It’s a big thing now for running and fitness groups to set up challenges, especially at the start of the new year. It’s been a growing trend. A lot of people love these. I’ve joined a few myself in the past. They were fun, because I was able to help set up the guidelines and rules about the challenges.
But the new ones I’m seeing are more and more extreme. “Run 2015 miles in 2015” “Run 100 miles a month!” “Run 3 miles or Walk 3 miles or bike 3 miles every day!”..and more.
I understand that there are very good intentions behind these challenges. We all want to get in better shape and feel better. But, not everyone can do what everyone else can do. We all achieve our goals at different paces. And each of us have different levels of goals. There is no One Size Fits All. And these unfortunately make it seem as if everyone should do the same thing.
Add to that the appearance of competition and people feel badly if they’re not doing as much as someone else. I don’t mean to sound so politically correct, but running shouldn’t be keeping up with the Jones’, it should be a sport where one challenges oneself, not a group of other people.
I haven’t even mentioned the whole Rest Day. Many people who dive head first into these challenges don’t like rest days and don’t take them. It’s not a surprise that injuries happen. A runner’s rest day is JUST AS IMPORTANT as a running day. I truly wish runners wouldn’t look at a rest day with dismay. Enjoy your rest day. Indulge if you like, but realize that without a rest day, no muscle growth, and your chance of injury multiplies.
There are those runners who are “Streak Runners” – meaning they run without taking breaks in between. It’s not something I would ever do, or even think it’s a good thing to do, but a few people are okay doing that, the rest of us are more likely to get hurt, fatigued or sick. It’s better to slow down, take a day or two off and enjoy giving your body the rest it deserves.
And if you send me a request for yet another challenge, please don’t take it personally if I say “No thank you.”