I like to have some accountability so decided to document each day here. The 30 days went by pretty quickly, I only had a couple of days where I didn't fancy getting up to put my trainers on. One surprise was that there wasn't one rainy run in the whole month... in September! :S

I had the company of my daughter on recovery runs as she is doing the c25k so got a bit of father/daughter bonding in as a bonus.

Although I am looking forward to a couple of rest days to recharge a little I can see me sticking with a 3-4 run a week schedule, my mental health was the best it has been in the whole of 2020 which is probably my biggest take away from it all.

Some stats #

  • Distance covered - 116km
  • Calories burned - 12,416

If you are interested you can read my daily diary below.

Come share my pain with me! #

Day 1 (Interval run 3.66km in 26.44) #

Well... that was no fun AT ALL. Everything felt wrong and even though I have been walking and cycling over the last few months there is a definite hardening needed for the body to do the running.

Day 2 - Meg Run (Interval run 3.44km in 27.10) #

Convinced my daughter to come out with me this morning, things felt better than yesterday which was a huge relief and surprisingly didn't feel too bad in my legs - I was expecting to be walking like John Wayne.

Day 3 (Interval run 3.74km in 26.03) #

Decided to do the same sprint/walk internal route all week and then maybe try a longer gentle run on the weekend. Legs felt good again and really tried to focus on good form during the high intensity intervals. Looking back to February I was managing around 4k in a similar time doing this specific run so I am not miles off being back to where I was. Will be interesting to see what my first proper 5km run comes in at.

Day 4 - Meg Run (Interval run 3.47km in 29.41) #

Used a foam roller last night because my lower calf felt a bit tender. Running again with Meg today and tbh I felt i was lacking energy. Bad eating yesterday and the consecutives runs are the reason I am assuming. Interestingly though highest Max Speed so far of 21.4km/h and Max Pace of 2:48 min/km. Thinking interval route tomorrow and then try a 5k Sat and a gentle warm down run Sunday.

Day 5 - (Interval run 3.86km in 26.17) #

Usually I fall out of bed and get my exercise done but as this is a sustained period of doing it every day I have decided to have my morning coffee and come to beforehand. It does mean I seem to be having my "morning coffee" on my return also. /0\

Felt a little twinge in my right calf so backed off a little during the high intensity intervals but felt pretty good at the end. Five days down and the weekend brings just a normal run and gentle warm down run on Saturday.

What constitutes a run? #

I hadn't really thought about this at the start but I haven't decided what counts as a run. My feeling is that 1mile sounds like a sensible minimum so will aim for a minimum 2km each time.

Day 6 (Normal run 5.02km in 28.17) #

First 5km run since February so am pretty happy with the time. Legs felt tired near the end and laps of the park are pretty boring!! Meg had her best run yet - won't be long before she is waiting for me to catch up.

Legs pretty tight on getting home, foam roller tonight.

Day 7 (Recovery run 2.03km in 12.47) #

Sunday was always going to be about keeping the sequence going so just a gentle run for the minimum 2km self imposed distance. Legs didn't really fancy it al all although by the end of the run I probably felt better! I had a fancifull idea about plogging (where you pick litter and jog) but couldn't get my head around running with a litter grabber and bag... one for the future I think.

Back to intervals tomorrow.

Day 8 (Interval run 3.67km in 26.17) #

Possibly too many Sunday night drinks meant a heavy head today.. but still got out and did the run. Nothing to report, felt rubbish - was rubbish! :)

Day 9 - Meg run (Interval run 3.07km in 26.53) #

Wonder if I am getting a bit of a cold? Would be no surprise as the youngest has been back in school for 4 days :/ Felt odd last night and had a bad sleep, keeping contact with Meg on her c25k session so not pushing the distance as she wanted to ensure she got home to get ready for school.

Third of the way! #

Day 10 (Interval run 4.12km in 26.12) #

I decided the 10th day marks a good point to start eliminating any walking from my intervals. Initially I was doing sprints and walks so today I decided to do the sprints at a speed I would love to be able to run at and then where possible jog the recovery phases. Today the pattern was run - jog - run - walk - run - jog - walk - run etc. Interestingly my highest speed was only 16km/h but I managedmy longest distance on the interval runs so far.

I am sure there a more scientific ways to measure/log my progress but writing it down each day is making me feel accountable.

Probably the first day so far I could have carried on also!

Day 11 (Recovery run 2.75km) #

After some wise words from @aswifthaIf on Twitter I am re jigging my runs a little. The runs with my daughter Tues/Thurs and a Sunday are recovery runs leaving a 5k on a Saturday and intervals Mon/Wed/Fri.

Hoping this will let me improve AND get through the 30 days.

Day 12 (Interval run 4.27km in 26.11) (800m - 03.11) #

Well I felt much stronger than last Friday, and as we worked out an 800m marker yesterday I decided to see what time I could do, perhaps this will be a regular Friday thing?? I was guessing that it would take me about 4mins based on 5min/km pace but managed to do 3minutes 11 which I was pretty pleased about. Seems like a natural target there to try and get sub 3 by the end of the month.

Legs felt good and still having no issue getting out of bed to do it each morning. I wonder if it having a positive impact on my body, should have weighed myself or done photos before and after! This man ran for 30 days - you won't believe what happened! :D

Day 13 (Normal run 5.03km in 27.34) #

Saturday came round quickly and so it was into the park for Meg to complete week 3 of her c25k and me do a solid 5k. My average pace was 5.29 so quite a bit to shave off to get near 25mins and had to stop to answer my phone during lap 4. Still it is nearly a minute improvement on last week.

