2021 Running Challenge Completed

3 minute read

Thanks to the minimalistic shoes, I did return to running in 2017. Since then, I have been slowly increasing the number kilometres and the pace. From 1km to the 10km that I run now every time I go out. It took me +18 months to run 5km without pain or causing injury, and now I can run 14 km, as I did yesterday, without issues. It was hard work, but now I am proud I did it.

The most important thing is that I regain my vitality. I have more energy, can accomplish more, and feel better in general. I already knew that my body needed this type of exercise to perform at its maximum, but now I see it every day in action. Eating well and exercising equals a far better performance throughout the day. And I have to add also, a better sleep.

Today is a special day because I did complete my 2021 running challenge. At the beginning of the year, I planned to run 1200km in total. That meant 100km a month or around 24km a week. In the following picture, you can compare it to the previous year.

2020 vs 2021 on running
2020 vs 2021 on running (using runalize)

But things do not always go as planned.

Some difficulties

In February, I did have a minor accident. I did fall and hit my head. I had to stop running for a couple of weeks. Also, because the head was involved, I took extra care on running to detect if something was wrong. But everything was OK, and in some weeks, I was back to normal.

In June, I had surgery on the right shoulder to recover lost mobility. That went excellent, but I had to stop running for two weeks more.

Even with these two issues, I did manage to cover my distance. That was possible thanks to the push during the last four months, as you can see in the graph.

Minimalistic shoes and set up

I want to share a couple of complementary facts. First, I did all the run with minimalistic shoes, of course. I mostly wear the Vibram 5 fingers, the V-Run model, but on some occasions, I did use the Trail-Run model.

The second is that I loved my simple set-up for running:

  • Vibram 5 Fingers V-Run. They have more than 1600 km today!
  • Polar H10. I like a bit more of the precision that the watch gives me.
  • Apple Watch Series 3. It is old, but it works perfectly, and it holds my running playlist. Someday I’ll explain the workflow to get the most of this device.
  • Powerbeats Pro. Incredible pair of headphones. The sound is excellent, and they do not move at all.
Basic running tools
Basic running tools

It could be even simpler If I do not use the H10, but I feel more secure wearing it.

Next year

The most significant challenge for 2022 is to establish a good routine. I ran a lot this year, but I did not have a regular practice. Somedays I run in the mornings, others at lunch, or in the evenings. Things work much better when I run in the morning. So, this year I’ll work to settle a base morning routine that includes 1 hour of running. The following is what I would like to achieve:

  1. 2000Km that is 166km a month or 40km a week. It is a significant increase, but I can do it without problems if the correct routine is in place. Also, I will need that if I want to run any race.
  2. Strength training once a week. I’ll try to sacrifice one running day for some gym work to increase leg power.
  3. 10Km in 40m. I hope this one will result from the two previous points (fingers crossed).
  4. Two races. I wouldn’t say I like races very much, but I’ll give it a go.

I know that it won’t be easy, but I know I’ll feel even better if I manage. The key to success, as always, is the process and the persistence. Wish me luck!