I've been known to complain about it here on the blog, I'm actually enjoying it.
Before I get started, I'm linking up with the Friday Five link up hosted by Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What and Mar at Mar on the Run. Check them out when you're done here!
Now, I wouldn't necessarily recommend a running streak to just anyone. If you deal with injuries a lot, have not been running for very long or have specific race and time goals, a run streak may not be for you. You may be better off with tried-and-true rest days in between your runs. Every body (and everybody) is different and how your body responds to daily activity may be different from others. With that said, if you aren't generally injury-prone, have been running for quite some time (and, in turn, are physically adapted to running on a regular basis) and don't have high performance goals, you may want to try a running streak. Here are my five reasons why you may want to try a running streak and how it can fit into your life:
1. You only have to run one mile for it to be considered a run streak. That's right. One mile. And I didn't make this up. According to the United States Running Streak Association, all you need to do is run at least one mile every calendar day to be considered "streaking." I figured one mile on my rest days wouldn't be enough to really disrupt my recovery. It still follows the progressive adaptation of my training plan and continues to allow for easy and hard days of training. I don't feel like it's affected me negatively at all, other than forgetting to get my mile in and having to do it in my pajamas at 9:00pm. But I always feel better for it (see below).
2. It actually helps with recovery. Within my streaking time, I've run a 50-miler and marathon, as well as some gnarly training runs. Having that mile on what used to be my rest day has helped flush my legs and helped my recovery. This is what is called active recovery - where you exercise at a low intensity but high enough to increase blood circulation, continuing to rid your muscles of residual lactic acid. This helps reduce soreness and muscle fatigue.
3. You can run at whatever pace you want. Now that you know you don't have to run far to be part of a run streak, you'll be happy to know you don't have to run fast either. Because I don't want to run too hard on what were my rest days, I run very slowly. Again, I'm running at a pace that's fast enough to be considered running, but it's slow enough that it doesn't disrupt my recovery. And this principle helped tremendously when I was sick with an awesome stomach bug back in January.
5. You can run with your kids (and/or pets). Because I can run as slowly as I want to, I can get a lot of my miles done with my kids. Whether I'm running around the cul de sac, or out on the trail with the kids and the dog, I can get my miles in when the time is right. Granted, there are still days I don't remember to get my miles in until the evening and I hop on the treadmill in my non-running clothes. But a mile is still a mile!
Who knows how long I'll continue, but it's definitely been fun so far!
Have you ever done a running streak?