Left leg pretty tight at end so will be dusting off the foam roller again tonight - I find it really uncomfortable touse but it does seem to help.

Day 14 (Recovery run 4.23km in 26.38) #

Sunday is a day of rest and as such I had set out only to do the minimum 2km to count as a "run". However in a surprising turn of events I thoroughly enjoyed todays run! Did not expect that at all and just stuck on some Jon Hopkins instead of drum and bass so I wasn't tempted to run at a cadence and just ambled along. Worked out at around a 6.15/km pace and I could have just carried on, only stopping because I still have 15 days to go and I was told days 18-21 are the toughest...

Day 15 (Interval run 3.81km in 26.14) #

As Jon Bon Jovi would say.. "Whoooaaa we're half way there." And indeed day 15 arrived and sucked! Tight left calf which I think happened becasue tender left ankle... either way need to address that or it could become a problem. The week begins!

Day 16 (Recovery run 3.40km in 27.46) #

Proud of Meg today - her c25k ramps up in week 4 so you run more than you walk. Was great to run along with her and also a big moment as week 4 is where she gave up last time she tried it. Forgot to use the foam roller last night and my calves felt really heavy. Going to set myself an alarm to do it tonight.

Day 17 (Interval run 4.47km in 27.06) #

Grr.. left calf still a bit tight despite using a roller last night.. going to have to go at it again tonight and make sure I take it easy on the recovery run tomorrow. Last couple of days have been a slight effort to get up, not sure if that is the weather or just hitting the midst of the 30 day challenge. Either way am getting close to the 10 day count down.

Day 18 (Recovery run 3.22km in 27.58) #

The recovery runs are becoming so enjoyable watching Meg progress through the c25k program. My left calf was still feeling tight, though it felt it wasn't helped by running a really slow pace - I was still trying to keep to my music cadence so it was like running on the spot.

Edging up to 2/3 through the month now!

Day 19 (Interval run 4.54km in 26.16) #

Best feeling Friday run yet. Calf felt ok again which was good and I had energy to push throughout the run.

Looking back I ran just under 1km further on this 3rd Friday Interval Run than I did on the 1st one. A decent improvement!

Day 20 (Recovery run 3.44km in 31.00) #

Took it easy today rather than doing a 5k run and just enjoyed watching Meg break her personal barrier by finishing her 4 week block of c25k. She even had a bit in her to go as fast as she could for the last minute.

Day 21 (Normal run 5.02km in 27.53) #

I was going to go for a longer slow pace run today - but we are meant to be going for a walk in the hills later so decided to go faster and shorter. A couple of slower km's whilst admiring the new signage for the pilot LTN by us meant I missed out on my fastest time this month but it is alllll good. :)

Three weeks down and the countdown from 10 has begun!

Day 22 (Interval run 3.39km in 26.02) #

Did not want to get up today and the run felt almost like I was out of my body.. no more to say.

Day 23 (Recovery run 3.21km in 28.10) #

Nice easy recovery run - again pushing the boundaries for Meg running longer times between walks. Adding in these super low intensity recovery runs has definitely helped me feel fresher on the interval or Saturday runs.

Day 24 (Interval run 5.01km in 30.03) #

According to Endomondo this was my "most calories burned" run this month. I guess this must have something to do with the high intensity parts of the run as I have run further faster... one to investigate.

6 days left... barring injusry I just need to keep on going.

Day 25 (Recovery run 3.28km in 27.02) #

Woke up to rain... the first rain before a run for the whole of September which is quite incredible! It had actually eased off by the time we went out, and it was noticably darker than normal. Autumn is here. Meg told me about the Zombie Run App game on our warm down walk. THat sounds like something I would find fun.. might have to combine it with some off road in the winter. :)

Day 26 (Zombie run 4.67km in 27.13) #

As Meg has her first solid 20min run tomorrow I thought I would try a little harder today in order to run with her. I decided to try Zombies, run!, and with a suitable metal album teed up set out to see what it was like.

I have to say it was pretty good, you pick up items on your run and get bits of dialogue and alerts to run from the zombies. I am sure the first few episodes are set up not to fail, will see how this goes.

Day 27 (Recovery run 3.26km in 26.23) #

Bloomin cold this morning. Trip to Decathlon in order to get some winter running clothes.

Meg did her first solid 20mins which ended up with us running through the woods in Moseley Bog. Good times. :)

Day 28 (Fun run 5.94km in 35.39) #

Trip to Decathlon was made... and thankfully I didn't have to sell a kidney to pay for all the stuff, just a few pairs of socks, a wind proof running jacket, T and shorts.

Felt like an advert running through Moseley bog, retracing our run/walk yesrterday as a run instead. So much fun running through woods and over raised wooden walkways.

Felt great running at a 6m/km pace, could have gone on for ages and I might just do that next Sunday when I have had a rest day or two.

2 runs left...

Day 29 (Interval run 3.61km in 22.55) #

My heart wasn't in it today, which is weird as I thought I would have given it all for the last couple of runs. I am a little bit tired of the same loop in the week so after tomorrow I am going to go down to 4 runs a week, 2 with Meg to support her on her c25k journey and 2 for me.

Just realised my last run of the challenge tomorrow is a recovery run, on the one hand a shame but will be nice to finish the challenge with someone else.

Day 30 (Recovery run 3.48km in 28.46) #

And so rather quietly, my 30 day running challenge comes to an end. I thought I might have been a little more excited but in all honesty it feels good to have a rest day on the cards. Now the routine is in place I wonder if I will continue to run several times a week or if it will wash away over time. I hope it is the former!