100 runs in 100 days - a challenge

We’re back for another season of running challenges, this being our eight. In the northern hemisphere short, cold, rainy and snowy days are in. The group rides are done for the year, and racing may be months away. It is always harder to find motivation to train solo during these times when weather can be miserable and there are no near term races to push for.

Since the early days of triathlon, athletes have been getting together in concentrated enclaves where there is a critical mass of athletes to push each other in both training and racing. Sometimes this happens organically as is the case with Boulder. In other cases, coaches or organizations or even National governing bodies create those enclaves. They are well known for lifting our performances, but they can also break us when we let them push us beyond our limits.

Here on Slowtwitch, over the years, we have virtually tried to bring that enclave of athletes to your front door, by organizing various virtual camps to provide that camaraderie and peer environment that you may not have access to at your place in Boston or Amsterdam, or Tokyo or in Cape Town that the guys in Boulder or San Diego may have.

Today (Dec 15th) we kick off our annual 100 runs in 100 days challenge. It is a long virtual camp with the intent of helping you to elevate your run fitness. Don’t get fooled by the name. It is a bit of marketing to get us all excited. The goal is to get us out the door with frequent run training to get our overall mileage up. Frequency is the carrot to get us to the ultimate goal of more mileage, lay down a bigger base, and emerge at the other end of the 100 days with more fitness, and hopefully personal bests this year. All the rules are described in our reader forum here where you can also go to sign up: The 100 runs in 100 days thread

While some athletes will actually run 100 times, most of us will run a lot less. There are levels for 90, 80, 70 runs with the basic unit of running being 30 minutes in a day. There are 23.5 hours per day to do everything else in life. We are hoping that because of the challenge on many days when you just don’t feel like running, you will manage your time to make 30 minutes for yourself and that run. Many of those short blocks of 30 minutes end up adding up to a lot of extra training over 100 days.

Use the challenge as a source of motivation to train when you are not into it mentally, but put it in the framework of your overall training, either self directed or what your coach is prescribing. Don’t go overboard, because you don’t really want to win in the results sheet of the challenge, you want to win in the results sheet on race day, with personal best performances and reaching your goals for 2014.

Through the reader forum you will log your workouts on our training log and become part of this 100 day long virtual camp. There is no cost other than some miles on your legs. If you are able to participate in the reader forum thread and share your experiences, like any training camp, this adds to the value for everyone. We’ll also have a few coaches on the forum thread to answer your questions on an ongoing basis, just like you might have had on your college or high school team. They might kick you out the door and tell you to train harder, but more than likely will tell you to hold back if you go over the top. Stories, pictures and a bit of smack talk and friendly competition are also appreciated. Happy and safe training and welcome aboard.

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