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What I learned from running every day for the past 150 days

This post is NOT about motivation or trying to convince you to try to run, in fact I would advise you against running every day.

But that being said, I run every day. That means no matter what happens during the day, if it’s raining, snowing, the wind’s blowing or if I’m feeling injured or just fatigued, I run, no excuses, no breaks.

But let’s turn back time to high school, yearly sports day, last discipline on the schedule, a 1000m run, my worst nightmare. I never was a runner throughout my childhood, I trained basketball, but I never really liked running, PC games, fatty food and sweets were just too good to give up for a 14 year old, so I got lazy, depressed and gained a lot of weight, so the 1000m run was the worst imaginable event for me. About 700m in I always had to stop and walk for a 100m to gain my breath back. That went on for the next few years, up until I almost graduated from University. Then something changed.

I stopped looking at running as a thing I can’t and don’t want to do, but more as a mean of motivation of every time I had to stop. Now as we all know the secret of life is very easy: Reading & Running. And I began to slowly, but steadily, to kill that little person in your head that always tells you you can’t do it, you’re to weak, the weather is not right, you ate bad, had a night out, etc. When I overcame that mental hurdle in my head I started to run, 1km, 3km, 5km, 10km per week, I was gradually building up distance and speed all up until last year when I finished my first competitive half marathon in Stockholm in 1hr and 45min.

 


What I learned so far:

– Be Careful. This is a dangerous game. I currently have a streak going, that I failed to realise. First it was a 50 days, then 100, then I injured my foot around day 120… but had to get to 150. Now I’m in the mindset “Well I might as well go to 365 days…” Pick an end day.

– Shoes don’t last nearly as long, as they used to. Replace your running shoes every 3–4 months, you’ll be amazed, how quickly they can get a really hard soil, which will mean more knee and ankle pain.

– Everyday is different. Some days you will feel incredible and full of energy just waiting for the run and some day you will feel like crap. Those days are the worst, if you can make your mind go running on those days, you can convince your mind to do anything. Hence the Will Smith of secret to life referral above.

– Running and weight-loss are not as closely linked as you think. I don’t think I lost a lot of weight (perhaps a maximum of 5kg), but I do feel to have a lot more energy.

– The self-control gets much easier. I hardly ever dread my daily run now. Because I don’t want o break the chain and my mind just decides by itself— I should just go running.


Then came another slump. My head was telling me that there’s no way I can finish a marathon running all the way without stopping and again I had no short or long term goal in terms of running. The little guy in my head was in charge again. My move from Stockholm to London, change of jobs didn’t really help either.

But then something changed again, I changed jobs again and for the first time ever I was living in close enough of a vicinity to my work place that I actually started contemplating of running to work. So I started, 1 day a week, 3 days a week up until the point where I was running every day to work. (I really have to give props here to TransferWise for having a shower int he office) I enjoyed it, I arrived to work, with a a clear mind, refreshed and already “in the zone”. I realised how much I dreaded the commute on the tube, as I came to work in a bad mood and with a negative mindset. And while not everything is perfect with the run commute, as you have to watch out not only for cars, but even more so for cyclists, finding the right backpack for run is incredibly hard, as it shouldn’t move to much or be bulky, but on the other side it needs to hold your laptop and your work clothes, I think the downsides by far outweigh the public transport. And so I continue to run to work from Monday to Friday and go for longer runs on the weekend.
Last Sunday was my 150th consecutive day of running.

And while I don’t run long distances like Martin or Alvar (I did sign-up for a marathon in 2016 though) or have a bigger cause like Ed, I continue to run. Every day.

Original Article : What I learned from running every day for the past 150 days

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