Run Challenge Complete

Day 90 of the 90 day Run Challenge is now complete!

What a journey. I’ve changed from being a casual runner who finished a marathon to a moderately competitive runner who can actually post decent times for races. I’ve raced in a Half Marathon and a 10K, clocked 370.7 km in Challenge runs at an average of 4.12 km, run an additional 127.92 km (which doesn’t include running in Thursday soccer games) to give a daily average run of 5.54 km for 90 consecutive days.

I’ve improved my time from 8:40 mins/km to 6:29 mins/km at the same heart rate, which really was the goal of this challenge.

Today’s run was 4.39 km in the 30 minutes at an average pace of 6:50 mins/km, average heart rate reported at 152, but I noticed it get stuck a few times at a higher heart rate then eventually drop dramatically, so I’m confident it was actually 151 bpm.

Followed up with 5.5 km at soccer.

What I’ve Learned

It is actually possible to run every day, as long as you don’t overdo it or push yourself too hard too soon.

No matter how slow you start out (let’s be fair, 8:40 is snails pace), you can get faster by training consistently and following a proven path.

I noticed that all of my fitness improvements (it wasn’t really speed improvements as I could already run 5 mins/km, just not for long – running faster at the same exertion is a fitness improvement) came after big efforts in additional training. For example, I struggled to break 4 km in 30 minutes until after the Half Marathon. Since then I’ve only not hit 4 km twice, and both because I was sick.

Doing additional kilometres at a faster pace showed gains 2 or 3 days later. My best runs came at those times. It was so predictable I used it to good effect to run a time in my 10K race I was happy with.

I used running to get over sickness quicker. Lymph moves around your body by moving your limbs, so low impact “Challenge level” runs were good for it and I got over my sickness a lot quicker than Cat did, even though we had the same thing. That has never happened before.

Something I was very surprised at was I didn’t suffer any injuries during the challenge. A few aches and pains and some fatigue in my anterior tibialis, but that’s to be expected and can hardly be classed as an injury. I guess as I’ve heard quite a few of the top running coaches say: consistent high mileage protects you from injury. Not that I came close to high mileage lol, but you know what I mean.

I’ve learned it’s possible to run when you are feeling under the weather or have a thumping headache. It’s not pleasant to start with, but it sure beats the pain of lazing around feeling sorry for yourself!

Rather than justifying eating poorly, I found I ate better throughout the Challenge. I guess if you’re conscious about one area of health in your life, you become more aware of others. After a terrible run straight after a greasy fish and chip lunch, it was easy to eat a little healthier.

The clothes you wear to run in don’t really matter… until it gets hot, humid, windy or raining. Then it’s time to break out the racing gear or you’ll overheat.

Running at a nice easy pace gives you plenty of time to think. It’s quite meditative. You get to think over situations, arguments, opportunities, etc and look at them from an emotional distance. Then look at your emotions surrounding those issues and better understand yourself. I don’t like running with music for that reason.

It’s tough to run every day, especially when you’re on a tight deadline or your running late at night because unexpected things (like a horrible seed storm) crop up. But you look back on each run and are glad you did it.

Consistent, low mileage builds an awesome base of fitness. Who else can say they ran a Half Marathon on 2.5 days notice, beat their previous best set 4 months before, and enjoyed the whole thing? Heck, I even stopped to take some pictures and post them to facebook, then call my wife and my mum! I could have gone a lot faster if I’d known how easy it was going to be for me, because at the end of it (despite how fast I ran the last few kms), I still had plenty left in the tank. I can’t wait to see how 2013 progresses in terms of increasing fitness, better times and upping my speed.

Running form matters. A lot. But there’s no such thing as perfect form. It’s a process of running more efficiently & powerfully. Good form doesn’t happen naturally for most of us. It takes a lot of research, then focus during runs to get better in tiny increments. But it’s so worth it, for reducing injuries, increasing your stamina and building your power. Worth getting right.

You go through a lot of clothes, socks, underwear & shoes when you run every day. Which can be a pain in winter!

Making running a part of your life doesn’t mean other parts of your life have to suffer. You can still enjoy the odd beer or glass of wine, nice foods, travel, etc. Just set yourself a minimum each day and stick to it. Half an hour is good, I think, because you feel like you’ve gone for a run, but the whole thing, from getting ready to finishing your shower, is done within an hour.

There’s nothing stopping you from going for a run right now. All you need are some clothes (hopefully you have them), some shoes that you can run in (who cares about the latest high-tech design from Nike?) and socks. If you have something that can keep track of your distance & pace, great. If not, don’t let it stop you. If you have a smartphone, get the runkeeper app (it’s free) and just run with that. It’s how I started earlier this year. I didn’t have a phone holder, so I held it in my hand.

Running is a great way to explore. Whether it’s your neighbourhood or a different city, running lets you see a lot of things you otherwise wouldn’t. Things that you may go back and check out later. Or you get to run through nature’s beauty and hear a kookaburra mocking you, get attacked by vicious birds or feel the cool, fresh morning air over your skin.

Running is the best gift I’ve given myself.

Check out the charts below for how I’ve progressed.

run challenge week 13

This shows the distance I ran, divided by weeks. I thought some days would show a trend, but it’s all a bit messy. The next is an overall picture, which shows my progress a lot clearer:

overall running

It’s been a great challenge. Thank you for following along. Thanks to everyone who wrote in by email, on DailyMile, RunYourBQ forum, Facebook, Twitter or Google+ or who spoke with me when you saw me. It really helped to know there were a lot of people in my corner, wanting me to do well.

If you want to keep up with my running, I’ll be continuing to be active on Daily Mile at Just send a connection request and say you’re through the 90 day test site and I’ll be sure to add you.

I’ll be continuing to run every day, even though this challenge is over. I want to at least get 100 consecutive days. Who knows whether 1,000 is even possible? One way to find out, right? 😀


  1. Wow! That’s impressive. I didn’t read the whole article, but the charts are amazing. Congrats! Great effort sticking to your plan :):)

  2. Thanks Mum 🙂

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