Hello! Who are you and what is your inspiring Story?
My name is Piotr Blazewicz, I’m 48, and I’ve run every day for the past 1353 days (and counting).
I started this in 2018, and have run every day since March, doing about 1800 km in the first few years and now tracking at about 2400km this year.
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020… I have clocked up more kilometres running than I’ve driven in my car.
What’s your fitness background, and how did you come up with the idea?
I’ve always been active and enjoyed running. Running gave me a feeling of freedom; it allowed me to be active almost anywhere, but with minimum gear or space required.
Prior to the challenge, I would run about 3-4 times / week. There was a period, when we lived in Asia a few years ago, where I would run 6 days a week early in the morning (the coolest part of the day). I did this for about 2 months before life got in the way…
Initially I came up with the idea of running every day for a whole year (365 days) with no rest days, no excuses. Firstly, I wanted to prove to myself that I could be consistent for at least a year, without the start-stop-start again. Secondly, I wanted to see if I could do it “quietly” without alienating family and friends. Finally, I wanted to lead by example and to encourage my boys to run…
Take us through the challenge – the process of planning, to starting
Well it’s running, so really it’s just about motivating myself to get up, put my shoes on and get out the door.
As I mentioned before, my aim was always to do it “quietly” without interrupting my family time and without them feeling like I was escaping or neglecting them. I tried to be inclusive but if they didn’t want to join me, I would try to fit in the runs early in the morning, during lunch or late in the evening when everyone was in bed.
Initially my goal was to run 5km every day, or 150-160km per month. However, I soon realised it was more important “to listen to my body”, so when I was tired or it was super late in the day, I would do 2km. On other days, when I felt energised I would do 20-23km in one go. In the first 365 days I averaged about 6km per day.
What were some of the biggest hurdles, and how did you overcome them?
As all runners will know, the biggest challenge has been preventing injuries.
I’ve been able to keep niggles at bay by ‘listening to my body’, being sensible and adapting my running. So if I did a long run one day, I would do a shorter run the following day. It’s also a great excuse to own 5 pairs of running shoes and to rotate them based on terrain and any sign of injuries.
You can do anything you put your body and mind into.
Towards the end of the first year I had some knee pain and then got shin splints and achilles pain, but with the right breaks in terrain, time of day & shoes it was all very manageable.
To combat this, I added swimming into the mix 2-3 times / week to reduce the stress on my legs and would maximise the time in between activities. So if I had pain after a morning run, I would do my run the next day late in the evening. In addition, I added some stretching & yoga to the day, although these happen not as frequently as running.
What improvements have you seen in your health and wellbeing as a result from undertaking the challenge?
My motivation was never to lose weight, as I am trying to keep average and consistent.
However, I discovered that I changed the balance between my fat and muscles and my body fat reduced to 10%, which felt great. I also feel I am stronger.
My immune system has also improved, and I have not had any colds or illnesses…
Also, I feel calmer, & shout less… My family have seen this too, I’m much more relaxed (still a long way to be entirely satisfied) but there is significant improvement. On the intimate side, I also feel I am much more relaxed on the romance side of things. There is no pressure and I am prepared to work on the “date” for a few weeks ;).
What worked to motivate you to keep going?
I listen to podcasts and audiobooks while running, so it was my ‘me time’ to learn & discover, which was a huge motivator. Other than that, I really don’t need much help in motivating myself. It was an adventure and opportunity to be free.
Also, because I was running consistently everyday, I didn’t really feel the change in seasons. Cold or wet runs were fun, and just an excuse to test new running gear… or not.
Recently, I have been playing around with running topless in the cold to add some internal strength and temperature resistance.
“Try it, you’d be surprised how invigorating it feels!”
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
My goal is to continue until I am 88 years old. It’s a big plan, but it will not always be running; the idea is to keep this regime of 20-30min of activity everyday. Running, then later on jogging, walking and finally crawling 😉
It’s my ‘Meditation’ & ‘Me Time’.
Have you learned anything helpful or advantageous from your challenge that can be applied to other parts of your life?
That we can do anything we set our minds to.
I learned that I can be consistent, always finding “me time” in the day, and that it doesn’t take much effort to just do the daily positive routine tasks.
That running, learning and discovering, via listening to audiobooks and podcasts go hand in hand.
And when it comes to business… We can always make time. Get up earlier or go to bed later.
It forced me to look at my allocation of time and to reduce or eliminate time wasters like Facebook, social media & reading the news, which has created extra space in the day… The main social activity I use is strava, where I log all of my activities and see like minded people doing the same or similar.
What kit/gear/tools did you use for your challenge?
I carry my iphone on the runs and log everything on Strava.
I use ONs, Hoka One, Inov8 & Salomon shoes, depending on day, terrain or the wear of the tread (all tracked on strava too).
I try not to carry any drinks or food with me. My longest runs are about 20-30k and we are perfectly fine to run without it. So long as there is beer “at the end of the tunnel” of course.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources that have motivated you in business or life?
There have been so many that it’s really difficult to select one. I read about 25 books a year. Although recently I’ve reduced this down as some podcasts take much longer.
From books, I would say: Cormoran Strike Series, Warren Buffett Biography, Breath by J Nestor… These are just a few of the recent ones that I can recall had an impact on me.
Advice for other individuals who want to achieve a goal or are just starting their own fitness journey?
Don’t set unrealistic goals, as not achieving them in the early stage will discourage you to continue.
Fix a daily routine, but avoid being fixated on a specific time of day as again, not reaching it will again discourage you. Remember, the day has 24 hours and there are at least 18 hours when you can do things.
Start slow – walk, be outside, allocate 20-30 mins for that and then slowly build up to a fast walk, jog, run, sprint or intervals… and most importantly listen to your body (but not the little voice that tells you to stop and not do it today).
I like that question. It’s Tim Ferris’s end of interview question;)
I think of it every time I listen to him & his guests.
Mine would say – “You can do anything that you put your mind & body into”. That’s for this week, 😉 I have 52 more to follow along the motorway billboards…
Where can we go to learn more About You?
Strava – piotr blazewicz, Bath
Instagram – piotrblaze
Website – www.3mnl.com
Piotr Blazewicz, husband to a busy wife, father to 2 big boys, entrepreneur, networker, amateur runner, average triathlonist – and a big fan of Paula Radcliffe 😉
If you have any questions or comments for Piotr, or if you’re interested in sharing your story, please drop a comment below or contact us.