What do you think of when you hear “streaking”? Will Ferrel running naked through the quad? Some frozen buns dodging security across a football field? If you are a parent of a teenager, you may think of your kid feverously sending pictures of half of their face to 90 different friends to “keep their streaks.” Or, maybe you think of running.
Let’s focus on that running streak.
A run streak is simply a string of consecutive running days. You may set out to run every day for 7 days, 1 month, 100 days or even a year.
Most runners set a minimum distance or time, like one-mile, for their run to “count” towards their streak. The streak run is also not run at a pace of a typical training run. This makes run streaking far more manageable.
However, a run streak is not for every athlete, and it’s certainly not a training tool that I use as a coach. It is most simply a motivational challenge.
Most runners who currently log three to four running days per week can safely take on the challenge of a run streak.
Running daily will come much easier to an advanced runner. Experience teaches us a lot. It is easier for an experienced runner to cover the distance as well as mangage the load of miles on their body. Experienced runners also know how utilize different running speeds and efforts so they are able to take their streak mile easy and seperate it from their training. Finally, experienced runners know their body. They can sense the cues that the body sends with overtraining and respond appropriately.
However, if you are a lesser experienced, but active runner – you can defintely benefit from attempting a run streak as a challenge!
If you are a beginner at running that would like to do a streak, I would encourage you to modify your plan to include walking.
As I mentioned earlier, and I want to be really clear on this, streaking is not a training method – it’s a motivational challenge. And I’d say that’s the biggest benefit. It’s an amazing feeling to set a goal and check that box each and every day.
Running daily can also teach us a lot about our body. You may learn to push past the limiting idea that you can’t run on tired legs. You may also find the understanding of what your easy run feels like.
There is a physiological benefit of increasing your weekly run mileage which can improve your overall running economy. Building durability by running daily can also help with injury prevention down the road.
The biggest benefit that I see is building consistency. Endurance sports reward consistency. Doing a run streak, particularly in the offseason, is a great way to build that mindset of showing up every single day.
If you are attempting a run streak I’d encourage you to be very in tune with your body and value your holistic health over your run challenge. Put a stop to your streak if you feel the onset of an injury or illness. Our mental health and family/work/life obligations should always be placed in front of running. ing