Back in January, I joined the Run the Year Challenge for 2017, accepting the challenge to run 2,017 miles throughout the year. I promised quarterly check-in’s of my progress with the program, so here is my first.
While 2,017 miles may feel like an impossible resolution, this program truly makes it a manageable goal for both individual runners, as well as teams. The program is entirely virtual and provides as much support as you would like through a private Facebook page, online mileage tracker and monthly fitness goals presented by American Olympian, Kara Goucher.
The key to this program is the online mileage tracker, which allows you to record your daily mileage either through various fitness trackers or by logging into the site and manually entering the miles you have completed each day. Totals are automatically calculated and are added to a pie chart at the bottom of your monthly mileage log in both an overall total, as well as a milestone tracker.
Participants receive continued motivational bibs as key milestones are reached of Mile 1 and then for each 100 miles earned. By consistently reaching various milestones, participants see true progress. This is especially important for those taking on the 2017 mile challenge as an individual. Receiving a congratulatory email and bib for each 100 miles earned breaks the long journey into bite-sized accomplishments for runners.
There are nearly 25,000 members of the private Facebook page, which serves as a motivation and encouragement to the participants of the program. I found the posts to be overwhelming on my personal Facebook feed in the beginning of the program, but enjoyed seeing the enthusiasm by participants in the program. The Run The Year professionals also use the Facebook page to communicate with participants about the online platform and program offerings.
The Facebook page fosters a positive virtual atmosphere where program participants are excited to announce a new PR, a favorite piece of running gear or even just a positive word of encouragement.
A final aspect of this program that adds to its success is the monthly virtual challenge that is hosted by long distance Olympian, Kara Goucher. Each month, Kara sends an email to program participants detailing the month’s bonus challenge. Runners can earn a pin each month commemorating their accomplishment of the monthly challenge.
January’s “Just Log It” challenge encouraged runners to complete at least one mile each day and log it in their tracking chart. February’s “Get Your Butt in Gear” challenge provided runners four glute exercises to craft into their fitness routine and March’s “Chase Your Bliss” challenge focused on positive words and encouragement.
From the online tracking to the 100 mile milestone bibs, this program breaks up the 2017 mile challenge into smaller goals that runners can easily attain. The Facebook support and monthly wellness challenges allow runners to not only engage their physical fitness, but also their mental fitness for life.
Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano founded Run The Edge in 2011 with the debut of their best-selling book, Running The Edge, and migrated to the virtual community in 2014 with Level-Up Training Plans and Virtual Fitness Challenges. This program has consistently been supportive of all levels of athletes, seeking to provide growth and challenge in a positive atmosphere.
Run The Edge is a company based in Boulder, Colorado that specializes in bringing health and fitness inspiration, training, motivation and success to the running community. You can still sign up for Run the Year and learn more about the company on their website – https://runtheedge.com.