept me motivated this evening.
I tried something new today and brought in my gear to work and ran when I finished. I won’t be doing this again as it was simply too hard to run while there are people slowing you down on every footpath. I made it to Hyde Park, and once here, it was fun and I quickly got back into the flow. So far I have ran 35km in the past seven days and I am pretty proud of that!
Tonight’s music listening was some more of Jody. Day 7. Getting there.
Tonight was pretty tough. I slept for a bit upon arriving home as I was shattered. Alarm went off and I got up and went out… just about. I was really groggy and am feeling this challenge getting that bit harder each day. Within the first few metres, a rat ran out of a bush and caused me a bit of a heart attack as it was a meaty little bastard. After that, the rain started to fall as it has been nearly every night so far. But I persevered as I really want to finish this 30 challenge! I even made my best time yet, but I’m not concentrating on that. I think I just had some clearing of the head to do.
It’s getting harder 🙁 I slept for about two hours tonight, and woke up at 11, and just about got out the door. I thought about giving up and tried to justify it by saying, I had a long day/week but I know my moral would be so low if I chucked it in now. I really have to finish this.
Day 10. And I feel absolutely fantastic. I did miscalculate my distance a bit tonight though. So when I made it to the 5km mark, I was about 1km+ away from home. So, feeling pretty good, I jogged the extra distance back aswell (but did not track this), partly because it was raining, mainly because I ordered a Dominos before i left. It was well deserved.
It was my birthday today, so I did have some munchies and relaxed for the day. I started my run tonight at about half 6 in the evening and did my best time so far, in this challenge! Two reasons contributed to this. I had a meal booked for half 7, so I HAD to run fast, in order to get back, shower etc. Also, I was monitoring my stats, while I was running for some reason. I noticed, that when I hit the first 1km mark, I finished it in under five minutes! So, I decided to look at Runkeeper every few minutes to check I wasn’t slipping. It worked, and I was 1 second over a flat twenty five minutes! Nearly getting down to ‘sub 25’ territory.
I am actually looking forward to running each day now, and it doesn’t seem like a chore, such as when I first started this challenge. Each time, I finish a day of my goal, I am pumped and proud of my achievement. Tonight was no different. I mixed things up a little today, by taking it nice and handy and almost jogging the entire distance. I thought, because I had done so good yesterday, I should relax a bit and not overwork my body too much. It was a nice relaxing run/jog and I ran by the canal to Angel, watching all the boats and people out cycling and running too.
So tonight was an interesting one. I was working till about quarter past 11 and knew I had to get home to start my run before day 14 started or I would fail my challenge. So, when I got off the tube, I started RunKeeper at 11:56pm. I started jogging back home (in my jeans and non running runners) and once there, I paused RunKeeper, went and got changed at my house and put on my comfortable runners and went back out.
I even tried to push myself by trying to beat sub twenty five minutes. It didn’t happen, but I did a respectable 26:52 time. Not bad when I was working all day and polished off a Bacon burger and fries earlier in the evening! Also, I discovered the amazing Frankie Rose from a friend and this was amazing music to run to.
One word can describe tonight’s run and that is rain, god awful rain. Usually I love the stuff, but not after a long day and I have to go out into it to run like an idiot! I was in bed, having a nap until about 11 and was slowly stirring to get up and I could hear the rain hitting off the window. There was a moment when again, I was thinking of just calling it a day with this weird challenge, but I am in way to deep to call it quits now. Tomorrow, I will have hit the half way mark and I’m pretty happy with myself.
Day 15. Half way there. I didn’t mind tonight’s run and I was actually looking forward to it as I had a bit of a long day. I stuck on the shorts and my running T and went out and really cleared the head. I must have had a few things to think about as I went fast enough with the pace (for me) and did a sub twenty five minute run, my fastest run so far. I wasn’t even monitoring my pace, I was just enjoying being out.
Rain. Much worse than day 14, to the point that I was getting very funny looks as I was running past people with their brollys and heavy coats on and there’s me in my shorts, lovely milk white legs on show and only a light rain jacket on. My earphones were even a bit soggy after I finished.
When I started, the rain was nice and light, but ten minutes in, it turned quite bad. I thought, fuck it, it’s only water and I won’t die from it so onward I trekked in the cold wet night and was proud of myself to be keeping this little challenge up. When I came home, I was like a drowned rat though.
Now, I know this isn’t about how swiftly I can run every day, but tonight I did get my fastest time yet! I beat my previous best day, which was day 15 by four seconds. I didn’t go out to beat it, it just happened. I felt good, had loads of energy and was pumped to go out! I will have to relax a bit tomorrow though and slow her down.
When, I was heading back to my house after I finished, I met my neighbor who was coming in from work and she said she wished she had the time to run. I thought that If I can run when I get home from work just before midnight, I’m sure she could start her run at 8pm? But, It is hard to get the motivation, I understand. You just have to do it.
I had to wait for about ten minutes today before I could start my run, as I was waiting on Runkeeper to locate the GPS satellites as it was cloudy, so I was just strolling along as it tried to link up. First issue I’ve had so far with it, this month but I don’t think it is the app’s fault.
Anywho, as mentioned yesterday, I took it nice and easy today. My time was one of my “worst”, but I needed the break and it was nice and enjoyable, talking in the views, watching all the swans and ducks about. My music for the day was Beach House. Nice and chilled out, perfect for some slow paced jogging.
