“We’re going streaking”
I’ve been seeing a ton of social posts lately about run streaks – no, not naked running. A run streak is simply running every day for a certain time period. I believe the concept was originally created to encourage staying active during the busy holiday season, with the goal of running at least one mile per day. Now they’ve grown beyond one-month challenges, some becoming year-long (or more) efforts to see how long a person can keep a run streak alive.
This uptick in publicity for them combined with the New Year and Resolutions quickly approach, I have to imagine a run streak challenge of sorts will be on the minds of many this year. If it’s something you want to try, you should. But if you don’t think it’s right for you, you’re not alone and shouldn’t feel any pressure to participate.
Me, I’m not considering it or on the fence. I flat-out will never participate in a run streak. Yes, me, the girl who loves running. Here’s why.
I’m a believer in balance. And to me, balance includes, but is not limited to, the following five areas:
1. A weekly rest day
3. Proactive injury prevention
4. Deload weeks
5. Mental breaks from training
Run streaks break all these rules of balance.
1. Not taking one day off from working out each week is a mistake, especially when workouts are intense. No matter how “easy” your run is, running is still a physically demanding activity, one that your body deserves a break from at least a couple days a week.
2. Never mixing up cardio bores your body and makes it too easy to miss out on results and benefits of challenging workouts. Running every single day not only bores your body, it must bore your mind – even for those of us who legit love running.
3. Over-training injuries are super-common for runners. Event with all the foam rolling, stick therapy, cupping massages, and other ways to take care of ourselves, nearly all of us will fall to an overuse injury at least once in our lives. The best way to prevent over-training injuries? Don’t over-train aka, don’t push your body to run every single day.
4. Common in lifting programs, deload weeks entail greatly backing off your normal intensity in order to let your body recover, refresh, and ultimately get stronger. Runners need deload weeks, too – it’s why training programs include weeks where mileage and long runs greatly scale back. Even if you reduce mileage for a few days or speed, running every day never allows the body the deload time it needs to recover, refresh, and get stronger.
5. As much as I love running, there are some days I hate it. Few and far between, these days always seem to come, often when I’m training and putting in a lot of running. Just as the body needs a day off from intense working out, the mind can crave those breaks, too.
Wow, did I just dump on run streaks? Not really, these are my opinions and the reasons why I will never take part in one. But, like I always say, “Different strokes for different folks.” Only you know what’s best for your health and wellness.
If running every day is what makes you your best or is what you need to do to stay committed to your health, by all means do it!
But before you jump on the run streak bandwagon and put yourself at risk (yes, risk – there are unarguably risks involved with running every day) consider that it might not be right for you – and that’s okay.
Are you a loyal run streaker or have you participated in a run streak challenge in the past? How long was it? What did you love or hate about it? Comment on this post or tweet me, @LindsayIRL.