By Anton Mark
Are you a runner looking for a new challenge? Try this if you want to make your runs more interesting.
Once considered the Holy Grail for runners everywhere, the marathon has become much more common and something that many runners have attempted at least once.
Even triathlons and ultras, previously reserved for the truly hardcore, are becoming more common as people turn to these events to challenge themselves further with longer and more difficult runs.
But in this search for something more testing, a new challenge has popped up, the run streak, an idea that sounds easy but can be much more difficult than you may have imagined.
If you’re wondering what a run streak is, and whether or not you should have one, read on, because in this article we’re going to tell you all you need to know about a run streak.
What’s a Run Streak?
Just like the name suggests, a run streak is the process of running on consecutive days, without fail, keeping the streak alive.
The idea is simple, you run for a designated amount of time, or distance, without having a day off and you try to keep going for as long as you can. The good thing about a run streak is you’re in control. If you want to run 1 mile a day around the same loop, that’s fine. Or if you want to mix in long runs, hills, intervals, and more, you can do that too, just make sure you don’t miss a day in the process.
The idea of a run streak is not new, with some notable run streaks from the past include that of Ron Hill, who didn’t miss a run from 1964 until January 2017 (52 years and 39 days), and Robert Kraft, who has been running 8 miles a day since 1975 and while you may not want to go for that, you might want to start keeping track of your number to see where it takes you.
Let’s take a look at why you might want to consider starting a run streak.
Why it’s a Good Idea
Why it’s a Bad Idea
Although it sounds straightforward, running daily is not as simple as it seems, and here’s why.
Before you just go out and start running it’s worth getting a clear plan in place first.
What will your run schedule look like? How far will you run? What will your route be? Will you do different distances each day and will you use different methods to improve your performance?
You should also think about what you’ll do on the days you feel rough, tired, or unmotivated and how you plan to run on the days you feel great.
It might sound like a lot, and when you’re just starting out you may not want something so structured, but by planning everything you can avoid the pitfalls that other runners fall into, such as boredom, losing motivation, or overdoing it and causing an injury.
It’s much easier to stick to something if you’re clear about what’s expected than it is if you’re just winging it, so our advice here is to get clear about everything and plan your schedule in advance, including the time of day that you’ll get outside because as the saying goes, when you fail to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.
Starting a run streak is certainly a challenge and once you’ve got past the first few milestones, you’ll soon find yourself unwilling to break your streak no matter what. For some people, this can be a great thing as it keeps them locked into their goals and gives them something to focus on every day, whereas for others they begin to feel trapped by the streak and find that they’re unable to truly enjoy their runs.
Only you can decide if a run streak is right for you but our advice would be to start small and set milestones that you want to reach along the way. You may want to trial it as a two-week challenge, before trying to hit a full 30 days, then moving up as you see fit to 3 months, 100 days, or whichever goal you like, but the key thing is to have something to aim for.
If not, you may find yourself bored and questioning why you started in the first place, however, with a clear goal in mind, you’ll know exactly what you’re trying to achieve and will have an easy way of monitoring your progress.
Whatever you decide, one thing’s for sure, there’s always a new and exciting way to continue to challenge yourself as a runner.