Thursday, November 30, 2017

To Streak or Not to Streak ...


To streak or not to streak?

That's not usually a question I'll even bother to answer. I realize a lot of runners do run streaks (running at least one mile everyday, no matter what). For many, it's a natural part of their day, an element of their being, and a necessary daily task that needs to be performed. Yes, a lot of runners run everyday...but I'm not (usually) one of them.


Personally, I have come to realize that rest/recovery days are paramount to staying healthy and fit. I not only take my rest days seriously, but I also (seldom) log excessive mileage (except for the final weeks of marathon training prior to the taper). I am lucky...I seem to stay pretty fit and can knock out decent finish times without wearing down my body (or mind) with high-mileage training. Of course, I'm not spanking new PR's at every race, but that's not my priority (and that's another post for another time LOL).

That said, I have been known to take part in a running streak now and again....
Yes, it's true. I have done the Runner's World winter streak for the past four years (Here are some past posts & recaps to prove it: 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013). I also have done a spring streak (April 2013) and a summer streak (Memorial Day through the 4th of July, 2014). And, guess what happened last week, on Thanksgiving Day? The #40DaysOfAwesome winter streak began, and I have been streaking everyday since.

So, yes, I'm streaking (again). And, yes, I feel like I need to explain why (again). After all, I'd be curious, too, why someone would willingly take part in something she usually advocates against. So here goes.....

Why I am streaking (again), and am not ashamed to be doing so:

First of all, it's a big time Comfort Zone Violation for me. As much as I love my rest/recovery days, it's empowering to see that I can do the streaking thing and live to tell about it. Granted, the bulk of my streak runs are easy-paced endeavors, and most of them are just 1-milers. Basically, I'm simply running 1-mile runs on what would normally be my "non-running" days. I'm not attempting any speed drills. I don't plan on doing any long runs (my longest runs are 5-6 miles right now).  And, if things start to feel achy, I will wave the proverbial white flag. Even though this is my off-season, there's no sense inviting injury by over-training.
daytime streaking in 2016
Secondly, I really like the daily cardio...especially early in the morning. A few months ago, I got in the habit of getting up early and heading out for a quick 20-30 minute walk (on my non-running days). Doing a short streak run has the same benefits...it wakes up the mind, body, and soul and invigorates me. Let's not forget there's the bonus of a little fat-burning since I'm doing this in a "fasted state." Also, since the 1-mile streak runs take less than 10-minutes, they do not require a huge time commitment...there's plenty of time for other fitness stuff, like strength-training, yoga, or (my favorite cross-training exercise) stair-climbing.
early morning streaking in 2017!
Thirdly, I'm all for short-term (monthly) goals. Even though I'm only nine days in (at the time this post goes live), the daily short runs are going well. As I approach the end of the year (the Streak is scheduled to end on New Year's Day), though, I anticipate those very runs will feel more like obligations than fun outings (at least that's what's happened in the past). I call that mental training...don't we all need that from time to time?
Streaking under the Christmas lights in 2015
Fourth, I'm also throwing in the challenge of doing all of these runs outside. So far, the weather conditions have been manageable. I'm in Iowa, don't forget, and December typically gets a little chilly. Oh well, I have plenty of fleece jackets and a colorful assortment of puffer vests...bring it! Stay tuned, there's bound to be a great deal of mixing & matching happening and (hopefully) you won't see the same outfit twice.
Beginning my streak in 2014 on Thanksgiving Day at our local turkey trot
Last of all, this Streak is sort of my last hurrah for 2017. There are not many races happening this time of year (at least not in my area), and I have nothing major (yet) on the calendar until March. Having a Streak such as this gives me some mojo to finish the year strong.
Streaking in 2014
And, here's a bonus....I know I have the ability and commitment to do it, but I also have the sense to stop and not keep going if my body tells me so. I suspect a lot of streakers start out with a short-term goal in mind, but continue streaking to see how long they will last. After awhile, it does become a habit. For some, it becomes a means of identity. That's when it can get dangerous...when some continue on for the sake of not breaking their streak, even though their body desperately needs a break. Don't worry, friends....I have streaked before, and I have never had any desire to continue on after the designated deadline.
a lunch time streak run in 2015
Anyways, those are my thoughts and objectives. I realize streaking is not for everybody, myself included, but it gives me a chance to dabble in something I would not do on a regular basis.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever tried streaking, even for a short period?  If so, what's the longest (or shortest) streak you've done?

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I'm linking this with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0. 
And, since it's the first weekend of the month, I'm also linking with Deborah and Coco for the Ultimate Coffee Date. What would you share, if we were having coffee?

41 comments:

  1. I think the longest streak I ever did was maybe like 10 days or so. Ive never been someone who could run every single day (although I would love to!) Sounds like you have a great plan and I hope it goes well for you!

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    1. Typically, I'm not an advocate for streaking either. I enjoy it for short periods, but there's no way I'd ever continue it on indefinitely.

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  2. Yeah, no. I really need those days off. Even if the run is only a mile. But I'm glad that you can do it!

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    1. Ha ha...I hear ya! When these streaks end, I'm always glad they're done.

