Lessons Learned from a 1-Hour Running Challenge

What I learned from just finishing a long distance race

I have a goal of running 1,200 miles this year. I need your help!

As of this email, I have run 810 miles in 2020. What that means is that over the next 3 months, I need to average 130 miles. Can I do it? Hell if I know.

Context: my highest month in 2020 is 128 miles; my lowest is 39.

So you’re asking yourself, how can you help? Well, we all need some motivation from time to time.

I know there are runners out there who are doing cool challenges, participating in different virtual and in-person races, streaking (consecutive days of running), etc. So what are you doing that’s helping push you to log more miles? I really need to know because I want to join you!

Reply to the email and tell me (or leave a comment; button below) and I’ll put them all together and share with everyone.

Leave a comment

One thing that, so far, has helped me log more miles is the long run. I coaxed a fellow runner to meet me for longer runs and he’s held me accountable - for not only showing up, but for logging 8-10 mile runs. This is a really simple and effective method to log miles and be consistent throughout the week.

I recently wrapped up my September challenge of racing a 1-hour run. I learned quite a few things that I’ll share with you right now:

  • It’s tricky/difficult to run fast in the dark (without a headlamp), but probably with one too.

  • Even though the weather wasn’t ideal, I forced myself (probably wasted so much energy fretting) just to get out the door. After I was outside, it actually was pretty badass.

  • I mapped out a course that I wanted to follow, which certainly helped, but I strayed from it slightly to avoid having to stop at a traffic light.

  • If I could do it again, I wouldn’t have started before the sun came up. Dodging huge puddles, sticks, and potholes (while also running fast) is tiring and not easy.

  • Next time, I would have (someone who can run as fast or could bike beside me) for company and for pacing purposes would have helped.

Overall, the build up and experience was mixed - I had anticipated running the challenge earlier by about a week, but different events came up that forced me to push it back. I thought running in the dark wouldn’t play such a factor, but I think it did. And I would have done a few more longer long runs to get my body used to being out there for a fast 1 hour. The positives however, were that I ran healthy, I finished healthy, and I’m excited for whatever is next!

Friday’s Action Plan:

Try different races, such as a 20 minute race (see how far you can cover in 20 minutes) instead of a 5k. Or a 45 minute race instead of a 10k. It’s a really great way to set a new PR but also get you out of the kilometer/mileage trap.

Big Events Coming Up:

Virgin London Marathon (elites only): watch beginning at 2:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, October 4; tape delayed 2:30 pm on the Olympic Channel.

What’s Got My Attention:

Article: How Molly Seidel found running again

Article: The 10 best podcasts to listen to on the run

Article: 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon to use social-distancing technology

Popular Articles on the Blog this Week:

Running 1200 miles in a year

3 Simple and effective workouts to do to get back in running shape

Healthy eating for runners

Popular Newsletter Sessions:

Time Trial - April ‘20

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Quote of the Day:

“This is your reminder that you got this.”

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Thanks for following along on the journey! Have something you’d like to add? Have suggestions or comments? Email me: TrainwithMarc@gmail.com

If this resonates with you, I would love it if you could share it.


Marc is a middle school teacher and coach but also works with distance runners online. I help distance runners around the globe by providing support, writing customized training plans, and designing workouts to help them reach their racing goals. I write for my blog every Wednesday morning and newsletter every Friday morning.