Why a Running Streak Does Not Work for Me

Running streaks don’t work for me. I’ve tried a few times, but with a running streak, I find myself burned out or injured. So I no longer do them or really no longer try to do them.

As the fall rolls in (if you’re on the east coast, not so much fall weather), more people are running outside.  As much as I enjoy the summer for “real life,” it’s more enjoyable to run in the fall.

Many magazines, including Runners World, host a “running streak challenge” between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The Runners World Running Streak sets an end date, but some people spend months, or even years, running 7 days a week.

I, however, am far too injury prone for that. I also enjoy and appreciate my rest days. However, if a streak helps motivate people and get people out the door, I’m all for it.  There are benefits of a running streak; I’m all for doing what works for you, keeps you happy, and is healthy. For me, a running streak does not work.

But What is a Running Streak?

A run streak is simply running every single day.  Some people say a mile every day is sufficient.  Some people say more than that to be considered a run streaker. You don’t have to do a “long-run” every day. In fact, running streaks don’t work if you do a long run every day. 

What are the Benefits of “Run Streak”?

This post might be why running streaks don’t work for me, but running streaks does benefit. 

Running Streaks Give You 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? Daily running can help anyone get out the door.

Running Streaks Help Build a Base:

By run streaking, you’ll probably run more miles, and your general fitness will improve. Like any training and fitness plan, you’ll have high points of feeling on top of the world and low points and plateaus. The benefits of run streaks don’t work on day one. There are no set rules for a running streak, and you need to run daily to keep the streak alive. Some people run a mile every single day; others run more.

So there are many different clear positives of run streaking! 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 Run Streak Work for Me? 

A few reasons:

  • I like my rest days. I like days I don’t want or need to run.
  • I’m injury-prone.   I’ve come to a point with my running that I need to take a rest day fairly often. Running consecutive days with no rest causes more harm to me long term. I run higher 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.  I like those rest days. You might think I like to rest more than running from this blog post.

But to honest, even when I’m running lower mileage, a rest day is something I want. You don’t lose fitness from a rest day or even a rest week.

For instance, a couple of Thursdays 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 mile. So I rested.  I drank coffee, read blogs, and went about my day.

If I were attempting a running streak, I would have still gone for a run.  That one mile would have done nothing for me fitness-wise, but I probably would have been sorer the following days. The run streak would have caused more issues and delayed recovery.

Keep in mind; there is a perfect training plan for everyone. There is no single plan great for everyone.

Some people thrive on running streaks and being a run streaker…

For other people like myself, run streaks don’t work and leave us mentally and physically burned out. 

The beauty of running is there are so many paths to fitness once you cross your own personal start line.

Conclusion:

Running streaks have their positives and negatives. They are beneficial for some and not for others. Like 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. While a running streak doesn’t work for me, it may work for you. You don’t know until you try.

Love running? You can subscribe to my weekly newsletter or read more about running shoes in my ebook.

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