Q: Who are you? And why are you doing this?
A: That’s deep. A question we have been asking ourselves. That and the meaning of life.
Joking aside, we are James Poole and Claudia Schroegel. We are avid runners, triathletes and lovers of the outdoors. Over the past few years we have been frustrated by much of the mainstream advice which promotes speed work and track sessions for runners who simply do not have the aerobic base to build on. What we do see, week in, week out, is runners busting out training sessions only to injure themselves trying to run a fast 400 or a Yasso 800.
It’s not that we don’t think speed work has its place. It does. We simply believe speed work should be the icing on the cake. Without the cake, it’s just a pile of icing; sugary and sweet but lacking substance.
AdventRunning is about baking that cake. It’s about running consistently. It’s about building an aerobic base. It’s about trying to stay injury free. And if you follow that recipe? Well you will have baked a delicious chocolate fudge cake, ready for icing and chocolate sprinkles.
We should also stress that we aren’t doing this for financial gain or worldwide publicity. In fact, if it wasn’t for a couple of good friends who suggested otherwise, we would be doing this anonymously. The reason we are doing this is because we love running and want to see more of our friends running too.
So park the cynicism (it’s OK we’re cynics too) for December, lace up your running shoes and join us for AdventRunning. What have you got to lose?
Q: How does it work?
A: It’s really very simple. Participants should aim be active for at least 30 minutes a day every day from the 1st to the 25th of December. It doesn’t matter how far or how fast. The idea is simply to be active – run, swim, cycle, yoga, dance etc.
Q: How do I log a run?
A: We don’t mind. You can log it on a scrap of paper and attached it to the fridge or you can use Garmin Connect, Nike+ or any of the myriad of websites that are designed for this purpose. This is a challenge not a competition so we won’t be checking.
However, for those of a more techy nature, we have chosen to use Strava to log runs during AdventRunning. Participants can choose to download the Strava App on their Smart Phone or upload files to the website from their running watch. If you already have a Strava account you can login and skip points one and two. For those new to Strava follow the steps below:
- Create a Strava account at strava.com
- Download the Strava app from http://www.strava.com/running-app
- Join the Strava Advent Running Group https://www.strava.com/clubs/adventrunning
- Follow the instructions at strava.com on how to use the App or upload files from your watch
- Go out and run!
Q: How far should I run?
A: This is totally up to you. The important thing is that you find the time to get out and run for at least 30 minutes. Run for an hour, run for two. It’s totally up to you.
Q: Why am I running for time and not miles/kms?
A: Simply because people run at different speeds. An elite level marathon runner could run more than seven miles in 30 minutes, while a beginner might only run three. By running for time everyone should cover a distance that is appropriate to their ability. Remember, AdventRunning isn’t about speed or distance, it’s about building an aerobic base; and having fun, of course.
Q: What about speed, it’s only a short run. I should run it quickly right?
A: Run fast, run slow; we don’t mind. Though you should run for some of the 30 minutes, not walk the entire time. Be mindful that running for 30 minutes a day, every day, is harder than it sounds. The aim is to improve fitness not get injured. So take it easy. You’ll thank us around day 11 or 12, we promise.
Q: I’m really busy in December, I am not sure I can find 30 minutes every day.
A: Really? 30 minutes? Most people can find 30 minutes in their day if they tried. Think creatively. Could you get off the train/tube/bus a few stops earlier on the way to, or from, work? Could you skip that episode of EastEnders? Could you just put your phone down and stop browsing? How about running to get the newspaper instead of getting in the car? You get the idea. Make a few small sacrifices and you’ll be surprised by the benefits.
Q: What happens when I get to the 26th of December?
A: You have two options. 1. You can stop, congratulate yourself and enjoy the rest of the festive season safe in the knowledge that you are probably in the shape of your life. 2. Having made running part of your life you can run straight through the holiday period, fuelled by roast turkey, mince pies and brussel sprouts. Either way, you should be able to start the New Year with a better aerobic base and a great platform to attack those spring races.
Q: I’m 10 days in and its getting hard. I wasn’t expecting this.
A: Yep. We feel you. In our experience it gets easier again about half way through. So try and stick with it. Remember it’s not about speed or distance. On the next few runs, just take it super easy. Listen to your body and stop if you think you might injure yourself. Take a rest day if you need to. Remember at the end of the day its only running. If you don’t run the full 25 days that’s cool. We won’t hunt you down and make an example of you. We’re just happy that you gave it a shot.
Check out other sections of this website and our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages for blogs, photos and even video for inspiration. Even better, document and share your own runs and inspire others.
Q: Advent is a Christian tradition. I don’t celebrate Christmas. Can I still do AdventRunning?
A: Absolutely. AdventRunning isn’t about religious belief, race, gender or colour. It’s about running for 25 days in a row.
Q: Advent starts on Sunday 29 November in 2015. Shouldn’t Advent Running start then?
A: Yes. You’re right. AdventRunning is only loosely based around the religious tradition. It’s simply easier to start it on the 1st of December.
Q: This sounds great. Can I run with you?
A: Awww thanks. As luck would have it we are going to organise some London based runs during AdventRunning. Visit the events tab or find more details on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages or here.
Q: How can I find out more about AdventRunning?
A: Don’t worry; we’ve got most of the mainstream social media channels covered. You can find us on:
Q: This is such a great idea. I’d like to sponsor a spot prize. How do I do that?
A: Wow. We love you! We aren’t doing this for financial gain so the cost of the spot prizes will probably come out of our own pocket. If you have anything you would like to donate something then please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. In turn we will make sure your donation is promoted across our social media channels.