I was working for most of the day today, but from home, so I had Netflix running on my iPad, while I was working away at my comfy desk. I could have got day nineteen out of the way much earlier, such as in the morning or afternoon, but I left it till nearly half eleven at night… Anywho, I’m just in from it and it was fine, but I did eat a full dinner an hour before I headed out.
Such a simple rule, do not run while on a full stomach.
The moons must have aligned tonight because I just hit my best time yet. Sub twenty four minutes. Sub twenty four mother fucking minutes… I don’t know what the hell happened tonight but I got a time of twenty three minutes and fifty seconds. I was listening to some hard house music, and had so much energy, I just pushed myself with each kilometre. I didn’t monitor my time, I just listened to the music. It was a good night.
I’ve read a few articles on forming habits in my time, and they all usually follow a common thread. That it takes a few weeks of doing something consistently for it to be ingrained in your brain. I’m usually not someone that’s good with sticking with things, hence, one of the main reasons I started this challenge was to see if I could stick to it. I have to say, that at this stage, I have no problem with this goal now. Sure, I might moan a bit if it’s cold out but for the most part, It’s just something I now do everyday. I have made it apart of my routine.
Even though, It’s only a 30 day goal, I feel I could keep this up if I wanted to. This is interesting and new to me, being focused on one goal at a time. Who would have thought it. Doing one clear action oriented goal, repetitively every day would get easier? Bring on day 22.
Long day in work today and not a lot of motivation to do a fast time tonight so I stuck on some chill out music and took my time. I did make a bit if an error tonight regarding my clothes. I wore cotton bottoms, a cotton t-shirt and a cotton hoodie… Not the best choice, I admit but it was so cold out I thought it would be best to be a tad uncomfortable and sweaty in the baltic weather.
On the train all day today but got back home about 5pm. I was going to head straight out but decided to treat myself and relax for a few hours. I ate a pizza (for insulation you see) and watched a movie before I ventured out. It wasn’t too cold tonight but I did find the run quite boring. I just ran around my area. I really need to do a few different routes before my 30 days are up.
I have been slow to update my stats this weekend as there was a lot going on, so no I haven’t failed just yet, just a tad busy.
So yeah, today was pretty hectic. I was meeting up with a friend at about 6:30, and hadn’t got much time to spare, I barely even stretched before I ran. Beforehand, I was even playing with the idea of just losing a day to this challenge as I was cutting it very fine, and hopefully not letting anymore days slip, but it’s day twenty four and it would be so bad to give up now. Less than a week left.
I got a stitch in my side, towards the 3km mark, wasn’t too bad but I have to stop eating large portions of food before I head out!
Not feeling too great from the previous night (I must have eaten something dodgy…), I had a bit of a bed day and chilled out. I only started today’s run at 7:02pm, while I was due to head out for the evening again. I just don’t give myself enough bloody time! Tonight’s run, I just wasn’t feeling it. It was hard, took lot’s of will power to get myself out the door and every step felt like my leg muscles were that of a bodybuilder’s after a workout! Five days to go.
I was very much looking forward to getting out tonight. One of those days were you need to think and clear the head a bit. It was much needed.
So tonight, I mixed it up a little. I ran about 1km up the local canal, 1km back and repeated until I was done. I wasn’t a big fan of it to be honest, It’s just too “stopy starty” for my liking but It was something new anywho. The time was back up in the 26+ minute area again, as I felt quite bloated. I think, my next challenge should be to cut junk out for a month.
Tonight, I was listening to some excellent electro by way of Dr. Lectroluv.
So, tonight, I hit a bit of a record. My fastest time ever. I hit sub 23 minutes! I don’t know what the hell happened as I wasn’t even feeling too energetic and got a stitch half way through. I just noticed I was ahead of my time at five minutes and tried to keep up the pace. Basically Runkeeper has this great functionality that gives you an update on your distance, pace etc every few minutes. I have it set, so every five minutes it says how I’m doing, with this information. Every 1km, I was getting better and better time, so I just tried to go faster. I was not eloquent though, huffing and puffing so hard, and I did feel like my heart was going to explode, but fuck it… Sub 23 minutes.
Tonight was another late one in work, so I did my mini run home again from the tube and changed and went back out. It was lashing rain, and I didn’t want to get my earphones wet again so I went without listening to music for the duration. It was ok but a little boring I suppose. Anyway, it was a nice relaxed one tonight. I was pretty wrecked from the day and when I hit the hay I was asleep in no time. Nearly there with this challenge.
For some reason, tonight was one of the hardest nights I have completed so far. Every stride, my leg muscles ached a little, I felt sluggish and it was very annoying. Even as I write this on my iPad, in bed, over an hour after I finished, my legs are still aching, although a lot less. One day left to go and my body decides to start giving up now it seems.
So, one day to go and I will have successfully completed this 5km goal. I would like to say I am going to treat myself to a nice takeaway or something, but I haven’t been too good, food wise anywho. Maybe my next challenge should be to cut out junk food?
So, I just completed my final run last night to wrap up this 30 day challenge. The time flew by so fast, and I’m a little in shock, I did it. I ran 150km in total!! Essentially, I ran from Ballinasloe to Dublin. Mental stuff altogether.
The plan for my last run was to get off work, and run 5km towards home, and then just grab a bus the rest of the way. This didn’t happen as I was working quite late, so I just went home and ran at about 11:30. It was another sluggish run, and took me nearly half an hour.
I better get started on thinking about my next challenge.