Why Running Streaks Don’t Work for Me

Many of my friends got their running starts between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Several magazines and fitness blogs do “running streaking”.  Runners World hosts a challenge each year to run every day from Thanksgiving to Christmas.  It helps motivate people, get people out the door and helps from gaining holiday weight.

Why Running Streaks Don't Work For Me

What is a running streak?

Run Streak-Running every day

What are some benefits for “streaking”?

  • More motivation to run…it’s hard to stop once you get past 1…2…3…days…then somehow you find yourself at 100 and who wants to break that?
  • It builds a base. Inevitably you will probably run more miles, and your general fitness will improve. Like any training, there will be plateaus as well as high points.

So on paper a running streak looks great.  You build more mileage and endurance and possibly get stronger and faster.  What type of runner doesn’t want to get stronger and faster? 

So why isn’t a streak something I’m interested in?

I’m injury prone.   I’ve come to a point with my running that I need to take a rest day fairly often. I run high, unconventional mileage and race a lot. Personally this causes me to not only need but WANT more rest days. I take anywhere from 4-8 rest days a month.  My current schedule has caused more workouts, less mileage and more rest days.

To be honest, sometimes sipping coffee during my typical run time is all I want to do.

For instance, a couple of Mondays ago I woke up and felt unexpectedly sore. I didn’t plan to rest, but I knew it was the best option. I couldn’t even imagine running a quarter of a mile, let alone 1. So I rested. If I were attempting a streak, I would have still gone for a run…I probably would have been more sore the following days.

Similar to running shoes, there is a perfect training plan for everyone. Some people thrive on running streaks! Other people like myself, don’t! Either one is fine, and that is the beauty of the sport…there are so many paths you can take once you cross the start line.

In summary, running streaks have their positives and negatives. They are beneficial for some and not for others. Similar to running shoes, it depends on the person, the lifestyle and the goals to whether a running streak will work for you. Either way it’s important to have some sort of activity throughout the year.

Questions for you: 
Have you ever done a running streak?
How many rest days do you like weekly?


Author: Hollie

Posts are written and maintained by Hollie. I'm just runner who is blogging her way through internet life. If you see me in the real world, you might be dreaming. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to email me at fueledbyLOLZ@gmail.com

22 thoughts on “Why Running Streaks Don’t Work for Me”

  1. Agreed. I think they are great for some people (I have friends who have been running at least 5k per day for several years) but it would just result in injury and decreased motivation for me. I tried a streak a few years ago and hated it. I like having time to cross train and do different things!

  2. I agree! I always think running streaks sound like fun, but my body needs non-running days to recuperate and rest. I feel like I would just end up running lots of slow, 1 mile days and come to loathe it because of the increased amount of running laundry but not the increase in miles. Plus I love the feeling of a long run after a day of rest, my legs feel refreshed and it’s much more fun!

  3. Yeah, this wouldn’t work for me either. I think running streaks help motivate people who are just getting started or who need to work running into their daily routine. For people who already have a set workout schedule, it seems more harmful than helpful. I’m like you and take plenty of rest days. I always take one full rest day a week. I usually also take one *really* easy day a week.

  4. I haven’t ever heard of that whole concept, but it sounds dumb. I know that a bunch of girls at work are doing Orangetheory and apparently they have a “hell week” where you work out for 7 days and then get a t-shirt. 7 days isn’t a big deal necessarily, but for all these girls who JUST started working out? It’s a lot of days in a row of a high intensity training. To me, stuff like that just promotes injury in anybody. Your body needs rest. One or two days of rest a week (at least) is GOOD for you! Nobody every got hurt from taking a few rest days, but tons of people get hurt from overworking themselves.

  5. By browsing social media, I often find (totally generalizing here) that many run streakers are those who do a lot of run-walking, or don’t run as competitively as age groupers. I think for these people, it might work really well. They’re running every day but at a really low intensity, to me, almost in the same plane as people who go for a 30-45 minute brisk walk after dinner every day. Again, totally generalizing, but something I’ve noticed when searching through Twitter, etc.

