This is a bit different to the normal posts on magic but I hope you get something out of it!
Last year - I imagine like many of you - my exercise regime was somewhat....remiss. Whilst my focus was primarily online magic shows, it was wrong of me to neglect exercising regularly.
At the start of this year I decided I'd make a change and start strong.
Now I'm no Dave Goggins, Eddie Izzard or *insert your favourite runner here* but I decided at the start of this year to start running 6 miles everyday for 30 days!
Why? Mainly to get my fitness back on track. A kind of shock to the system, a cold water dunk! It's also a SMART goal. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Based.
This was achievable/ realistic for me (or so I thought) as back when I used to run 3/4 times a week, it was between 4 - 6 miles. And being overly optimistic (and possibly stupid) I thought, "6 miles...no worries".
Within this challenge as well I wanted to:
1. Get 8 min mile pace.
2. Increase my VO2 max/ not die when doing any sort of cardio.
3. Reduction in weight.
The First Few Days
"When the going gets tough, the tough gets going" - Billy Ocean
I was wrong of course. Day one was manageable; tiring but manageable. Day two, a bit of delayed onset muscle soreness but nothing significant. By day Ten however....My god.
My legs are not what they used to be!
They were stiff.
I had (and still do have) blisters on both feet.
Each run was hard, and some of them I had to do a "recovery" run either cause of a pain somewhere in my leg or just I was just generally tired.
What I've Learnt
‘You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.’ – Richard Branson
I haven't finished the challenge yet (day 17) but here are my tips so far:
1. Invest in Some Good/New Trainers
The Trainer's I had were old. 4/5 years old. The soles were literally splitting (see above) and gave me several blisters. The new blue bad boys are like running in bubble wrap!
2. Warm up
The first few days, I kind of just sprinted off on the first mile, which definitely didn't help at the latter end of the runs or the next day! Start at a steady pace and gradually pick it up.
Again, this was me being foolish and thinking I was back in my hay day. If you don't stretch everyday, you're going to feel it. It'll be harder to run and get a decent pace. Get a good stretch routine. If you don't have one check out Yoga with Adrianne; she has tons.
4. Schedule it.
I've found that if I schedule when I have the run I feel more compelled to do it. I now have it set for 0600 so it's done and dusted and sets me up for the day. You could take this a step further and make it a task on your list so you get that dopamine release when you tick it!
5. Don't Stop
"I don't stop running when I'm tired. I stop when I'm done" - Dave Goggins.
I have to agree with Dave on this. I hate stopping and will try my hardest to continue moving at all times, even if it means speeding up to run over a road. Once you stop, it's harder to start again.
6. Stop Looking At Your Miles
I'm guilty of this but make a conscious effort to stop. Stop looking at your phone/ watch telling you how far you've gone. What's the point in looking if you're just out the door? "God there's still ages to go!" Start the watch/ phone then put it away until you're nearing the end. I'm aiming for 6 miles and have a pretty good idea of how far I need to go before I reach it. I'll pull my phone out at about mile 5 so I know when to stop the tracking.
With 72 Miles (12 days) left to go, I feel happy that I'll achieve the goal. The pace is fluctuating but has reduced (unless I'm doing a recovery run), which means my VO2 max has increase since I don't die from the first mile! I've lost about 1kg currently but to note; this isn't the best way to lose weight. Losing weight involves the correct diet and hitting other areas of the body (weights, bodyweight etc).
From this as well, I've also set up a daily schedule which has helped me become more productive and that task lists are . Let me know if you've set any goals for this year and how you're getting on down below.