The February Challenge

For the past seven years, my friend Ken Niemimaa has challenged himself to run every day in February. Well, he’d probably say, “every damn day.”

As February can be bitterly cold in Canada, it’s often tough to get out the door and run when the temperature drops below the freezing point. By committing to run every day (with an established daily minimum time or distance), it’s easier to keep consistent with training.

In an effort to encourage his running friends, Ken created a Facebook group for those interested in joining in his February Challenge (see

I joined in the challenge this year (I’ve got four days left), and I’ve found it extremely helpful for my winter training. And since February is a short month (only 28 days), it’s been an easy one to keep a running streak going.

There have been a number of days when I didn’t want to brave the cold and run outside. Because of the challenge, I was able to motivate myself into going out for a short 20-minute run (my set minimum) every time. The great thing is that except for one day, I always ended up running much longer than my set minimum (and the one 20-minute day was an evening run after flying back to Toronto from London, England).

If you’ve found this a hard winter to keep running, I’d encourage you try Ken’s February Challenge next year. By signing on, you will receive inspiring quotes, pictures and updates from other runners that will keep you motivated in even the harshest weather conditions.

Thanks, Ken, for keeping us going!

3 thoughts on “The February Challenge

  1. Hi son—- So admire your running this month. — I hope it gave you what you wanted to achieve – a personal victory. Remember how you had frost bite in your face when you were little?

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