Piotr met 2018 head on. He set himself a challenge of running every day for 365 days. I was curious and met up with him to find out more about this incredible feat.
KS: Can you give us a feel for what running meant to you and how much running you did prior to embarking on this feat?
PB: Running meant freedom, it meant being active anywhere, with minimum gear, and space needed. I have always been active but not as consistent as the most recent milestone of 365. Prior to this challenge I would run about 3-4 times a week. There was a period, when we lived in Asia 2 years ago, where I would run 6 days a week in the morning for about 2 months…
KS: What motivated you to start?
PB: To prove to myself I can be consistent for at least a year. I also wanted to see if I can do it “quietly” without alienating family and friends. I also did it to lead by example and get my boys into running and for a brief moment (1 month). I succeeded until my wife got involved and stated they do enough anyway…
KS: What distances did you run each day?
PB: It’s not just what I “did” run but what I intend to continue doing until I am the ripe of age of 80! During the 365 challenge, the goal was to do 5km a day, with an aim to do 150-160km per month. However, the other goal was also “to listen to my body” and when I was tired or it was super late in the day, I would do 2k and vice versa, when I felt great and energised I would do 20-23km in one go. But on average I did about 6km per day during the 365 days.
KS: What sort of motivators did you use to get out on those days when it was cold, wet or when you were really busy, and it seemed impossible?
PB: Cold and wet was not a problem, strangely I discovered that because I was consistent, I didn’t really notice the seasons… Wet running was fun and cold running was just a great way to test new gear. Other things I found useful were listening to podcasts and audiobooks, so I was also learning & discovering. This was a huge motivator. And when it comes to business… we can always make time. Get up earlier or go to bed later. I have also reduced or eliminated time wasters like FB, social media & reading the news, which made some extra space in the day…
KS: What have been the main takeaways from this?
PB: That we can do anything that we set our mind into. I learned that I can be consistent, always find “me time” in the day. That it does not take much effort to do the daily routine tasks and that running, learning, discovering can and should have a place too.
KS: Did you get any injuries/niggles. If so what did you do?
PB: Yes, but not many because I was “listening” to my body. I found rotating shoes was good as was changing distances. If I did a super long run one day, I would do a short one next day. I also felt some pain in my knee and towards the end I got shin splits, so I would maximise the time between activities, for example after a morning run and not feeling great, I would run next day late in the evening. I would also add swimming to the mix 2-3 times a week to take the pressure of my legs.
KS: What physical benefits do you think this had on you?
PB: My main motivation was not losing weight but I discovered that I changed balance between fat and muscles. I reduced fat to 10% and it felt great. I also feel I am stronger. My immune system has also improved as I have not succumbed to any of the usual bugs. I also feel I am calmer & less shouty…
KS: How did your family feel about this challenge?
PB: As mentioned earlier the goal was to do it “quietly” without my family hating me for escaping. So I tried to be inclusive and if they didn’t want to join me, I would do it not at the cost of family time. So early in the morning, during lunch or late when everyone would be in bed. I also feel that they see it makes me feel better not only on the outside but I am much more relaxed. There is still long way to go but there is significant improvement!
KS: Are you going to keep it up?
PB: The goal is to continue until I am 80. Yes, it’s a big plan. But it will not always be running, the idea is to keep this regime of 20-30min of activity everyday. Running, might turn into jogging, walking and finally crawling It’s my mediation & “Me Time”
Thank you so much Piotr. There are takeaways for us all here. I look forward to following your progress.
Piotr Blazewicz, husband, father of 2 boys, entrepreneur, networker, amateur runner, average triathlete