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What I learnt from 850km in 8 weeks



I never thought I’d become such a huge fan of running and in my previous post here, I described my first ever 50km run and immediately understood how addictive moving on our feet can possibly be. That was somewhere a month into my new running regime and it looks like its here to stay.


I used to doubt if running every day was possible and decided to put this theory to the test for a month. To be honest, its not much to blog about as I’ve read about how others have gone for years and years and that’s some serious achievement so kudos to you guys. But for me, I really wanted to test the possibility of running daily for 60 days and to have a streak of sorts that would push me further into this solitary sport.


For context, before July, I never ran for more than 60 minutes at a time except on weekends where my longer training sessions would take place and running was also never a consistent part of my life.


HERE’S WHAT I LEARNT FROM 850KM IN 8 WEEKS (JULY – AUGUST):


1. Go slow. If you want to run everyday for extended duration, go slow! Hard and fast sessions are undoubtedly important but should be used sparingly for shorter distances. For everything else, go slow and enjoy the run. I now go by the 90% rule where 9 out of 10 of my runs are slow or at a manageable pace.


2. The body needs less. As I’m not a huge fan of carrying many things during my sessions, I’ve also come to realise that the body doesn’t need as much nutrition as we are trained to believe once we acclimatise. I have gone on 3 hour+ sessions surviving on a couple of isotonic drinks along the way from a convenience store.


3. Off day runs. On days where my body could no longer agree with me going out there, I would tune down the distance to something very manageable and most often, I would find myself extending these distances once my brain and body have become friends again. It starts with the first 2km. Getting out there and doing it is the hard part and then it gets easier.


4. Same time everyday. Set a routine and stick to it. Your body and mind likes habits so having one will reduce the inertia in getting it done.


5. Faster than we think. I found myself truly addicted about 8 days in and never looked back since. I firmly believe that if we are committed to change than the process is much faster.


6. Hills. Going up hurts, going down will cause DOMS. The usage of muscles to control your descent is guaranteed to hurt. Also, avoid hills if you are on a recovery run. Walking up hills can actually be more efficient than running up one. It depends on your current state and what you want to achieve.


7. Music. Works wonders for me but I have gone on sessions where my battery has run out. I used a pair of bone conductors and they are awesome. I have playlists catered for each duration (1 – 4 hours)


8. Moving meditation. I use the solitary time to meditate and to plan for my day and sometimes week ahead. Works brilliantly and there are no distractions.


9. Shoes. I have since switched out my Nike Vaporflys for Hoka One One’s Bondi 6 because of a way better fit and cushioning. Comfort is everything when it comes to long durations. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


10. Socks. I no longer wear regular socks and invested in multiple pairs of toe socks to prevent chafing and blistering between toes. This is probably one of the best investments I’ve made.


11. Go for time, not distance. I set time aside for my runs and not the distance I want to cover. This allows me to find a natural rhythm for the day without feeling the pressure of distance. It was also the secret to me completing my first ever 50km run.


12. Streaks. Any sort of streak depending on your fitness level is an accomplishment.


13. Go natural. My post race nourishment is now coconut water followed by a vegan protein shake instead of immediately eating. I consume my meal almost 1-2 hours after my stomach has settled and would be full of natural foods.


14. Rain or shine. No excuses. In fact, running in the rain is an experience everyone needs to get used to. Its liberating.


15. Injuries. If you find yourself getting injured, I believe the pace needs to ease up rather than stop running altogether. Slow and steady wins the race.


16. Mindfulness. Daily running nourishes my soul and gets me prepared for whatever the day will bring. Plus it gives me a sense that I have started the day right and seized the day! Carpe diem!


17. No regrets. No one I know has ever come back from a run feeling down. This is due to the chemicals released in your brain and body post run. So if you feel unmotivated, think about how you will feel after the session.


18. Post long run. We think we need to stop after a long run the previous day. We actually can run some more, simply tune down the speed and get into the right frame of mind. Its whether we want to or not.


There we have it! My 18 lessons learnt from clocking 850km in 8 weeks and my streak is still continuing. I’ve started mixing it up even more and on some days now go for two runs in a day (one long followed by a shorter one in the evenings). My next milestone would be a 70km road run in my own time and stay tune to my post on that! Hopefully I would have invested in my new action camera to document the journey along the way.


Till the next post!


Onward.

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