Each time a new fabulous running streak challenge appears, I get the question “Are you streaking?” followed shortly thereafter by questions from those I coach about if they should streak. Should you run everyday?
And maybe.The beginning of the year, usually brings with it a few running streak challenges. Some are just for the month of January, but others encourage running as many days in a row as possible, a minimum of 1 mile.
For most folks the likelihood of injury or burn out is low at just 1 mile, but is running every day really a good choice?
The benefits of a running streak?
- Getting in to a routine
- Pushing through mental barriers
- Crushing invalid excuses about time, energy, life
- It can increase motivation
- It leads to other good habits
- More chances to improve
- No new special equipment needed
- You’ll learn to adapt to different situations
Well none of that sounds so bad! Why aren’t I promoting it to my runners or doing it myself?
It’s not in line with my BIG PICTURE goals. Now, I see the days where my body needs rest or I feel the days where a long run is going to leave me rejuvenated and I want to flow with that. I don’t want to be stressed about missing a day because yes if I committed, I’d be in all the way.Are you a run streaker? Is it really healthy? #runchat #bibchat Click To Tweet
Big Picture Goals
For many years, I pulled my sick, tired body out of bed and trudged through another run, knowing that eventually it would feel good again and in the mean time I mentally just needed that sweaty mental release.
As things started to improve, my singular goal was to stay healthy and enjoy my runs. I got my wish and now I am trying to be smart enough to hold on to that feeling!!
It’s not to say that I haven’t ever streaked, oh I have…again it’s just not where I am now. And to be honest, it’s not where I want many of my athletes to be who have bigger race and healthy goals.
— Ellen Degeneres
I want to stay injury free.
I want to run not because I’m required to for a challenge, but because I choose it.
I want to have the right energy available to hit my goals on each run.
I need to cross train to stay healthy and get stronger.
I need to rest to keep my hormones balanced and prevent fatigue.While a 1 mile a day running streak, could be a fantastic way to get yourself into a routine with working out, I have concerns about doing it long term. That’s not to say there aren’t many awesome people out there who have done it. But remember, we aren’t all the same!!
A few reasons that it can be an issue depending your body and personality:
- Stress over fitting in a run when life happens
- Running when your injured or sick and shouldn’t
- It could make running more of a chore, instead of your stress relief
- During endurance training it can lead to extra fatigue and improper recovery
Now your big picture goals might be to get in to healthy habit routine…in which case maybe this streak is exactly what you need! If that’s the case, I’m here to cheer you on because we know I love seeing anyone and everyone out enjoying a run!
If you’ve decided it does match your goals, take a look at these tips for safely doing a running streak:
- Start only if you are healthy and injury free
- Don’t dramatically increase your overall mileage
- Ensure you are taking most runs easy
- Enjoy the consistency of training
- Keep up with your hip strength
- Remember 1 extra mile is not freedom to eat junk food
- Know when to call it quits
- Get ready to be a super planner
Checkout these tips from my friend Lisa to enjoy your streak>>
Think you’re interested?? Then you need to know these two ladies who have managed to stay injury free, enjoy themselves and run some pretty awesome races: Erica (is over day 1820) and Shelly (4 years and 20 days!).
Feedback on today’s random Thursday ramble!
Have you ever done a running streak?? Results?
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