GVRAT: It's all in the Math
When it comes to running 1,021km in four months, it all comes down to the math.
It’s just a smidge over 8km a day if you want to do it that way. In other words, if you don’t run 8km today, you need to run 16km tomorrow to get back on pace. Run 5km today because it’s hot? No worries, you can just run 11km some other day when it might be just as hot, or even hotter.
On the flip side, every time you run 16km on a day, it’s one day sooner that you’ll be done this ridiculous challenge. Run 24km on Sunday and it’s either making up for missed or short days prior, or getting further ahead and knocking two days off the end.
On thing is for sure. Once you get behind, it gets harder and harder to catch up. If, on the other hand, you can build up a nice buffer to the buzzard, then life can be sweet. You’ve got some allowance for missing a day or two later or for being done sooner.
I made the decision at the very beginning of this whole challenge that I would run every day. Mostly that was because if I didn’t, then I owed 8km and that would just make the runs on the other days longer and more difficult to complete.
I started a bit slow to ramp up to the required daily mileage at least somewhat responsibly. In the first week I averaged 7.88km per day. Week two I upped that to 9.7km per day. Checking back through my spreadsheet, I can see that I the last time I was behind pace was day ten. The most I was ever behind was 4.4km and that was after day two.
Is it possible to get way behind and catch up? Of course it is. But you better have a plan to get there because as they say, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you run 5km four times a week and then 20km on the weekend for the first month, you can’t continue to do that through out the second, third and fourth months.
Success in this GVRAT race is all in the numbers and the math. My key metrics continue to be my average distance run per day, my delta to the on-pace distance and how far I plan to run each week. Those numbers define how I’ve been progressing, exactly where I am at and how I plan to stay ahead of the buzzard and get to the end well ahead of the last day of August.