Run Every Day For A Year

REDFAY 2013I’ve got to admit when it comes to my running I love a challenge. The stupider the challenge, often times, the better I like it. So when a new challenge was suggested for the new year I couldn’t help but seriously consider giving it a red hot go.

The challenge is to attempt to run every day for a year in 2013 (now referred to as REDFAY 2013).

On the surface of it, it sounds like a reasonably simple challenge. But the discipline required to get out and do a few miles each and every day will be extreme.

I’ve always thought I was a regular runner and didn’t really miss a lot of days, but when I looked back over the last couple of months’ worth of running I was shocked at how many days I missed. Taking just the last month I have run on only 19 days out of 31…and I thought I was running very regularly!

So…running every day for a year. Is it going to be possible?

The first thing to do is specify what qualifies as a run. It’s got to be long enough to classify as a run of any benefit or substance, so a 100m job is not going to do it. If I make the qualification too long, though, I’m definitely not going to achieve more than a few days.

I think a run that lasts for at least 15 minutes is a fair enough minimum goal. This means the shortest run I will do will be at least 3km.

I’d like to think I’d at least get a few months into the year before I missed a day but it will require some planning, not to mention some practice.

The practice part of the plan involves starting today and using the rest of the year as an opportunity to try to get into the daily running discipline.

My running log has been set up to automatically format the background to green to indicate a day that I have run and red for a day that I have not run. I am hoping to get a nice solid block of green from today onward.

Interestingly, there is already an official body known as Streak Runners International, Inc. and United States Running Streak Association, Inc. which provides a quarterly newsletter, certification of your running streak once it passes the year mark and membership. It gives you the chance to feel as though you are part of a club and makes the achievement official. Their website can be found here.

From the looks of it, the certification process is very much on the honesty system and, let’s face it, there really is little to gain by lying. You simply enter the date of your first running day as well as the date of your last or, that the streak is ongoing. And you take it from there. There is a very good quarterly newsletter produced by SRI/USRSA which you get if you join the club although back issues can be downloaded from the site. It appears to be a very supportive group of runners – the type of thing anyone looking to fulfil a long-term goal would need.

I didn’t run yesterday so my first attempt at a running streak officially starts today. Because I haven’t really ever attempte to run any number of specific days in a row – I’ve always been a “rest day is key” runner – my first goal is to make it to one week and go from there. I can anticipate that the weekend is going to be the most difficult because I have only ever set aside one of the two days for a run.

Let my running streak begin.

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