I’m not RED, I’m RWIWT

Run every day?

There has been a massive uptake of the Run Every Day in January challenge this year. I think it is very commendable that people are wanting to start the year off well by committing to exercising regularly.

Personally, I am looking at the longer outlook for me and not committing to overdoing things at this time of year.

There are a number of reasons why it isn’t for me. This isn’t to say that others shouldn’t do it, just that it doesn’t fit with me and it won’t fit for everyone.

Reasons to not run every day

  • I see the benefit of a rest day. Our bodies need rest. Our bodies need time to heal after exercise. Our bodies need time doing lighter work too.
  • The weather isn’t going to be so inviting all month. This time of year, it is normal to expect some frost, snow and ice. These are not great conditions for runners. It can be dangerous and we should be careful when the weather deteriorates. Is running each day that important to risk injury or a fall? Not for me.
  • Life is busy. To ‘have’ to go out for a run is a bad thing in my book. It should be a positive feeling of empowerment that you want to go out for a run rather than that of an obligation. We have many other things going on in our lives. We may not have time to commit to running every day. I believe that we should have time doing other things like spending time with our families and friends as well as running so often.
  • You can get demoralised if you don’t have targets that are achievable or realistic. For me, I can have some equally challenging targets but within the parameters of what I know, I can and want to achieve.

My own challenges

I can set myself a number of days per week to reach 10,000 steps (Five). I can set myself a target mileage for the week(15-20). I can set myself contingency plans if I can’t run outdoors (rollover to next week). I don’t have to feel like a failure if I haven’t reached a very tight target. I can look at it over a longer period of time rather than feel that I must run this day otherwise I fail.

I may be accused of being over-sensitive about this and everyone is free to make their own choices and I am more than aware it may be the best thing since sliced bread for some other runners. This won’t be just me, and I won’t be alone in this.

My own standpoint is that I don’t want to feel any self-imposed forced obligation to run when I don’t want to. I am not going to risk injury or a fall going out running unnecessarily just to tick a box. I want to live a balanced life where running isn’t my 24/7, but an enabler to a fitter, healthier lifestyle that lets me spend quality time with those around me.

Good luck whatever you do

I wish everyone all the very best if they are taking part in Run Every Day. I hope it achieves all you wish from it. But for me, I’m sticking to Run When I Want To.

Please note that the RED January website does stipulate the following though and I hope that those taking part adhere to this advice:

Whether you’re planning on swimming lengths every morning, walking 10 mins a day, attending your favourite fitness class or running 100 miles in the month, every achievement is celebrated no matter how big or small.  It’s important to be aware that you could be at risk of over-exercising. The general advice is that exercise should be around 30 minutes per day, no more than 45 minutes.”

Be careful, and only do what you are able to. Don’t feel the need to keep up with other people.

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