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  3. currently writing a post on this for women's running. Interesting to hear your perspective. I am not able to run everyday but I am glad to hear that it works well for you right now. run on my friend! See you for coffee tomorrow

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    1. These streaks work for me because I know there's an end in sight LOL

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  4. I did the RW streak once and the running wasn't the problem, it was remembering to record it..haha. These days I don't think I would streak cus it's a lot of effort to prepare to only run one mile each day (and Some days I know that's all I would have time to do). Good luck with your streak!

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    1. I totally agree...it's a lot of work for a measly mile (on some days), but it's only for a short period. I just suck it up and do it LOL

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  5. I’ve never done a run streak, but you’ve convinced me that an occasional one is good for the mind and the body. I never really saw the point before. And I think it’s a great idea over the holidays when it’s easy to get too busy and start to make excuses not to exercise.

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    1. Exactly ;-) It gets me through the crazy holiday season ;-)

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  6. While I admire everyone that can do a run streak, it doesnt work for me as it does more harm than good (knee pain, etc). However, I'm all about an activity streak where you can walk, run or bike everyday.

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    1. Activity streaking is commendable! I try to do something everyday as well, even on rest days ;-)

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  7. I did one mile on Tuesday when frustrations at work had me breathing fire. It helped to work out some of that stress. I tried yesterday to see if I wanted to start running again, and while I felt good, my foot felt like an air pocket needed to pop, and I didn't want to push it. I still don't have the itch yet, but I know I'll get it again.

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    1. Yes, the "itch" will return. It's best not to force it, though.

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  8. I've never streaked and I had every intention of doing so this time around so I would kick up some much-needed motivation. But then I forgot all about it and I ended up logging 18 miles between Monday and Friday this week, so I think I'm doing okay without it!

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  9. I've never streaked, but I think it would be fun to try! I think I'd stick to shorter distances just to make sure I don't hurt myself (overuse injury is a mistake I've made before...)

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    1. Overuse injury happens to me when I use the treadmill....I just can't get my strides to work (long legs, UGH), and it's too repetitive for me. As long as I'm outside, doing easy & short distances, I'm good ;-)

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  10. I can't do a running streak as my body just needs days to rest. But I can do an active streak of running and walking!

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    1. Staying active with running and walking is great!

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  11. I"ve never done the run streak - I really need the days of rest. But, I'm not against walking on non-running days! I still try to get some form of movement in. :)

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    1. I think it's good to keep the body in motion, even on rest days...walking is a great alternative!

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  12. I really admire streakers!! I can't do it! not only is my time accounted for most of the day, but some days I just want to chill and read books.

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    1. Well, I certainly don't (nor want to) streak very often. Once a year (for a few weeks at a time) is enough LOL

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  13. I walked my dog for 10 days in a row once lol! That my closest to streaking of any sort haha

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    1. ha ha...I'm sure your dog appreciated that ;-)

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  14. I'm not a streaker. I simply have no interest in it and I need my rest days from running. All the best with yours!

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    1. Thanks, Marcia! I like streaking, but only once a year and for a limited time frame. Otherwise, no bueno.

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  15. While I do like run/walk challenges (run/walk a mile daily), I know I'm not a streaker. I need those walk days or body will revolt for sure. Good luck with your streak!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle ;-) Streaking definitely is not for everyone....I know my body could not handle it any longer than the 4-5 weeks of this challenge.

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  16. I've never done any of these streaks though I think they are a cool idea. I just don't have the time or the discipline.

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    1. The discipline is key (the time can be squeezed in...usually)...the final 7-10 days are tough because the temptation to quit is overwhelming.

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  17. I hope you enjoy your streak! I did it once a few years ago and it seemed that I got faster but my calves hated me! You're right about those 1 mile right...it's a great way to keep active. I need to squeeze them in more often!

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    1. I need to just be disciplined about warming up (a bit) and foam rolling daily.....the Streak is minimal work, but the body still needs daily maintenance to persevere.

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  18. I’ve never herd of this streaking. I think it’s an interesting challenge. I always take 2 days off from running per week but I see no problem with doing low mileage everyday! I may try it

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    1. It really is all about balance. Some runners have intense training runs on most days...and they really need complete rest on their non-running days. Myself...I'm not doing any hardcore training right now, so I have a little bit of leeway. Like you said, I'm pretty much doing low mileage most days, and I'm not doing any intentional speed work.

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  19. I have no interest in streaking! It just doesn't work with my schedule and I am so prone to over-doing it, it's best if I just don't. ;-) You are so good with your short runs though.

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    1. ha ha...it's great that you know that about yourself LOL I totally respect that streaking is not everyone's gig. It's usually not MY gig except for a few weeks this time of year when I haven nothing else happening.

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  20. Anybody considering streaking very seriously needs to consider whether or not it will work well with their schedule and their own individual circumstances. With a toddler in the house, putting the pressure on myself to streak is far from ideal. Sometimes working out has to take a back seat to his needs, no matter how badly I might want to get a run in.

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    1. Absolutely. I think streaking can work for anyone, BUT only if it's a priority and done very cautiously. There's a reason I don't do it year-round LOL

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  21. Best of luck to you on your run streak! I've definitely never done one of those, hehehe.

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