Red

August 1st 2021

Today I started a new thing. I ran again. That’s not inherently a new thing, but it does bring with it a new thing. The last time I ran was June 20th. That was also the last day of my 413 day streak of running 5k every day. I caught some kind of illness that wiped me out for the whole of June 21st, and because my streak was over, I completely lost motivation to run. And I haven’t been since. Until today.

As I’ve grown older I have come to learn more about myself, and accept things for how they are instead of trying to change them. And one thing I do know is this: I don’t have an in-between mode when it comes to running. I either run every day, or I don’t run at all. And for the last 5 weeks I haven’t run at all. So, can you guess what running today means?

Yep.

I’m back to running every day.

It’s the only way I’ll do it. I am not in a brilliant place mentally or physically at the moment, and a big part of that is because I don’t run any more. And if running every day is the only way to ensure that I run at all, then that’s what I’m going to do. I need to have a reason to get out of the flat on my lunchbreaks. I need to see the sun. And so I need to do it every day.

It’s not going to be like last time though. Last time I committed to running 5k every single day, which was restrictive, and not particularly conducive to any kind of training routine. It was catchy though: Five A Day. FAD. Not just a passing fad, eh?

This time? Red.

Red.

Lower case for stylistic reasons, but it’s still an acronym.

Run every day.

On May 23rd of this year, British runner Ron Hill passed away at the age of 82. Ron’s legacy is his Commonwealth Games Marathon Golds, his sports clothing brand, and, most significantly, his legendary, record-setting streak of Running Every Day.

For 52 years and 39 days, from 1964 to 2017, Ron ran every day. His rules? “completing a distance of one mile at any pace”. And so, those are my rules too. If they were good enough for Ron, they’re good enough for me.

What that means is that, instead of constricting myself to running the same 5k route around Pittville Park every lunchtime, I can have exploratory, 8 kilometre runs like I did today. I can do new routes, at whatever speed, over whatever distance. I can do interval training, track work, or half-marathons. Just as long as the next day I run at least a mile. I’d still like to keep to a 5k minimum, but occasionally I may need to rely on a cheeky miler the day after a longer, or harder run.

8k isn’t a hard run, but I don’t know how my legs are going to feel tomorrow after 6 weeks off.

Until tomorrow, I wonder how they’ll feel in 52 years and 40 days from now.

Jacn

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