Tag Archives: advent running

December Streaking

2018 has not started with a bang as I’ve been struck down with a horrible cold- I was tucked up in bed by 8pm on NYE and recovering most of NYD. Bit of a sad way to end the festive period, but I’ve had a great December- I love the festive season, and have spent a few weeks in Wales with family and it’s been so nice and chilled.

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December is the time for my annual festive run streak. This was my fourth year of advent running and 5th Marcothon where I attempted to run at least 5k everyday and I am happy to report that I completed my goal. I always find it a really good way to get back base running fitness and head into the new year feeling fit and ready to hit training in a good place.

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Dec 1st-10th: I eased into the run streak with lots of runs around the 5k marker, to get my body used to daily running again. I did a long run over the weekend including a parkrun and I was so late for the start that everyone was running into the distance as I arrived at Southwark park, still it made for a fun run trying to chase people down throughout the run. I also had to do my only treadmill run of the challenge as it was way too icy/snowy to run outside. Most of December has just been very wet especially it Wales so it hasn’t been too challenging to get the runs in.

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Dec 11th-17th: I upped the mileage across this week as I started my “official” training program for 2018 races. I started to add back in speed sessions and hill sessions which I haven’t done in ages, I am loosely following Hanson’s marathon method again and adapting it a little for longer distance goals. I haven’t run hills in about 8 months so I was a little rusty! I ended up being on time for parkrun this weekend but didn’t realise it was cancelled until I got there- I jogged round it anyway and then home for another 10 miles in the bag to round out this week.

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Dec 18th-24th: I continued with the higher mileage and sessions in the pre-Christmas week. I was back in Wales so enjoyed running somewhere different and got in a pre-Christmas parkrun during my long run this week. I feel like so many runs were in the rain during my time in Wales, it was very very soggy.

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Dec 25th-31st: There was a brilliant turn out for festive parkrun in Cardiff with over 600 people there on Christmas morning, it’s always such a great way to kick off the festive season. More speed sessions and a killer hill session filled this week and I ended it with a long back to back session with a 15 miler including Cardiff parkrun, this was my longest run for over 3 months since the marathon. The streak ended with a heavy legged 10 miler the day after (New Years Eve) and then I fell sick that evening so the streak ended heading into 2018 but it was good while it lasted. I feel in a really good running place and looking forward to what 2018 will bring.

December 2017: 182 Miles in 31 days, 12 gym sessions and 2 yoga classes.

December Streaking

It’s that time of year again, and I am once again streaking- not that kind of streaking although it has been unseasonably warm!-run streaking that is. I am currently making my way through my second year of Advent Running, and my third round of the Marcothon.

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Advent Running encourages 25 mins of activity per day for 25 days of Advent, and Marcothon 30 mins/5k each day for all of December. I’ve found in the past it’s a great way to kickstart training, and nothing improves my fitness and running quicker than a streak. As the first week of December was the first week of my “training plan” for next year- it’s not really a plan, more of a I have this number of weeks until an event, and I’m going to up my mileage!- it was an ideal time to really get into my training, get back into some decent weekly mileage and try and find my endurance legs again! So the goal is at least 5k a day for 31 days- so far, so good.

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I’ve been easing into it, but have put together a couple of 30+ mile weeks so far, which I’m pleased with. I’ve been fitting in running wherever I can, running to and from places to up the mileage, and focusing on doing some quality sessions too, like some Greenwich Park hills and even a threshold session and the odd parkrun- I can confirm that Hilly Fields has a devil of a hill!

It can be a busy time of year, so I have had to fit runs in as and when I can- yes even at 5am some days! At least it’s mild, and fairly dry- I’ve been out in shorts and vest for most of the month, which seems a bit mental!

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I’ve cut my gym sessions right back now running is once again taking priority, I managed 3 sessions last week, and that was enough alongside all the mileage. I’m hoping the strength work I’ve put in over the past few months will stand me in good stead for the long training months ahead, although I know I need to focus on more yoga, and at least warming up and cooling down- which I’ve done about once this month!

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I’ve been out at all hours exploring, and I have to say though sometimes I struggle with this city, I’ve fallen a little bit in love with it all over again.

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It’s halfway through December, and I managed my first double digit run since July on the weekend, so I’m pleased with my progress and really loving the way it has made me get out there and enjoy my running again. I’ll probably drop my mileage a little this week as I’ve had three bigger weeks, and then have a big week come Christmas- looking forward to cramming in a few Cardiff parkruns over the festive season too!

Keep streaking.

 

Advent Running, Marcothon and Run Streaking

Out of interest this morning I checked back through my runs to see how many days of my run streak I was on, and I was surprised and pleased that today was day 50! 50 days of running in a row, 50 days of setting an intention to go out and run every day, and 50 days of doing just that. 50 days seems like a long time, but it’s flown by!IMG_3991

I have totally loved running over these 50 days, and hope that continues as the streak continues. I feel fully fit for the first time in a long time, and in very decent running shape! There has never been any “I don’t really feel like it today” moments and only 1 run where my legs felt absolutely shocking and I had to cut it shorter than I was aiming for, and the day after that I smashed my PB at Cardiff parkrun. On the whole, the runs have been great, I’m feeling strong, recovering well and most importantly bloody loving running!

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The streak started just before December, as I wanted to build up to running every day before attempting the Advent Running/Marcothon challenges of running at least 5k everyday in December. December was pretty mild so it was fairly easy in terms of completing the challenge this year, there were only a few days when it was a bit icy, or that it rained- and I didn’t really mind getting out in those conditions anyway.

I didn’t really have any issues fitting the runs in, I got up mega early some days to get the job done, and sometimes split the distance over a morning run and an evening run commute. Over Christmas I had some really beautiful (and very hilly!) runs in the Devon countryside, which was a great way to keep running fresh during the streak, and was enjoyable to run and explore somewhere new.

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Most of the time I was running further than the 5k a day, so I built up a really solid December base of miles, which has given me the confidence to enter the Thames Meander marathon on the 14th March. I need to get my longer runs up at the weekend, which will be fun as I haven’t done any long training runs since April/May time.

December Mileage

Week 1: 30 miles
2: 32 miles
3: 31 miles
4: 37 miles
5: 42 miles

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I was really worried about my ITBS flaring up when I first started this, and if I’m being honest I have absolutely slacked on stretching, foam rolling, strength exercises and yoga. I have managed it a few times throughout the month, but really nowhere near as much as I should have- why do I only do these things when I am actually injured?! There have been a few heavy legged runs, but most of the time after about a mile that feeling disappears and the legs are ready to go again.

I don’t see continuing the streak as a chore, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it! It’s just become part of my routine, the same as anything else. Now that I’ve finished the AR and Marcothon challenges, I will be dropping at least one run a week to a token 1 mile plod as a rest day.

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I’m still enjoying my running, loving spending a lot of time outdoors, and I can feel the effects of that both mentally and physically. So onwards with the running streak, who knows for how much longer, but as long as I am feeling good and enjoying it I shall keep running!

Why am I Streaking?

I’m streaking. Run streaking that is. I’m 3 weeks-or 21 days-into my current run streak, which when I say it seems a lot, but it’s gone very quickly! My previous longest streak was when I did the Marcothon way back in 2011, running at least a 5k everyday during December. I am doing the Marcothon/Advent Running challenge again this year, but I started my streaking a little early, and quite unintentionally.

IMG_3807I had run a few days in a row, and thought why not carry it on for the next few days before the Advent running challenge kicked off. A few of the early runs were just 1 or 2 miles to get my legs used to daily running, but I’ve solidly been doing 5k plus since the beginning of December and the body has been holding up well! Last week was a 30 mile week, which other than the Berlin marathon week  I hadn’t hit since the ultra in May, which seems insane, but injuries really took their toll all summer.

I think it’s been in my head for a while to start a streak, and with no training plan or immediate race on the horizon, it seemed like a good direction to take my running in. I’ve really been getting into Matt Frazier’s  No Meat Athlete podcasts lately, and there has previously been a lot of talk about run streaks, as well as goal setting. I’ve found with the daily running, as Matt had suggested, it’s just about building a habit, the more you do something, the more ingrained it becomes, so there’s never been any “I don’t really fancy it today” moments, I don’t even think about, I just get up and I’m excited to get out the door and run.

IMG_3834I’m not really training for anything in particular, other than trying to get some base fitness back up for a possible spring marathon, so I guess it was as good a time as any to start this. I’ve found especially with the dark cold days, that it’s been a good reason to get out the door and get some fresh air, when I probably would have had an extra hour in bed, or gone home and sat on the sofa instead.

I don’t really see it as a challenge as such, just something I enjoy doing, and while that continues then I will continue to go with it. Most of the time I run first thing in the morning, sometimes before the world wakes, sometimes back before the sun has begun to rise and I just find it to be a really peaceful (even in London!), reflective time, and it starts my day off on the right foot. There is also something quite empowering about deciding to do something and actually following it through.

IMG_3803I feel so much more productive, have better clarity of thought, my mood is better, it just generally helps on a whole other level of things other than the obvious running is physically good for me. I haven’t set an end goal, so there is no pressure, I just get up and want to run, and it’s made me fall in love with running all over again.

Obviously I was a little wary about running so much, due to the injury problems this year and especially the ITB, but as long as it holds up I’ll carry on with the streaking!

Have you ever run streaked?