I regularly have dreams where I'm running and find it so hard to run that I lean so far forward that I'm almost running on all fours, and it's still tough to run. Well imagine my surprise when I discovered I've probably been mentally training for what is probably the toughest 400m race in the world, let alone Europe... the Red Bull 400 in Planica, Slovenia.
How's this for a brutal 400m race...
200m of elevation in just 400m. Think I'll add this to my bucket list given I've had so much practice in my dreams.
This was a great challenge and one I'm going to come back to, but maybe not quite so rigidly or with so much gusto at the start of the month.
As part of doing my 30-day challenge, I decided I would NOT give myself a training programme to follow. I would just run and listen to my body, with the exception that I would do a long run on the weekend. If I felt good and felt I could go fast, I did. If I felt like plodding, I did. This worked really well and I ended up only wearing my Garmin to record my route and distance as evidence of my progress and only checked it at the end of each run. It's quite refreshing just running again without any trying to run to clock or beeping pacer. I think I'm going to start doing this more often.
Now forcing myself to run everyday has taught me a few very important things. Running every day is fantastic, when you're up for, but you MUST listen to your body and take a break when it says you need one. If you don't and you run, you won't enjoy it and may start to resent it. You're also likely to incur aches and pains and niggles or even a full on injury if you don't.
I think I may have gone out a bit too far a few times in the first 3 and a bit weeks and by Friday the 26, I really wasn't up for running and starting to feel a little over-trained. This is when I'd normally take a day or two off, but didn't as I was aiming to complete this challenge.
Sadly, I've had to force myself to take a break after 30 days. I find myself feeling a little over-trained with my right hip flexor a little tender after runs. I wouldn't call it an injury, just an annoying niggle that wasn't there before.
I'll give myself the best part of a week off and start a similar challenge again, but this time without any rigid goals. Who knows, maybe 3 long hard weeks is my limit and maybe the 4th needs to be considerably lower in mileage than I did. Only time will tell.
One thing I'm very impressed with is the monthly total: 231.18k of running.