How you can #Run1000Miles

Here's why you shouldn't dismiss the #Run1000Miles challenge as being too tough for you


by Paul Larkins |

Running 1000 miles in a year is no small task - at least for a sizeable proportion of the population. However, we're sure you can do it - thousands of you have as part of the #Run1000Miles challenge.

Here are some reasons why it's easier than you might think:

"It’s too far!"

Let’s get that one out of the way right now; for some - no make that for most of us - 1000 miles in 365 days is a lot. So, feel free at this stage, now you’re into a rhythm, to work out what number you should be aiming for. We like the number 365 as a starting point: One mile each and every day. Of course, that means you might run three on a Monday and four on a Sunday. Job done. For a better quality fitness hit, try to get three runs into your week.

Walking works

For runners, the W-word doesn’t sit comfortably in their training diary scribblings. However, particularly if you're new to running or doing hills, walking can do just as much good.

If you're new, your goal is to extend the time spent raising your heart rate - not to have it exploding from your chest. And, in particular if you don't have a sporting background and are new at it, running at even a slow speed can send your heart rate rocketing - to such a rate that it's not advantageous in the long term to try to maintain it for miles.

So a good plan might be run two minutes, walk a minute, run two minutes, walk a minute. And so on. Be flexible according to your fitness and look for gradual progress.

Speed doesn’t kill

Many of us tend to be lazy when it comes to adding sprinting to our training. For a start, you feel a bit self-conscious powering along and then stopping, hands on knees exhausted. And in any case, aren’t we mostly concerned with running long distances? Well, we have news for you; you’ll build amazing endurance using a set of, say eight 300-second runs with a short, sharp rest (about 45sec) in between each one. Better even than going for a slow four-mile plod round the block. In our new perfect week (or better, fortnight), we’d run five times and do one speedier type workout: let’s start with a favourite – six one-minute surges followed by one-minute jogs. Change the distance and reduce the recovery: glory awaits, we guarantee it!

Find a training partner

We all know that sharing the workload can makes things much easier. There are all sorts of options out there, from joining a club to finding like-minded runners via websites like RunTogether provides fun, friendly, supportive and inclusive running opportunities for everyone, whatever your ability or time availability.

What it all looks like

Of course, this is going to be at best a stab in the dark, as training is always about how you feel personally. Even the schedule you’re about to read (see below) assumes loads of things – you’re feeling good, it’s not snowing, you’re not loafing on a tropical beach, you don’t have a race planned, or equally that you do!

When it comes to perfection, try to keep all those in mind. We met a woman training for an ultra recently who’d sketched out what she had in mind. Wow! If she did just 70 per cent of it, well no problem. She has two children, a full-time job and has run a few marathons. What was she worrying about? It turns out, she was worried that the schedule – excellent but straight out of a book – just suggested averages. Keep that in mind. I suggest five miles on a Monday, but is a three-mile super quick spin a better option? Less time, and probably more effective.

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