Approaches to fitness – all or nothing VS incremental improvements

May 17, 2016


I injured my knee with 3 days left in my running challenge.

I went from running all out for 27 days to running slower for the last 3 days. I jogged at a pace so my knee wasn’t in pain. I feel it was fine and totally appropriate to continue with the challenge. I asked for advice in a Runner’s World forum. The feedback was very helpful. For the most part people felt I was stupid and making a mistake with the challenge. They all may have been right. I do know that most injuries lead to becoming less fit.

Here was some eye opening feedback:

Run “streaking” is a good way to motivate yourself, but streaking through injury makes it more of a stunt than a healthy lifestyle.  You probably need to re-evaluate why you are doing this.  Do you want to get healthy, strong and fit?  Or do you want to be able to say, “I accomplished my goal, despite the possible long term consequences.”

And a comment that was less helpful:


However I still continued on at a slower pace. Why?

People quit all the time for hundreds of reasons. I wanted to quit before my injury for a few pretty good reasons. On some nights I went running even though I didn’t want to go. My reasons were all varied and legitimate. I didn’t want to go for a run because it was:

The problem with excuses is they snowball and a day off becomes a couple. A reason that’s valid one night is likely just as valid the next. After taking a couple of nights off before you know it a week passes. Eventually, you find yourself in worse shape than you began.

My P.O.V. when I began the challenge

My mindset before the challenge was all or nothing. I was going to run every day no matter what.

What I learned

I to make sure I learn from each of these challenges. Here’s what I realized: