Tag Archives: run streak

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.

IMG_1173

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.

IMG_1234

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.

IMG_1357

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.

IMG_1423

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.

IMG_1501

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.

image1

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.

image4

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!

image5

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!

image2

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.

image3

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.

 

Ending the Streak

Yesterday I happily ended the running streak. Without any goals or end in sight, my aim was to keep running as long as I was fit, healthy and enjoying it. Over the last 2 weeks, I’ve had a minor calf niggle which I suspect is just from overuse, and I’ve been feeling pretty drained, and struggling to fit everything in. Hence why I decided Sunday would be my last streaking day, 61 days and 253 miles in the bank.

IMG_3803

I have loved the structure, order and time running has given me, time not only with nature and my thoughts during the run, but the time during the rest of the day when I can be much more productive due to the fact I have been out running.

I have noticed that I’ve been a lot happier on a day to day basis- endorphin high. I have to say yesterday and this morning before I went out for a run, I was incredibly snappy. Running makes me feel good, it makes me happy, and I’m glad to be able to use it to boost those feelings.

10430432_10100555571484327_168305029281731338_n

Credit to Leah.

Initially I was really struggling to keep weight on-despite eating everything in sight during the streak-particularly when I was doing at least 5k a day, but now my appetite has gone through the roof, and I am in a permanent state of runger as my marathon training has increased my weekly mileage. I’ve managed to nourish my body with my favourite Vegan whole foods, and I have no doubt that they are largely the reason for my quick recovery, and reason I could continue the streak as long as I did.

IMG_4138

I was in a bad place with running post Berlin, I had run 3 marathons last year but none of which I had properly trained for, missing the majority of training with injuries and winging two of them on max long run mileage of 13 miles and doing the other one as a late training run for the ultra. I felt like despite getting round Berlin, I was not in good running shape both physically and mentally. The streak has massively increased my endurance, and speed and I am back in a place where I feel extremely comfortable during my runs and am enjoying every step. I smashed my 5k PB during the streak and I have no doubt that it was due to the consistent practice of running every single day, plus a little bit of speed work along that way.

IMG_4132

For me this was all about setting an intention, forming a habit, and for the last two months I have succeeded in doing that. Running became a part of my day, I didn’t think twice about it, and it has made for a very enjoyable few months. I am now dropping my runs back, as I need to make sure I reach the Thames Meander start line fully fit and ready to go, the streak has given me an excellent base and start to my training, now I just need to keep that going and stay fit with just over 7 weeks to race day.

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!

IMG_3985

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.

IMG_4105

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

IMG_4051

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.

IMG_4016

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!

2015 Goal Setting

It’s the beginning of a new chapter with the dawning of 2015, so a time to reflect on last years goals and set some new ones for the year ahead.

IMG_3942

2014 Goals

  • Run an Ultra: Check. Completed the London 2 Brighton 56k
  • Marathon PB: Check. Unintentionally at Milton Keynes.
  • 1000 miles for the year: Check. Finished at 1150.
  • Sub 25min 5k: Check. Smashed this this morning at Cardiff parkrun, less than 9 hours into the new year, so perhaps still counts!
  • Complete Insanity: Sort of check. I quit during the final week as it became too much alongside ultra training
  • Try new classes: Check. I really got into spinning at Cyclebeat this year.
  • Explore London: Half check. Did some exploring but the house move busyness put paid to doing much over the last few months.
  • Budget: Massive fail. Can’t stick to it to save my life!
  • Travel: Half check. Didn’t manage much of this thanks to buying the house. We did have a great week in Berlin though as well as mini breaks in Brighton, Manchester and Devon.
  • Figure out what I want to do with my life: Half check. Started a nutritional therapy course and working towards that qualification.
  • Chill. Probably a fail. I’m not good as resting or even sitting still, I’m constantly on the go, and find it difficult to just do nothing.

IMG_2875

2015 Goals

  • Continue with the Run Streak as long as I’m enjoying my running.
  • Run another Ultra
  • Try to train for a marathon without getting injured and PB.
  • Run 1200 miles for the year
  • Try and get to more London parkruns.
  • Continue with run specific strength, stretching and foam rolling, not only when I’m injured.
  • Be present. I have a super busy year ahead as bridesmaid for two of my best friends and 2 hen do’s to co-organise, I really want to soak up and enjoy these times.
  • Relax. Epsom salt baths, yoga, meditation, digital detoxes, trying to just unwind and be OK with resting.

What are your goals for the year ahead?