The One Mile Rule says to go at least one mile, if things are still falling apart and something just “isn’t right”, it’s time to be done. Today was that day. I don’t like to quit, in fact, I refuse to quit. However, when I foresee a bigger problem coming in the future, I don’t want my short term stubbornness to get the best of me.

I kicked ass yesterday, 11 miles at a super awesome pace and then crushed my CrossFit workout. During the workout, I felt some soreness in my knee and just kept going. I stretched and felt fine after but the soreness continue and increased throughout the day. I tried to talk myself out of running this morning all day yesterday. The struggle continued into my 3:15 am alarm clock this morning. I didn’t want to but I got up, drank my cup of coffee, ate my long run banana and peanut butter and got dressed. I was out the door a little late but no problem, still plenty of time to take care of my 18 miles.

What a beautiful morning for a run! No wind, a nice 36 degrees and no one around. I was about 2 blocks in before my knee started to hurt again. I told myself its fine and to just keep going, it’ll work itself out. I didn’t get up this morning to quit, I got up to put in my miles. A half mile in I was done. I knew this wasn’t going to go well. I have an off day tomorrow to help heal and recover and there is no sense risking long-term injury to push through the kind of soreness and pain I have…

Why the One Mile Rule?

It is a reason to get out of bed. If I can just talk myself out of the comfort of my bed, everything else seems to work itself out. The first step is always the hardest, the more steps I take, and the easier it is to keep going.

Some people believe “the first mile is a liar”. I kindly disagree. The first mile will tell me pretty much everything I need to know about the run. Soreness, strength, tightness, etc. all either works itself out or gets worse the first mile. Rarely have I had a run get better after the first mile. By the end of mile one, I know what to prepare myself for the rest of the way. This has helped my build on some tough runs.

There’s a big difference between making smart decisions, quitting and just finding an excuse not to run. This is why I employ the 10X Rule and work so hard to get ahead of schedule. Before today, I was 3 weeks/3 miles ahead of my plan. Last night when I was trying to justify taking today off, I thought of this several times. I didn’t see it as quitting, I saw it as an excuse. The old “it’s ok just this one-time” excuse… I employ the One Mile Rule for this reason. I woke up, went through my routine and it didn’t work out. Now I know. Now I can say I tried and failed instead of beating myself up all day that I slept in or just gave up. I’d much rather fail than not try at all.

Employing the One Mile Rule also keeps me in my routine. I set my alarm for the same time every single day. It doesn’t matter whether I am scheduled to run or workout or rest/recover. I have found that just one day of changing my routine can throw me off as long as 3 weeks! To me, the “extra sleep” isn’t worth screwing up my routine. By forcing myself to get out of bed, I stay in my routine and even if I only get the mile, I have a better chance of success next time.

A couple days off to rest and recover should put me right back on track for next week. I’m disappointed this has broken my 35+ day streak of hitting my daily goal… But as much as I’m bummed about it, I would much rather take the time off now so I can fully recover and hit the training hard again rather than fight the pain for the next 4 to 5 months… Hopefully, the One Mile Rule can help you Out Run Your Excuses and move forward toward your goals!