One sign of a habit is doing the same thing over and over again. That seems to be the case for me when it comes to the Marcothon. Last year I shared about my adapted version of it ( Modified Marcothon Madness ). My idea of ‘modified’ was to run every day in November instead of December. Also to have a higher distance goal than the prescribed 4.8km/ day. I started November with the plan of averaging 7.5km each day. That plan changed. Taking my own advice from last year I knew that consistency from the start would be the key if I was to keep up that average distance. Upping the daily distance average means I have to think of more than getting out and running each day. More time is needed to do runs and more thought as to where to go to keep things interesting.
Seven thoughts that come to mind…
Consistent daily running always requires discipline. Doing it for a month has meant I have lived with a mental as well as physical stress throughout the time. A plus is that towards the end of the month a habit starts to form. It becomes a bit easier especially towards end of the month. The prospect of finishing is sweet.
Be prepared to live with fatigue for a month. Normally I run 3, maybe 4, times a week. To switch to run every day takes a toll on the body. Felt all the more as the monthly distance builds. Adequate sleep and rest are vital to avoid compromising my immune system. Listen to the language of the body.
Certain things are worth doing for their own sake. On the surface it is neither a productive or useful activity. For me this is a tonic at this time of year in the northern hemisphere. The daylight hours are noticeably shorter and it is all too tempting to stay indoors.
Weather is not an issue. Just what to wear. One thing Scotland in November does not lack are variable conditions. Accept the encroaching dark and embrace whatever sunlight there is. Endure the wet, the cold and the wind.
Some days a run before breakfast is a good option – it is done for the day. However it is in the dark. Also means getting up early which affects the need for rest and sleep. Some variety and compromise is required for 30 consecutive daily runs. My preferred option is to run on trails. Doing this all the time is unrealistic. Sometimes it will be on tarmac.
Accept some days are going to be hard. Not every run is enjoyable. Body and mind rebel. Best not to dwell on it. Only makes it worse. It is soon over.
Beware of new and quirky goals starting to form. As said I started Nov with a 7.5 km average. I achieved this last year but with difficulty as was not regularly monitoring my distance. This year with help of spreadsheet I could keep tabs on how I was doing each day. By mid- Nov I was nearer 8km/ day so decided that was my new goal. In the last week of Nov. My thinking was to go for 8.5km / day average. It might not sound like much but each 0.5km extra per day translated to 15km over the month. Another thought that crept in and became a ‘late in the month’ extra goal. Why not add height/ climbing goals as well as distance and daily ones. Why bother some might think. Anyhow in the end I achieved 175m / day. Not much but had an added training benefit.
A photo journey of Day 30 run
For those interested in some stats.
Now that it is over I relish a break. Will be cheering on all those of you who do the Marcothon in December.