Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Going Streaking!

This weekend Montana ran her first half marathon! Way to go, girl!

This week, I've started my two-week run-streak. I decided to cap the streak at 14 days because it seemed the right amount of time to get into a habit but avoid injury. Last time I streaked, I had some shin splints in the third week that eventually went away, but I'd rather avoid the risk. 

So, why streak at all? I know that many seasoned runners see streaks as pointless and even detrimental. They don't allow for rest days and they aren't part of a training plan. 

The thing is, I'm not currently in training for a race (my race season is over!), so a streak is a great way for me to stay motivated and active. It's more about getting back in the mental game than anything physical; some may spout off about "junk miles," but when I'm not training for a specific race, I don't think junk miles exist. It's really nice to be running just to run.
Usually I take time off in April/May and then really have an uphill battle in June because of summer temps; I'm hoping this streak helps me get acclimated earlier.
The minimum distance for a run-streak is one mile a day, so rest is kind of built in. An easy mile alone (or followed by weight-training or core work) is an active rest day, which I think is probably better for me than the lying on the couch all day doing nothing kinds of rest days I usually take. 

Run-streaks are a big confidence booster. They are a reminder that we really can make time to exercise if it's important to us. They help to realign our priorities and keep us accountable. 
I can't regulate my speaking volume on a run; I shouted awkwardly at a passing runner because she was wearing a race shirt from a half I ran. Oops.
I also like that, because I'm running every day, I need to be more mindful of what I eat. My 2pm sugar cravings have to be satisfied with run-friendly foods instead of my usual handful of fun-sized candy bars (which our curriculum office always has on hand).

While streaking isn't for everybody, it definitely has its place in the running world; obviously I don't streak frequently, but once in awhile the commitment and consistency of a streak is exactly what I need!
Now, how do I combat that crash in the afternoon before I'm home and have healthy snack foods on hand...?
I'm three days in and I feel great! We're camping this weekend, which will present the first test of my dedication, but I'm determined to get my runs in, even if they're short!

Have you ever done a run streak?
What are your thoughts on junk miles?
Do you have a "race season"?

ABK

23 comments:

Kristina @ Blog About Running said...

The bursitis I'm dealing with now has definitely helped me learn that I should take a break every year. I had been going on almost two year of straight running without taking a real rest period which I think put me at increased risk for injury.I love the idea of filling the down time with a run streak. I may try to do a streak with you right now since I'm really just trying to get back to running after a couple of weeks of low mileage and inconsistency. I want to get back into the habit of running frequently without worrying about distance or time!

Lizzy said...

I've never done a run streak, but it isn't because I think they are a bad idea in general. I think that doing one would have been a bad idea for me at this point in my life and running. I struggled with lots of minor aches and pains and ITBS problems when I started running and it took me a few years to build up strength and to learn to work with my body to stay flexible and avoid injury. I'd stay it is still an ongoing process. For a long time I felt like I couldn't run two days in a row because I needed to alternate run days with rest and stretch days. I've been gradually adding in more and more run days without problems (so far) so I'm starting to feel like one day a streak would be possible.

I think it would be a fun thing to do for all of the reasons you've listed. Mostly I just want to be able to say I can and I did, but I think it would also be good for establishing healthy habits, especially around eating and scheduling time for workouts.

Megan @ Meg Go Run said...

It sounds like you are streaking smart! Like you said, you don't want to be injured, etc. But it's not like you're going to be running 6 miles a day for 14 days straight or anything. Streaks are personally not for me at this moment for many reasons. A big reason is fear of injury (you know from my blog I have knee troubles), and also I don't like to run/lift on the same day. Another thing is I don't know if I could just run ONE mile. I don't trust myself. My endorphins would get kicking and I'd convince myself to run 2, 3, 4 more miles haha.

Denise said...

I did a run streak a couple years ago and I really liked it. I think it's a great way to hold yourself accountable. :) I definitely don't believe in junk miles though--I think anytime you are out there running, it is doing something good for your body (either mentally or physically); the only time this isn't true is if you are injured!

Kim said...

I've never done a run streak because I've had too many injuries over the years and I have this crazy all or none mentality so I don't know if I would stop after a mile or not. I have other streaks though - like my daily exercise with the # of reps for my age. (I'm well over 900 straight days:)

Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor said...

I've never done a streak. I have nothing against them and I personally can't see them being "detrimental" (it seems unlikely that one easy mile a day will get anyone injured) - I've just never had the time. I pretty much always have something I am training for. I think it would be a great idea for me to do in the off season at the end of this year, because I really struggle to stay motivated when I don't have a race to train for.

yogaontherun said...

I've never done a streak because I have a history of ITBS. I think just the idea of running every day scares me, but I'm sure I'd be fine. It sounds like a really effective thing to do during the off season. I should try it!

Tales from the Back of the Pack said...

What a great post! I've never thought about streaking because to me it seemed to be a thing to do if you're OCD or something. But I really liked your reasons! I do need to plan my days better to work in my runs and be more mindful of what I eat. I may just start a streak myself....one of these days.

Have fun camping!

Bae Jarde Riley said...

I don't believe in junk miles! Any time I can get out and get a mile in is one mile better than sitting on my butt. Great job with the streak and have an awesome time camping!!! :D

Liz @ A Latte Running said...

That's awesome that you are streaking! I think I might try to do one in May (once Dance Theatre is over) for 2 weeks, just so I get my running motivation back and build up a base for XC :)

Ali K. said...

I definitely have to take a break every year...mentally! I just get SO burned out.

I think a streak would be a great way to come back after resting your injury!

Ali K. said...

It definitely gives you a crazy sense of accomplishment afterward! Reaching the end of a streak is almost as exhilarating as reaching the finish line at a race!

Ali K. said...

It's definitely hard sometimes to stop at just a mile, but knowing I'll be running the next day helps me stick to it!

Ali K. said...

Agreed! I think people who talk about junk miles have a different outlook on running and competition than I do!

Ali K. said...

It is sooo amazing that you have worked out DAILY for so long!! That's true dedication!

Ali K. said...

It sounds like you keep a really full race schedule! I can see why a streak wouldn't really fit into your plans!

Ali K. said...

I had ITBS a couple years ago. After resting and strengthening my hips/glutes I've never had a recurrence (knock on wood). It's such a frustrating injury! I don't find that streaking exacerbates it, but I'm always hyper-aware of my gait and running in loops now!

Ali K. said...

It sounds like you could get a lot out of a streak, even a little one!

Ali K. said...

I agree! I am SO lazy at home; at least this way I'm getting SOMETHING done!

Ali K. said...

I hope you do try it; it would be a great way to prep for XC!

Megan @ Meg Go Run said...

That's a good way to look at it. :)

Jennifer @ Run Jenny Run said...

One day I'd like to get through a run-streak. Last year I only made it to 8-9 days. Good luck and I've enjoyed seeing your daily photos.

Ali K. said...

There's no shame in calling it quits on a streak early. Sometimes you get what you need out of it and it's best to just let your body recover a bit.