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What is a Running Streak?

 

You lay in bed staring at the ceiling once again, “Should I run today?” Excuses go head to head with the reasons you need to get your run in. “I will double my miles tomorrow,” you tell yourself.

What if there was no option?

Most training plans allow for days off during the week. This is not the case with a run streak training plan.

What?

In the world of running, streaking is quite common. There is even the United States Running Streak Association. Their active streak list boasts over 700 runners, with some that have streaked over 40 years. They range in age from teenagers to eighty-years old. The official definition of a running streak, as adopted by the USRSA Inc., is “to run at least one continuous mile within each calendar day under one’s own body power.”

For my running streak I personally like to try for at least 2 or 3 miles. But, if you are just starting out, 1 mile works just fine.

Why?

What could possibly prompt a runner to commit to running every day, through rain, snow, sleet or even the flu or other illness?

Having the goal to run every day helps a runner to realize that there are no excuses. I have found this true, there is no rationalizing my way out of the run.

There are no excuses–Just go run.

A running streak also can help physically. Streakers are constantly building up their endurance.

The President of the USRSA(United States Running Streak Association), Mark Washburne, has been running every day since December 31, 1989. During his twenty-five years of running he feels his streak running has kept him competitive for racing. 

How?

Before starting a streak counting the costs will prove valuable. For one, jumping into a streak with no running history could be a quick way to get injured. Streaking is not for everybody.

On the USRSA website there is an article published by the association’s founder John Strumsky on the dangers of running streaks. The article highlights that, “mainly through insufficient training and inadequate conditioning that most runners are injured.” The article candidly points out, “Those in the general running community who protest against the streak running philosophy make a valid argument, and they base it solely on overuse concerns. The body does need rest to recuperate and avoid injuries…However, with enough background and experience, streak runners can build in ongoing rest breaks into their running schedule without giving up their streaks. They can do this by running a slower pace or shorter distance at least once or twice each week.”

One good way to find out if your cut out for a run streak is setting small streak goals. For example, start with a week or two, and see how you feel.

As individuals we all react differently to different running programs. Some thrive with long slow mileage; others seem to be built for short speedy sessions. The trick is finding what works for you mentally and physically, and never forgetting to love the run. The act of running itself is the goal and reward.

If you want a fresh approach to your running and are up for a challenge and want to create a solid running habit, consider starting a running streak.

Is a running streak for you? There is only one way to find out. Take the challenge.



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