Run of the Month: East Devon Heathlands
East of Exeter, the landscape of Devon is a glorious mixture of rolling green hills;…
Now I don’t know what you Googled to get to this blog… but now you’re here – welcome! It is a blog about running, but it’s not a blog about naked running. In fact it’s a blog about running every single day.
I’m a big fan of the running streak. Used correctly it can be a valuable training tool in your race-preparation armoury. I’ve often used a month or two-month streak as a way to kick-start my training or when I simply need a new challenge.
This month is a streak month: I’ve set myself the goal of running 8 miles a day, every day of August. I don’t really know why I fixed it at 8 miles but it feels right for now. You don’t have to select a set daily distance of course, but I find it adds to the challenge and gives me a goal secondary to simply getting out for a run each day. The right distance is a tricky balance – it needs to be far enough that you’ll be properly challenged and make definite gains in fitness, yet achievable and not daunting to the point where you’ll dread leaving the house. If you’ve got a key race on the horizon it’s a good idea to set your daily run distance at a point that will prepare and condition you for this. A couple of months before my last marathon, where I got a PB by 10 minutes, I did a streak month of 10 miles a day. I couldn’t believe how much I improved in such a short space of time – it was as if my thresholds had been reset, both physically and mentally. Currently I’m training for a half marathon in mid-September in pursuit of a time that will get me on the championship start at the London Marathon next year and I’m hoping the run streak will take my fitness up a notch. I’ll add in a few race-distance runs nearer the time, taking my weekly mileage from around 60 to nearer 70 by the time I start my taper.
If you’ve never tried streaking I highly recommend giving it a go. It costs nothing, injects interest into your training and conditions your body for running like nothing else. It makes training wonderfully simple; there’s no decision to be made about whether to go for a run or, if you’re doing a set-mileage streak, how far to go. It also makes it much easier for everyone else. Having a fixed daily mileage means my family knows what to expect: mummy’s going to be out for an hour every day – she’ll be much nicer when she gets back.