You know I’m referring to run streaking, right? I mean *I’d* never do something as crazy as go streaking. Nope, not me.
But I am run streaking. I’m on day 17 and so far, so good. It’s helping me rebuild my workout habit. 4-5 days a week are part of my training plan for my upcoming races, but the others I just use running as a warm up to get me motivated to do another work out. Will I keep this up for a year? For a lifetime? I don’t know. My goal right now is the end of January, but I’ll re-evaluate as necessary.
Want to do one too? Here are some tips for safely starting a streak:
1. Build your mileage slowly. If you haven’t been streaking, you’ll be adding at least a mile a day to the days you don’t normally run. If this only adds a couple of miles to your week, no problem. But if you’ve been only running three days a week and suddenly you are doing seven or you try to add a longer run on the extra days, you could be setting yourself up for injury. You may even find you have to cut your usual runs a bit shorter until you can slowly (no more than 10% per week) add mileage.
2. Take at least one rest day per week. And by “rest day”, I mean a day where you run short and slow. If you are new to streaking, your body is used to having a day when it doesn’t run. Making at least one day a short easy run allows your body to adapt. (From what I’ve read, the longer you streak, the longer your short run can be.)
3. Cross train. Yep, just because you are running every day doesn’t mean you can drop the cross training. There are still lots of non-running muscles out there to use. Do some strength training and try to fit in a bit of other cardio.
4. Listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, back off a bit. Slow down your runs and shorten them as needed. Stretch, foam roll, try different shoes. But if whatever is bothering you doesn’t start to feel better, you may need to move on to step 5.
5. Realize that you may need to end a streak. Some people can run without injury for years. Some need to take the occasional break. Others can never run more than a few days in a row. If you have never done a run streak before, you may not know which you are. Also, there are things that can strike down even the most dedicated streaker: illness, injury, weather, and travel to an unsafe place are reasons that come to mind off the top of my head.
Bonus: Enjoy the streak – it’s meant to enhance your life, not be a burden. If it’s not fun, why do it?
Have you ever done a run streak? How long did it last? Was it a good experience for you?