One of my Twitter friends (I’m not actually sure we’ve met in real life), Dan has decided on a new challenge for 2014 – he’s going to run from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
Or, more to the point, he’s going to run the equivalent distance (c. 1,400kms) over the course of the year. The idea is very simple, any training runs or events are counted to the running [geddit?] total, with the idea that the total distance has been completed by 31st December 2014.
So, in my own way, I’m going to join in. I’m not going to be doing much running, but I will use the same algorithm I use for the 1,000kms challenge I’ve set myself over the last few years. Quite simply I will double any swimming distance, divide by three any cycling distance and then keep any running distance the same. To complete the challenge within the year I will need to complete an average of just under 27kms per week. That’s a lot, especially as I haven’t even managed to complete the 1,000kms challenge as yet and here I am adding an extra 400kms to that total (or an extra 7kms per week). But it’s worth a go and it will help me through the early months of the year – and then the Autumn / Winter months when I don’t have an actual event to train for.
As part of the entry I will be updating my distance every Sunday – by blogging here (although not every Sunday) and posting on Twitter using the hashtag #LETJOG14. I also need to answer the following questions:
How would you describe your current attitude/approach to running?
– I’m a terrible runner, although I like the idea of it. I have previously run two marathons (in 2004), but not done much since. Instead, I’m a swimmer now, so I’ll mainly be swimming the distance.
Do you have a running career highlight? What is it?
– Running highlights are the marathons (London and Dublin), while the swimming highlight was swimming Windermere (10.5 miles in just under 8 hours) in 2012.
Why are you taking on the #LETJOG14 challenge?
– For motivation, to “meet” others, to help me through the dark winter months (the summers are easier to train in), cos it seemed like a good idea.
How long do you hope to cover the distance in? Do you have a specific date in mind?
– If I finish by December 31st 2014 I’ll be pleased.
How do you plan to cover the distance? Are there any events you’ll be running in throughout the year?
– I’ve got four swimming events that I’ve signed up for so far, I’ll also be doing a few other “training” events:
– An indoor 10km swim in Ponds Forge in March
– A SwimTrek trip in April – we’ll be doing an average of 10km swimming per day
– A channel relay event – a team of 6 of us will be crossing the English Channel
– Windermere – I’m aiming to swim the lake again in August
– – –
I wrote this and had in drafts for a while, convincing myself to go for it. Originally I thought the distance was 1,330kms, however last night a conversation on Twitter confirmed it to be 874 miles – or as close to 1,400kms as doesn’t matter (1,398.4 to be exact).
That’s an extra 70km than I was expecting and an additional 400 more than I have already failed to achieve in a year.
So, I’ve decided to change the algorithm I use to count my distance to be fair to myself. When I first came up with the algorithm the idea was to persuade myself to do more running (and cycling) and a bit less swimming. I didn’t want to over reward the “easy” swimming miles, so I decided to only double them. However, for 2014 I need to be almost exclusively swimming, yet I think trying to swim an average of 13-14kms every week is a bit much even for me (my training plan for Jan expects me to swim c. 8-9kms per week).
If you base the algorithm on how far I can go in each discipline in a set time, then it makes sense to make a change. In 20 minutes I can swim c. 1km, run c. 3km and cycle c. 12km.
Based on that, my new algorithm is: I will treble any swimming distance, leave runs the same and quarter any cycling distance.
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