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Text by Mia Andersson
#Runstreak – why I run 10km a day for 1,000 days?
Not sure I have the answer to that question, it just happened. Once a table tennis player who could barely run 3km in under 30 mins I now run on average 10km a day for more than 850 days and counting, one run at the time.
A broader Runstreak definition – “at least one mile 1.61km within each calendar day”
My Runstreak definition – “at least 5km within each calendar day and an average of 10km a day”
Why a runstreak?
At the end of 2019 I wanted to challenge myself with something different, explore my limits and came up with a goal to try to achieve a 1 year runstreak.
Initially the goal was not 10 km average a day but I started the year off in Sweden running on beautiful trails in the forest around where we live and anything less than 10km a day never really happens.
Once the first year was completed I simply continued, one day at the time and the goal keeps on evolving. Would be interesting to find out how many people have run this many days in a row and a proper distance like 5km or more per day. (many people do the mile dash a day).
How do you run every day?
You build up, I started running about 10 years ago when I felt out of shape and wanted to get back into my athlete routine from younger days.
At the beginning it was not easy, I struggled with only a short run of 3km a couple of times a week but before I knew it running became part on my lifestyle.
The following years my professional life brought me from France to Switzerland and since 2014 I have called Dubai home.
My job also involved a lot of travel and yes you guessed it my favourite way to explore a new destination is by running. You can cover so much more ground and find areas you would like to explore in more detail later in the day with your family or friends. The blue doors in Tunisia, mountains in Santa Fe, palaces in Seoul, orchids in Singapore, snow and trail in the Swiss mountains, along the Mediterranean coast, Mauritian sugar cane fields, Polish forest and so much more – every run is different.
Over these initial years in Dubai I formed a solid endurance base, initially welcomed by the Dubai Creek Striders gradually covering longer distance and remember my first running race at the Emirates Golf Club where I was the happiest 2nd place runner ever.
Once an athlete always an athlete I think.....despite deciding that I would never compete again after my youth years, realizing that I was competitive in running made me want to do more races and in 2016 the goal was to go sub 40 on the 10km and sub 1:30 on the half marathon. I also got talked into running the Dubai marathon by a fellow Scandinavian that was living in Dubai at the time who paced me toa 3:30 finish, not too bad for someone who had never run more than 28km (once) before that race.
I said it was the long story, it’s all about a build up and I was not ready for this kind of volume and ended up crushing my metatarsal and toe – needing 6 months to regrow the bone in Nov 2016.
What to do now?
It was certainly a setback, but I chose to see it as an opportunity to pursue something I had always wanted to try, triathlon, and no better place than Dubai for this learning so much from the TriDubai community. 6 months on crutches turned into 6 months of swimming and in April 2017 I bought a road bike, in June I started running again and on Sept 3rd I finished my first 70.3 Half Ironman in Cascais Portugal – a very happy woman crossing that finish line.
In the last 3 years I have been enjoying triathlon, the three different disciplines, including strength work helps prevent injuries. I have been fortunate to qualify for the World Championship in Port Elizabeth South Africa, Nice France and Taupo New Zealand, raced alongside and been inspired by some incredible athletes here in the Dubai triathlon community and across the world. Cycling and swimming however will always just be a complement to my running, running is my true passion.
Run streak ready
Now it’s the end of 2019 and the beginning of the runstreak challenge! To some extent it’s not only about running, it’s also about discipline and perseverance, sticking to the goal. Getting up an hour earlier than everyone else to squeeze in a run in the dark (I remember on morning I ran at 2:30 am because we were doing the Stairway to Heaven trail leaving for RAK at 4am that morning and I knew I wouldn’t have the energy to run after the full day hike), run wall to wall in a one-bedroom apartment during lockdown of 2020.
The majority of my 850 days running have been a true pleasure; running all around Dubai, along the canal, along the beach track, Showkah trail, Palm boardwalk, Mleiha dunes, La Mer, Swedish forest, Expo, Umm al Quwain, RAK, Hatta and in all conditions from a hot Dubai summer day to a freezing cold a snowy Swedish winter day.
After successfully finishing the first year runstreak and enjoying a celebratory 10km run from Kite Beach with a large group of running friends who came out to support, what an incredible running day, I just kept going and continue to set new goals for myself. Currently the goal is 1,000 days and 10,000 km + but I also continue to take the approach of one day at the time, I have been lucky so far and able to run every day, let’s see how long it will continue.
I believe my almost 10 year prep has helped me stay injury free or manage my injuries, of course I have niggles that I need to work through. I also try to vary my effort from day to day, change my shoes so I never run in the same running shoe two days in a row to work the foot differently, especially here in Dubai when I run primarily or flat and even surface. (I have 4 main pairs that I alternate between and a couple of specific trail / swimrun / racing shoes as well).
Variety also helps, different pace, different surface, different distance, different scenery – and always on the lookout for a beautiful photograph, something I truly enjoy, like every run is different, every sunrise is different!
Benefits of Running
For me running allows me to experience nature and enjoy the outdoors, clears my mind, love when you forget yourself and just run on feel, it’s my meditation – feel totally disconnected and rejuvenated. You meet incredible people and make life long friendships, think about how many of us actually spend 3 hours just running and talking to another person and do this regularly (yes no mobile, laptop or TV present). Running is my therapist, endorphins are amazing, physical health benefits, not to be forgotten and there is so much more.
Inspire others to Move
Maybe I should have started here, what I love the most about running is to inspire others to move and feel better about themselves.
My passion is running, for you this could be cycling, swimming, walking, dancing or anything else that supports your wellbeing. I do believe it’s important for each and every one of us to raise our heartrate a couple of times a week and build some strength but appreciate its individual and we need to find an activity we enjoy and can commit to regularly to reap the benefits.
In my workplace we get together 3 times per week to run, swim and do other sports under the banner of #elseFIT. Health is truly the greatest wealth and doing these activities together also forms a stronger bond when we work together as well as a healthier and more productive team. With my background as a personal trainer and triathlon coach I am happy to coach anyone in the team if they want some guidance to get back on track.
Come run with me anytime....YOU, yes that is you reading this is welcome to send me a message and join me for a run. Most days you find me along the canal or in the vicinity doing my daily 10km ish in the morning. I know all the runners, walkers, fishermen, dog walkers, cyclists – we are quite the community out there smiling at each other every morning.
Keep running and keep smiling....and never outrun the joy of running !