I’ve been a hold out on doing a run streak. I finally did on this past November just to say I had and it was only 30ish days. It was fun sure and a great challenge but I’m not sure it is the best thing for most people to do. Let’s chat a little and dive deeper into why I think a run streak isn’t a great idea to do. At least for most people.
What is a running streak?
A running streak is *typically* defined as RUNNING one mile a day every single day. Sometimes for only a month but some do it for YEARS. As in there is a website all about run streaking and the number of years (decades even) that someone has been running at least a mile a day.
So SHOULD you run every single day. No. But…maybe
Cons of Run Streaking
I’m going to start with why I don’t think run streaking is a good idea for most. If you already do it and have been for a long time that is great! You and your body is used to it and some of these things won’t apply. As long as you are doing it correctly and listening to your body!
My reason’s AGAINST run streaking
- Stress about fitting in your mile for the day.
- Running when you are injured or sick and shouldn’t be running just to get your mile in because you don’t want to break your streak!
- Mentally it can make running more of a chore and something you “have” to do instead of being fun and relaxing!
- During endurance training, run streaking can lead to extra fatigue and decreased recovery since you have no true rest days
- Missing a day can mentally lead to a sense of failure that can snowball into people no running or being active for weeks or MONTHS! It can give you the mindset of “well I screwed up my streak no point in running tomorrow or the next…”
- There isn’t any benefit to running every day. Like Zero. It is more likely to be detrimental to your running goals than helpful.
Pros of Run Streaking
- Consistency!! This was so helpful when I did my 30-day streak back in November. It helped me get into the HABIT of running again.
- Improving your mental toughness. That mental barrier you have can be crushed when you are required to run every. single. day.
- Similar to the above, it helps you get rid of your silly excuses of not having time due to whatever.
- It can increase motivation – but as above it can also kill it.
- Can lead to other good habits
- You’ll learn to adapt to different situations/weather to get it done.
- Having a community feeling with all the others that do a run streak challenge
- The satisfaction of a goal done and knowing you can run every day
Should YOU Run Every Day?
I personally don’t think the vast majority of runners should run every day. Now, there are exceptions to this rule. If you want to do a short run streak then go for it but definitely not if you are a beginner and just starting to run. Save the run streak for once you have a few months of running under your belt.
Elizabeth Clor is someone that for the most part runs every day. In fact just yesterday she posted on Instagram here, her rationale and experience with running every day. This is a great example of a very experienced runner running every day and still knowing when to take rest breaks.
The key is knowing how to listen to your body and make sure you are doing easy runs. 80% of your runs no matter how many days of the week you run should be easy. This is one of the keys to staying injury free. I find that when you “only” have a mile to do a lot of times people will run it all out and not actually make it an easy run leading to too many hard effort runs in a week.
Another reason I’m not a big fan of the run streak? It really doesn’t improve your running. There isn’t a benefit to running every single day. It doesn’t give you an edge to go out and get a mile in every day. Like I said above, if anything, it will lead to a higher injury risk.
So tell me, do you run streak or have you done one? What is your experience?
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Dr. Abby Siler, PT, DPT is a Physical Therapist with 10 years of experience in a variety of settings. She has spent the majority of her time treating athletes in orthopedic clinics and worker’s compensation cases. She is a runner herself for the past 15 years and a lifelong athlete. Dr. Abby loves to teach runners how to stay injury free and out of her clinic.