Thursday, March 3, 2016

Why You May Want Try a Run Streak

As you may or may not know, I've been doing a run streak for the past 67 days. I have quite a number of friends doing run streaks and thought I'd throw my hat into the ring, so to speak. Many people think that doing a run streak will be too much miles, not enough rest and just plain bad for you. While 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.

4. You can run wherever you want. Where you run your miles is completely up to you. There are no rules that your miles have to be run out on the roads or a track, etc. In fact, I have run my mile around my cul de sac when out with the kids. I'm running, it counts :)

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?

29 comments:

  1. I've done a few running streaks - I really enjoy doing the Runner's World one that goes from Thanksgiving to New Year's. I even wrote some tips for doing one safely. Like you, I like the recovery factor and I definitely have slow short days. I always stop though because if I get too invested, I know I'll make a poor choice some day and run when I shouldn't. But it's fun to do one every once in a while.

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    1. It is definitely important to stay true to the one, slow mile on "rest" days. And I'm staying more mindful of how things feel. I do not want to risk injury just for a run streak!

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  2. Can running streaks also be called walking streaks? Haha. I have tried to walk at least a mile on the treadmill every morning before work. Even though I don't run a mile everyday I try to catch up on it during the wkends when I get my log runs in.(did 13 the other day). I am trying to do 2016 miles in 2016 but I don't thk I am going to come close. Great job on your streak!

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    1. I definitely think walking can be part of a streak! The whole point is to love your body everyday, and you're definitely doing that! Good luck on your 2016 miles!

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  3. I rarely have done a streak because I don't run 7 days a week. I try to get in 6 but then the other tri workouts have to get done. But right now I've got a bruised tailbone and can't run so I'll be really excited when I can get back into it. Good luck continuing your streak!!

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    1. It's so hard training for a triathlon. It's like a full time job. I hope you are healing well and can get back out there soon!

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  4. Glad it's working for you. I've never streaked and am really not interested in it but know others enjoy it!

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    1. I was never interested either. I blame social media :) But I wanted to try it to see if I could do it and so far, so good.

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  5. Nope, and not planning too either. Just not for me!

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    1. It's definitely an acquired taste :)

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  6. I did one of the Runner's World Streaks back in 2014. I felt such a huge sense of accomplishment, but my calves weren't crazy about it. I have such admiration for people who have been streaking as long as you have, and for even years!

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    1. Thanks Janelle. That USRSA mentioned above has lists of streakers and they won't even consider putting you on the list until you've been streaking for 5 years. It's crazy and I'm fairly certain I won't be on that list :)

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  7. What a great challenge and a way to jossel the ho-hum of running! I may start tomorrow!

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    1. It is a great way to change things up. As long as you're not pushing yourself too hard on what were your rest days, it can be a great way to keep the body moving.

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    2. If you start one, let me know how it goes!! Good luck!

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  8. I've tried streaking two years in a row, but I got sick once and got the shingles the second time around. I'm hoping the next time sticks.

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    1. I would definitely make sure you're getting enough rest if/when you try to do the running streak again!

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  9. I adore that picture and it makes me giggle!

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  10. Before reading this, I definitely would have said that streaking is not for me, but you may have changed my mind. The reason I wouldn't do it is having to gear up and plan a time around my child's schedule. But the idea of being able to run with her since speed and distance isn't an issue, makes it seem way more possible. And I think my body could definitely stand a better way to recover. Thank you!!

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    1. You're welcome! I hope you are able to give it a try! Good luck!

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  11. I've streaked but that was when I was addicted to exercise! It was not healthy for me! But obviously everyone is different, like you said, so I can definitely see how a streak could be enjoyable and beneficial for some! I'm glad you're enjoying yours!

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    1. Thanks Meg! Yes, a running streak, or any streak can definitely pose the risk of overdoing it. It's good you can recognize that and back away from the streak accordingly!

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  12. A lot of people I know did the Ron Hill run streak in December but I wasn't tempted!

    I can see why it is appealing, it gets you into a habit and you don't have to run far! I'mjust not sure if be able to sustain it. I know there would be days when I can't get a run in and only realise when I'm ready for bed. I don't have a treadmill I can jump on!

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    1. Yes, that part of it is hard. So far it's only happened a couple of times. I've found the times that work best for the miles on what used to be my rest days, so it's gotten easier.

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  13. No, I haven't but very much want too! I think once I get back to running after I recover from my concussion I am going to try streaking. However, that is only after I am 100%! I am always so envious of run steakers!

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    1. Yes, please wait until you're 100%!! That's the beauty of running- it will always be there when you need it!!

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  14. I've thought about a run streak many times but haven't been able to commit due to my schedule/life. Maybe I will try one in 2016!

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    1. I didn't think too much about it when I started it. I just did and told myself I'll just see what happens. No pressure. It's worked out well so far!

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