In April, my business partner and good friend came to me saying he was going to challenge himself to run/walk a 5K (3.1 miles) for every day in May. I’m always up for a challenge, but I REALLY dislike running, so I was hesitant. A day later, my wife, who is a runner, said that a fitness group and friend she works out with is planning a 5K a day for May, and that she was considering it. I told her about my buddy’s challenge so we figured we would see if anyone else was interested.
I pinged my brother-n-law and sister-n-law (both runners), who said they would like to give it a shot. Actually my brother-n-law was ecstatic, and my sister-n-law wasn’t sure her knee could hold up but accepted the challenge. Even my 19 y/o son said he would give it a shot, but was aiming to see how many runs he could get in versus doing one every day.
The Challenge & Accountability
The challenge was pretty straight forward. All you have to do is run or walk, or any combination of the two, to complete one 5K for every day in May. So we set up a text messaging group where each day, each person posted a picture of their workout app showing they completed the 5K for the day. Pretty simple and straight forward. We all knew it was going to be a tough challenge, and even some of us doubted we would be able to run/walk every single day. But check out what happened…
All of the adults stayed healthy enough to complete the 5K every day. Yeah, even me, the 5and2Guy whose least favorite thing to do is run, completed the challenge. My son missed a few days as he had some health concerns pop up, but he got a bunch of great days in and some great times. Of the group, I was the slowest. I ran some days on the treadmill and some days on the road. Others in the group ran on the road every day. I ran on the treadmill some days because I still needed to complete my weight lifting routine in addition to running/walking the 5K each day. I continued to lift weights 3x a week, but it was a modified lifting routine that was less intensive.
Everyone in the group improved upon their time. The weather for the challenge was great with rain only catching two people, once each. Besides that, Mother Nature was in our corner. Even I improved upon my time. My goal was to be able to run the 5K in under 28 minutes. My first run outside took me 31 minutes and 25 seconds. Not too impressive for someone who works out at least 3x a week, but I REALLY DON’T like running. By the end of May, I hit a personal best of 26 minutes and 22 seconds. I not only broke into the 27 minutes, but I hit the lower end of the 26th minute. If that wasn’t surprising enough, some other magic happened…
Our small group of family and friends who were accountable to each other each day pushed each other. We picked each other up when our runs were not the greatest and we cheered for those who kicked butt. Everyone improved greatly on their time and some even hit some personal bests. Along with the magic of great weather and supporting each other, we’ve decided to keep it going with another challenge for June. No, not a 5K a day challenge, but another challenge where we all report in and hold each other accountable. We’re working the details out now.
Though I REALLY DON’T like running, I’m so glad I participated in this challenge. I strongly believe that if we want to grow, we have to get out of our comfort zones and push ourselves. And that is exactly what this challenge did for me and even for the runners in the group. It’s one thing to run a few times a week, it’s a completely different game to run/walk a 5K every day for a month. Everyone lost weight, improved upon their times, and grew closer together in support of each other’s personal successes. I look forward to keeping the challenges going!!!