Start 2019 with #31DayChallenge

My social media feeds are full of runners doing streaks. Most people are pursuing the #RWRunStreak, where you run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day.

I am not a fan of this streak; it can force runners to do too much this time of year, when 99% of us aren’t training for a race. For whatever reason, there’s a misconception that runners should always keep their mileage up. That’s entirely false. There’s not a lot of point to weekly ten-milers, because there’s no such thing as an “emergency” half-marathon you “have” to run.

Base mileage of 10 to 15 miles--or 60% of your peak training mileage—is more than enough to maintain fitness when you’re not in a training cycle. But I’m not a total Scrooge about all fitness challenges. (Most, but not all!) I actually like the motivation and accountability a streak or a challenge can offer.

When I received an email from Ragnar promoting their 31-Day Challenge, I was skeptical . But when I read that the only requirement was to be active every day and simply get your heart rate up, I was sold. Winter, when most of us are not training hard, is the perfect time to spend our workouts doing anything BUT running. You can get your heart rate up walking, stretching, doing yoga, weight lifting, skiing, ice skating, sledding or even just cleaning the house. To our bodies, it doesn’t matter what we’re doing as long as we’re active. And, as a bonus, doing other activities instead of running helps give our run-specific muscles a rest.

The 31-Day Ragnar challenge also offers week-by-week challenges, which I love. Week #1 is to do something out of your comfort zone. I plan to get up early and attend a November Project workout that week. On Week #2, the challenge is to run with a buddy; a great opportunity to run with a friend I don’t usually run with. During the third week, the challenge is to PR, so I’ll ask my trainer to increase the 1-rep max squats, deadlifts, and bench presses we’re doing together to gauge how my offseason is going. And last but not least, the final week in January--which is when my husband and I are going to be on vacation in Hawaii--challenges you to run in the dark. Since we’ll be in Kauai, land of the chicken, I’ll likely opt for a sunrise run, starting when it’s still dark out and rising with the roosters. (Note to self: Buy iced coffee the night before!)

I challenge YOU to do the Ragnar 31-Day Challenge with me.

In addition to using the official hashtag #ragnar31daychallenge we can also use #ybrchallenge on Instagram and Facebook so we can share what we’re doing to stay active this January. Feel free to tag @ragnarrelay and @yourbestrun too.

I’ll see you out there!