The One Mile Running Challenge – Month One

One Mile Running Challenge

One Mile Running Challenge

Lets get straight to it – What is the One Mile Running Challenge? Like anything in life motivation is a vital driving force. While any weight loss will come primarily from what you eat exercise does play its part. I find physical challenges are a great way to keep the motivation. It is almost as if when you get your feel-good endorphin’s from exercise it is easier to avoid them in food. It is for this reason that when I go to the gym I like to push myself and achieve something that I couldn’t do the last time I was there.

Over recent years I have struggled with back and hip problems. I am stretching the tight muscles and strengthening the weak ones to correct the problem. Now I need to work myself in a way that will boost my fitness and hopefully my self-esteem as I see some real progress. There is nothing better for challenging myself than the one mile running challenge.

This challenge is pretty much what it sounds like. You run one mile as fast as you can on a treadmill. I use a treadmill purely because it will tell you how far you have gone, how long it has taken you and your average pace along with various other statistics.

The benefit over running outside is that you have all the numbers such as distance in front of you. The downside though is that it can take the treadmill a while to reach your top speed. The higher your top speed the longer it takes. It is quicker to speed up running outside but at the end of the day as long as each time you do it you keep everything the same apart from the speed you are fine.

The One Mile Running Challenge Begins

Thursday 21st September 2017 – The First Run

One Mile Run - 21st September 2017

One Mile Run – 21st September 2017

I have always worked by the same idea. When you first do something just set a marker. If it is the first time you cycle 5km, the first time you row 2k or the first time you run 10k the aim is the same – just set a time to beat. It doesn’t have to be the greatest time ever but get a marker down. That is what the first run on the 21st September was all about.

My aim was not to smash some record I did when I was in my 20’s. It was simply to run for a whole mile in one go and see how I did. Secretly I wanted something around the 9 minute mark. Anything less and I really do have problems considering my all-time best was 5m 56s set when I was in my late 20’s. I would love to be able to run that again especially if I can keep my diet and weight loss on track.

As you can see from the picture I achieved the time quite comfortably. The run was great fun actually. It has been a long time since I have run at all so to do it in under 9 minutes is a good start. The run itself was manageable and I can feel within myself that I can quickly cut this time down. My lower back did feel a little tight but it did loosen up which is encouraging. Considering how long it has been since I have run and the problems I have had with my back I am really pleased.

Time: 8 minutes 53 Seconds

 

Tuesday 26th September 2017

One Mile Run - 26th September 2017

One Mile Run – 26th September 2017

Having set a marker I was raring to go to see if I can reduce the time and by how much. I had reminded myself exactly what the challenge was all about and it is fair to say I was motivated. I knew I had set a comfortable marker a few days earlier so I was expecting to get a good few seconds off. In the end I reduced it by a fantastic 36 seconds.

It is at this point that I step off the treadmill with mixed feelings. On the one hand I had taken over half a minute off of my time but on the other hand I knew I had even more in me. That was good because I was still a long way off my personal best of over a decade earlier. I must admit to feeling a little impatient. I wanted to have another go but of course having just flogged my guts out it was going to take a few days before I could give it another go. It is fair to say the one mile running challenge is only just beginning.

Time: 8 minutes 17 Seconds

 

Friday 29th September 2017

One Mile Run - 29th September 2017

One Mile Run – 29th September 2017

My eagerness to try again meant that in only 3 days I was ready to go again. This time I had my sites on a sub 8 minute time which meant an average of 12 kms. Of course this meant that with the acceleration of the treadmill I would need to go above that to set that time.

I set off at a faster speed than the previous attempts and immediately began to increase it every 200m. This meant that I was able to set myself up but I also began to feel it a lot quicker. The first runs I did I could feel that I had more to give. This time there was not so much left. Not without a really hard slog. I did however achieve what I set my mind to AGAIN.

I had got my time down below 8 minutes and that was enough to keep the competitive me happy for now. If I am totally honest I wont be completely happy until I beat my personal best but that will take time and at least another 2 stone in weight loss. My goal is to be sub 7m by Christmas. If that happens I will be very happy. So far so good.

Time: 7 minutes 59 Seconds

 

Monday 2nd October 2017 – 7m 39s

After a weekend of rest I was ready to try one more challenge against. In fact I couldn’t stop thinking about it during my morning at work. I was now under eight minutes ready to really push myself.

I knew I had previously set an average of 12 km an hour and needed to be at. I went straight up 12.5 km an hour to really see how much I had. As before I began to increase the speed every 200 m.

This one mile challenge is no longer easy. It is getting harder with each run I do. I am setting times that I couldn’t have dreams of setting two weeks earlier but I am having to work really hard now.

Mentally I was focused on getting to 800m which is halfway. I did this but my legs were beginning to burn and my breathing was becoming heavy. I focused on getting through the 1 km mark and the 1200 m mark. Once that was achieved I knew I only had the equivalent of one map of the running track to go.

I crossed the finish line so to speak with a lower time taking 22nd of my previous time. I cannot complain with this accomplishment.

Time seven minutes 39 seconds

Tuesday 10th October 2017 – 7m 20s

My last run being quite tough it is no surprise that I had eight days between this run and the last. It is getting ever harder to beat my previous time. Every small increase in speed has less effect on the overall time.

However I motivation and determination are still strong which is why I decided to go a bit crazy. I went straight up to 13 km an hour and start and as before increased it every 200 m.

I was rewarded for my bravery with the time of seven minutes 20 seconds. That’s another 19 seconds off my previous time. Its 1 minute 33 seconds off my first time from a couple weeks ago.

I well on course to achieve my goal of a sub- seven minute run by Christmas 2017.

Time seven minutes 20 seconds