It was on November 24th, 118 days ago that I last had a full day off running.
I actually cannot remember anything about that day but I do know that I had been slowly rebuilding the weekly miles since the Autumn 100 mile race and with finding out that I was in the London marathon for April I thought I would embark on being as consistent as possible with training in order to set the bar high and hopefully be in with a great shot of smashing it.
This is something I had done well at various points of the year for all the races in 2015 I ran but this was going to be different. By luck would have it I heard about the Marcothon in December setup by Marco Consani. The rules were simple but in essence you run everyday with each run being either 25 minutes or 3 miles whichever comes first as a minimum.
I thought why not try to run every day in December. How hard could it be? It would even help offset the indulgence :-) I usually run mostly 5-6 days a week anyway so I didn't think it was going to be a big leap physically so why not see where it takes me. Little did I know then where it would take me.
How have a I felt? How difficult has it been? Well I have to say it proved mentally difficult after 2-3 weeks into running every day and of course physically there have been times where I have had to back off and run the minimum mileage but mostly it's not been as difficult as I thought it would be or is that just my perspective now that I am running daily?
Stats wise every month has averaged over 200+ miles which has worked out I around 7.5 miles a day in the last 17 weeks (around 52 miles a week). At first I did a lot of base miles running mostly easy with a fartlek session each week before introducing tempo and interval sessions over the past 3-4 weeks building up to London. I have been able to hit the same mileage several times last year but never as consistently as I have in the past 4 months and felt like I could do it week after week and still able to recover properly.
Now there are various posts out there on the Internet about run streaks so I am not going to bother preaching about the benefits of drawbacks but one thing I will say is that since the beginning of the year I see my running / training in a completely different light. It's no longer about maintaining the streak but more about consistently training day in day out in order to reach the goals I have set myself. Of course there will come a time where a day off will be something that will happen but for now I am fully intent on running every day.
When it comes down to it there are very few excuses not to run but it's not for everybody and I would never say this is what someone should do but I have learnt many new things about what does work for me, when to back off training and cut a run short, enjoying the run to the full when feeling great but still not overreach and not be able to run the next day.
With less than 5 weeks to London I have 2-3 big weeks left before tapering. Some days will be good and some will be not so good but I know you can learn a lesson from every run you get an opportunity to do.