For those that don’t know, the Calendar Run Challenge is when you run the number of kilometres to correspond with the date of the month. So 1st January= 1km, 2nd January =2km and so on and so forth. Now this all seems very do able until maybe half way mark for a keen runner, but then when you consider that from day 21 you have to run 10 half-marathon (and more) for back to back consecutive days and that the final 3 days alone consist of 90km of running; you can quickly start to conjure up an image of the state of Max’s feet by the time he reached February. All joking aside, this is a challenge of epic proportion, especially when you consider a few very important things:
So the next question is why?? We went straight to the horses mouth for this one.
“It was just after my Everest challenge I sat reading an article on The Morning Shakeout, a weekly feed by Mario Fraioli (get subscribing if you aren’t) when an article on ‘the calendar club, the most pandemic-y run challenge yet’ popped up. It seemed bonkers, but possible, and being that the world is upside down with no competitions yet a competitive nature to attend to a seed was sewn. All the guys at work were then cracking on with Festive 500 – it inspired me further to think I could cover that 500 but in Jan..hmmm! I didn’t really think about checking the long range forecast for January but by the time things got bad, it was too late, I’d committed”
Now on to the stuff we all love to see, the stats. Let’s break Max’s last month down into some crazy numbers for you to digest.
Makes you feel tired just reading about it right?
Now thankfully for Max, being Head of Sales for a nutrition company has its advantage when you attempt to take on crazy challenges. We have the products to take on the job. So we asked Max how he approached his fuelling, recovery and general morale for the month of January.
“So I am notoriously a morning person, young fam, full time job – I’d just prefer to get up and get after it rather then putting it off. After all with the national lockdown, going earlier means its quieter.
05:30 alarm everyday with a plan of being running no later than 7, I didn’t want to be eating a full bowl of porridge but needed something especially for the 90+mins run days!
Most mornings after snoozing my alarm I would have 30-60mins for my pre run ritual of a double espresso and a vanilla duo bar.
That gave me the next 25-55mins to sip on 500ml of Hydro Tab electrolyte drink, stretch, get dressed, choose my playlist and admire the January Yorkshire weather pondering over shoe choice and possible route swaps.
1 hour and less – no fuel as eaten pre run would give me enough
1-1.5 hr – Energy Gel at 40-45min
1.5hr+ – Pre run Apple Energy Gel for extra morale, super gel at 1hr (official release coming soon!!)
I’m not vegan/vegetarian but love the Soya Recovery Drink so got a shake in as my strava was uploading pre shower.
Breakfast came after most runs and was a substantial bowl of porridge, a mug of coffee, bottle of Hydro Tabs and a quick shot of Super Greens to wash down a Health and Immune. Why – I eat pretty balanced, but with temperature being so low, weather being wet and recovery between sessions shorter than normal, I had to give my immune system all the greens and vitamins possible to help it over and above what I scoffed.
Once the kids are in bed, me and the wife would sit down with a cuppa, and some form of sugary craving treat – I regularly switched this out for a Protein Bar, helps get my daily intake up and just have more in the system when I sleep too.
As for routines whenever I went early it worked fine, never did I feel an energy lag. I tried to stay in z2 for majority of each run too.
Whenever I went afternoon/evening runs (2-3 times) they were awful – I struggle with knowing when best to eat through a day to get the fuel right. End up taking a get me home gel 5km into a 20km run!!”
So Max, give us your final thoughts
For 31 days, training was simple in principle that it completely removes all decision making of do I/don’t I? How long for? What session? I got up, got out, ran the number, recovered, repeat. I’m 3 days into doing nothing, feels odd, but feels right to properly recover. Give it a few weeks and I’ll test what run base/form has been built, perhaps build the elevation next and look ahead to a spring challenge. I may even bring both the Zwift Everesting repetition and Calendar Club mileage together to possibly do an Everest run.
Well done Max, another crazy challenge ticked off and we’ll hold you to the next one in Spring!
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