    For me? Streaking does not work, even in my easiest of training days. I think the only way I could streak is if I were running 1-2 miles each day and never more. I love my rest days, sometimes more than I should. And I’m very injury prone. I’m okay with a little holiday weight gain and I’m motivated enough (or know how to motivate myself enough) to not drop off the face of the running-earth for a couple months in the winter.

  6. I’ve never done a streak either, but I’m thinking of attempting this one. I figure it’s just a month so if I don’t like it, I can end it when everyone else does. Or before. The holiday streak isn’t a bad idea, but it’s just like any training plan or workout regimen, sometimes you have to listen to your body and know when to pull the plug. Knowing when to do that is difficult for all runners whether they streak or take regular rest days.

    I know a lot of streakers, some who are competitive and some who are not as competitive. Every time I talk to them, they hint that they kind of take a “rest day” each week where they just do an easy, super slow (for them) mile. Although my neighbor is a 5K a day guy and he’s super busy with being a dad, teacher, and now a high school football coach. I don’t know how he does it, and I won’t run a 5K a day, but I still have to admire the fact that with all he has going on, he still gets that training in.

    I already run 6 days a week and figure adding an extra mile or two on my normal rest day, is probably okay, although I’m not exactly keen on a 1-mile run on Friday where I spend longer showering than I do running…

  7. I’m trying it for the first time this year. My plan is to run 5 miles, then 3 miles, then 1 mile and repeat. That way I’ll mix up hard(er) and easy with recovery days. Lately (as in prior to Thursday) I was taking 3 complete rest days/week so now I’ll just be adding in 1 mile light jogs on those days. I’ll let you know how it goes in 35 days from now!

  8. Everyone has their thing… and I enjoy a run streak this time of year. I’m currently on one that I started on November 1st and plan to continue into the new year before marathon training gets rolling again. For me, it is a bit of a break because I focus less on intensity and mileage and more on just getting out there and doing it. A day or two per week, it is quite interesting trying to find a way to make it happen and the minimum has to suffice. My declared minimum is 10 minutes, but for some reason I do no less than 12! Streaking allows me to keep a level of activity and running fitness without the pressures of training through the holidays. Mix in some strength training and stretching and I have very little guilt about that extra piece of pie and beer.

      1. Green Bay, WI in May with a great organization called myTeam Triumph – I’ll be running with a young man named Henry. We did a half marathon together this fall. I will then take on the HFM Maritime Marathon on the shores of Lake Michigan in June. A small, fast race! Planning to go sub 3 hours 🙂 We’ll see!!

  9. I think it’s always smart to listen to your body verses following the trendy crowd! You’re a wise runner. I decided to hoping the streak train only because I’ve lost motivation due to colder temps, no current training plan, and too much hot cocoa. Ha!! Thank God I start training again Jan 2nd. But, as my mileage and effort increases I will most assuredly need rest days. My body needs it!

  10. I’m right there with you. If a streak gets someone out the door and running on a consistent basis, that’s awesome! That’s the whole point! Like you, though, I’ve come to the point in my training where I need a rest day every week. That physical and mental break helps me refocus and reenergize my training the following week. One of my friends has been streaking for 1,000-plus days, though–crazy!

  11. I do very “mild” streaks. I had always wanted to run every day of a month so I ran every day this past July. I kept every run under 7 miles. Running in the early morning heat (I DON’T like the hot sun) is my favorite (yes, I’m weird) and 5 miles is my favorite distance so I would wake up each morning and go for a 5-7 miler. It was glorious! I also have it in my head that I want to run 10 miles every day for 7 days straight. I’ll work up to that since the most I’ve every run in an week is 50 miles! So going to 70 would be a stretch. That will be my goal for next July maybe 🙂 I have no desire to run every day of a year or any long streaks. Mini ones keep me motivated and excited. Interesting post. Thanks!

  12. To each his/her own! I don’t think they’re a great idea. The body needs rest. If you are truly getting 1-2 days in of high intensity workouts, you will need at least 1 day of rest. Plus the body tends to respond better to variety.

  13. I think the thought of a run streak would make me dislike running. I have a very unstructured yet structured plan going on at the moment. I know what types of runs/mileage to get in every week and give myself wiggle room for whenever I need the rest day (typically one a week). To each his own but for the sake of race times and sanity I haven’t ever been tempted to do a run streak.

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