64, well 65 actually, days ago I decided that I wanted to start running at least 1 mile per day, every single day.
What started as a challenge to increase my discipline, has it actually done so?
Or has running one mile every single day actually been more of a hindrance than anything else?
Here are some insights into those 64 days.
The Art of Doing
‘Do, then iterate.”
There is a tonne of quotes and messages from influential people that have led me down the path of commitment, but the strongest backbone is practicing what I preach.
It’s not about the goal.
It’s about the commitment to a set of tasks every day, and that is it.
The fortitude, resilience, and mentality that is built from picking something and sticking to it every single day is the goal I was, and have been, chasing.
The outcome was irrelevant.
I was just curious to see what would happen if I could do 3 things, every single day, without fail, for 90 days.
Learning about myself in the process, and building some mental callous for future endeavors was always the outcome I was chasing. That can only be done by doing something with repetition over a long period of time.
Just find something, and then stick to it. You’ll learn so much along the way that the actual task itself is meaningless because the lessons you learn will truly dictate where you want to go.
Realisations from Running Every Day
Its not the run that is the most difficult thing about the task, it’s the art of being the task that is most difficult.
The actual running I have found realitvely easy and straight forward. One mile is not a lot, admittably, but it can be easily manipulated based upon feel for the day. Days where I have hiked 10+ miles and then have still had to run, they’re obviously more difficult.
Days where I have ran in 35+ degree heat are obviously difficult too.
But the most difficult task is lacing up my shoes, and heading out of the door.
There are for sure some lessons to take away from this, and hopefully any future tasks, or daily goals I set, will have their bar set by these very learnings.
“Just. Get. Started”
As previously mentioned on of my favourite quotes is from Visualise Value:
“Do. Then iterate.”
Whatever it is. Just start. Starting has the most friction but in most things, once the ball is in motion, it’s easily to keep it going than it is to start it from a standstill.
Whatever it is you’re putting off, just start.
Plan a routine. Write down a timeslot. Whatever it is you need to do to make the getting started have the least amount of fricition started, because once you’re going it’s harder to stop.
Physical Adaptations from Running Every Day
Most people have this fucked up assocation that you need to run in order to lose weight. I can flatout say that this is a load of bullshit.
You absolutely do not need to run, especially if you don’t like running, in order to lose weight and to get into shape.
Nutrition is the only way you’re going to lose weight, and controlling your daily and weekly intake of calories is the most important factor.
Physically I’ve not really changed much in appearance. However, my mile pace has reduced significantly, whilst my average HR has also dropped.
This means I am getting quicker, and my body is handling that pace at a better capacity than it was when I was running 2-3 minutes slower.
Let that sink in for a little minute.
If this isn’t hard evidence that exposing yourself to a new skill, learning, iterating, and adapting is THE best way to get better at something – I don’t know what will be.
Most thing we, as humans, are trying to get better at often require exposure and the unfortunate thing about exposure is often we don’t get enough of it?
Want to learn a new language? 20-30 minutes a week isn’t going to cut it.
Want to control your bodyweight and get lean? Tracking calories 3-4 days isn’t going to cut it.
Want to save for a house, or a new car? Only being strict on spends through the week, isn’t going to cut it.
Essentially, the more frequently you can exposure yourself to something, the more data you’ll collect and the faster you can iterate.
Will I Continue After 90 Days?
It’s likely I’ll continue to day 100, and then call it a day from there. But then, as day 101 approaches, how tempted will I be?
“It’s only 10 minutes, keep the streak.”
Being realistic, running whilst living in the van during the summer and climbing big mountains in the alps, is probably not going to work.
But there are so many things that I’ll take away from being consistent this goal that it’s only going to help me in the future.
I’ll likely add 2-3 runs in per week and look to increase the mileage of those as I prepare for some of the most physcially demanding challenges of my life over the next 6 months.
Don’t Put Up A Zero
There’s two important take aways from Monk Mode and it’s to never put up a zero, and that every day is a zero.
Every day is a new oppourtunity to start fresh.
Have a check list of things you need to do, and you’ve got 24 hours to do them.
Mark them with an X when you’ve done them, and a 0 when you haven’t.
Never put up a zero.
If you do?
Don’t worry, the next 24 hours wipes the slate clean, and you can build again.
Don’t miss twice, and never put up a fucking zero.