I started running on a regular basis exactly 500 days ago. My first ever run on my treadmill was on January 12th, 2019. Which means on Tuesday, May 26th, I’ve reached 500 days of running on a regular basis. Not daily, as that would be unproductive and dangerous. But regularly, which means at least 4 times a week when I’m at home. When I’m away, it’s usually one or two runs.
There are a few sides to this story of me starting to run. For those of you who know me better, I’ve never been a sports guy. I’ve been a no-sportsperson my entire young life. Not going to PE classes, not running around the playground, not even trying it. I was the guy who was watching everyone else do sports but couldn’t care less about them. Now, I’m running 5k almost daily.
In this guide:
Why run in the first place?
It all starts with “why”. Why is it that I’ve decided to start running and do it consistently for such a long period of time in the first place? Well for me it was a combination of reasons. Yes, I was chubby and had no idea how to put one foot in front of the other. But besides that, I felt like if I wasn’t able to do something about it now, next year or so it could be a “too late” situation.
After tons of failed attempts at finding my sport and doing it indefinitely, not just for, you know, a “diet” thing, I decided on starting to run because it seemed like the ideal thing to do WITHOUT being able to find excuses. You have a treadmill, you have no excuses. It’s indoors, so it doesn’t matter the weather. It’s there for you, so you don’t drive to the gym. You can do it anytime.
How do you run for so long?
After the logistics were sorted, like buying the treadmill and setting it up, there’s nothing else to do but run. I started off with slow walks, of course. Then moved to a higher pace, which went on for weeks. Then, after a short while, I began to notice my legs were moving faster on the damn thing although the speed was the same. So I moved the speed higher and higher.
Now, my comfortable running pace is at around 5:00-5:10 per kilometer. When I started running, I was able to do this distance in about 7:30 to 8:00 per 1.000 meters. I was so slow! I am now running on 8 or 9 as speed but the truth is speed has nothing to do with pace. You can run the same kilometer in 5 minutes as you can in 6 minutes, at the same speed but different pace.
You run for this long without getting bored by tricking your mind into it every single time. You don’t run for this long like it’s nothing, no! Every single run is a powerful, challenging, demanding, unbearable, enjoyable, blissful, magical, rewarding, unappealing, hard, easy, slow, fast and different run. See all those adjectives? All of them apply to each and every run that you ever do!
What does it mean, running 500 days?
It means running is a part of your life. You’re a runner. Running is second nature to you, regardless if you’re slow, fast, good or bad, in pain or perfectly healthy. You just do it because it becomes something more than just putting on your shoes, turning the treadmill on and jumping on it to do some laps, or your 5k, or a two-mile run. I love those! Running is so much more.
Running helped me get rid of a lot of extra weight that I was carrying around. I’m still missing a few kilos out of my ideal weight but I’m slowly getting there. No need to rush, this is a marathon, not a sprint, if I’m allowed one bad runner’s joke. Besides the weight changes, I can finally see my leg muscles. I do have them! They’re firm and aesthetically pleasing. I can do stuff now with my body, and that’s neat.
Also, my mind has changed for the better after so much running. Doing your run on an almost daily basis is creating a discipline within you that helps you with every single aspect of your life. It makes you better, stronger, calmer and put, much more open to trying stuff and experimenting with new things. Experiencing life comes so much easier, thanks to running.
A few numbers after running 500 days
Unfortunately, I don’t have the whole numbers to show you about these past 500 days. I only started using the amazing, sublime, helpful, masterpiece of an app called the Nike Running Club about 6 months ago. So I’m only on so much data that I can share with you but I’ll do my best to estimate a total based on this data. The mileage is sort of the same overall.
So for the past 6 months, I’ve done a total of 600+ kilometers of running. This is my usual monthly challenge, 100 kilometers in 30 days, out of about 20 runs or so. I have some months when I did more, some when I did less, but not by very much. On average, it now takes me 26 minutes to run a 5k, and about 30 minutes to run four miles. My longest distance run was 10k.
I’m not doing this for performance. I’m doing this because I now enjoy a sport with all of my being. Something that I never thought I’d ever say in my entire life. Me, doing a sport I ACTUALLY LOVE and care about? Whoever kidnapped me, please let me go! Coming back, I really do think that the most important number is 500. I ran consistently for 500 days. What?!?
What lies ahead?
Running. There’s absolutely nothing ahead for me but running. Constantly running, most days of the week, about 5 kilometers a day. Over 1.500k done! Improving my pace, my stride, my posture on the treadmill. Doing it all as best as I can, without injury or breaking anything inside or outside of my body. Like a wall or something. Consistency, this is what lies ahead. Discipline.
Because it is out of consistency and discipline that I’ve been able to build a love for running. And good health for my body and mind. Which means there’s nothing to do better or different here. Why change something that’s challenging and different every day? What’s the point in doing something different, if the thing you’re doing right now is working just perfectly?
This article has taken me a lot of time to write and get ready for publishing. It is 3:30 in the afternoon and I’m still putting up all of its last details, pictures and whatnot. Time to hit that “Publish” button, jump on my treadmill and celebrate this great 500th day of runs with a great, relaxing 5k run. Or maybe I’ll do a 6k, who knows? I’ll see what I can do.
As always, I’ll give it my best.
Hi! My name is Gabriel, nice to meet you.
I run Gabriel Iosa Writing Services, my online dream business that’s now 4 years in the making. I’ve also worked as a journalist for 9 years and counting. My job is to come up with the best content for you regardless if it’s for your blog, website, book, social media posts or anything else. I can also help you with organic or paid reach so that you can put your products or services right in front of your future clients.
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