My 2014 Run Challenge: How’s yours going so far?

The Run Challenge 2014: How's it going so far?

The Run Challenge 2014: How's it going so far?

In early January, I invited you to join my run challenge. The idea is for everyone who’s up for it to declare their 2014 running goal, and for us all to collectively monitor and encourage each other via these regular progress blogs.

This is the first of my progress reports, and I’d love you to join in at the end and report how you’re doing. First of all, for those who missed the original blog, a quick upsum:

Why ‘how far can you run in a year’?

Before last year, all my previous running – which I’ve been doing for just under four years – was all about trying to beat my personal bests for each distance and run route. However as progress isn’t linear, I realised this actually started to be demotivating. In other words, I’d aim to do a 10k, realise I wasn’t close to my record, so I’d cut it short.   

So I added a new column to my graph (of course I’ve got a running graph, don’t you?) to focus on annual distance – and totted up what I’d done in the past. It’s been a huge boon, because even when I’m less fit or sparky, when running I often fall on the obsessive mantra ‘need to feed the graph, need to feed the graph’. It’s helped spur me on even though work has been so difficult finding a second was tough.

There are more tips on how to measure running and hot to motivate yourself in the original Run challenge blog post.

My aim is to run over 700km in 2014 – but it’s not been the best start

Sod’s law, a few days after launching the run challenge, I had a terrible pain in my ankle and ended up in A&E being put in a cast and crutches.

This rather bizarrely turned out to be diagnosed as an attack of gout – an exceedingly painful, but thankfully treatable condition. While the pain subsided within a week, during the investigations it was discovered my shin splints were being caused by stress fractures of both legs (this doesn’t mean they’re actually cracked, just that the bone is severely weakened). 

I was then strictly banned from running for a month, and have been on a gradual walk/run recuperation programme (mostly on a treadmill for lower impact). It’s great to be running again, but it is at a much lower pace than I’m used to. Hopefully once my special insoles arrive I will be able to up the pace a bit.

While I wasn’t allowed to run, I was told I could do weight-bearing, non-impact aerobic exercise such as cross-training, cycling and the killer of them all – rowing (my max session is now 20 mins, I can hardly walk after).  

To keep the motivation up, I’ve been monitoring the time spent doing these run alternatives and added them into a new graph field.   

But it’s too easy to make them equal to running, so while it typically takes me five minutes to run a kilometre, I only count it as 1km per 6 ½ minutes while doing the run alternatives.

My progress chart


2014 actual running 2014 running (inc. run alternatives) Prospective 2014 total
(based on this average)
2013 actual running
(year total 695km)
actual running
(year total 622km)
actual running
(year total 672km)
By end of Jan. 5km 36km 490km (if only counting actual running 60) 47km 39km 33km
By end of Feb. 37.5km 91.5km 566km (if only counting actual running 230) 65km 81km 64km

How are you doing?

If you pledged in January, please repeat what you pledged and update with how you’re going towards the target. If you’re new, state your pledge and how you’ve done so far.