Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Are you streaking this December?

It's something that a lot of runners do: a running streak.  You run every day, and as long as you can keep it going, it's considered a streak.  I think it's a neat idea.  There is actually some good evidence for doing it.  One of the best ways to be a better runner is to run consistently.  I also think there's good reasons not to do it...

Having said that, this December, I've decided to attempt a running streak.  A local running store is hosting it for the month of December.  Heather, one of my running friends, mentioned it to me on the weekend, and since then, it's been turning over in my mind.  I won't deny that the fact there are some draw prizes also has me tempted.

The deal: run at least 1 mile (1.6 km) per day for the entire month of December.  I've never consistently run more then 4 days a week (since I bike and swim), so this will be new to me.  Having said that, I enjoy running more when I'm doing it consistently.  However, I am planning to be cautious.

Here's my concerns with streaking and how I'm addressing them:

1. Increasing mileage too much.

I've always followed the 10% rule when increasing mileage, and I won't be making an exception while streaking.  In fact, I'm not planning on increasing my weekly mileage at all during the month of December.  I'm just planning on spreading it out.  It's a bit easier, given that I've recently come off of half marathon training.  I also plan to run only a mile on 3-4 days a week.  Realistically, I have to hold it to a mile on some days, or I will never get my bikes and swims in.

2. Running too hard

When I go for short runs, I am often tempted to go all out and run really fast.  After all, if I'm only running a mile, I can run it way faster then if I'm running 10-15km.  Not a good idea if I'm already increasing my running frequency.  Some of those miles will be very easy miles.

3. Running when you shouldn't

Personally, I think the biggest danger with streaking is that it encourages you to run when your body is saying otherwise.  I am going to attempt a month long running streak.  I think it's a great idea to encourage running on days where you just don't feel like it because you'd rather be lazy.  However, if I am getting weird pains in my knees or other joints, or if I'm getting signs from my body that I just shouldn't run, I will break the streak and take the day off.  I also have no intention to continue streaking when the month is done.  I think the longer you have an unbroken streak, the bigger the temptation to ignore your body to keep the streak.

So, with tomorrow being December 1, the streak begins.  I'm feeling better today (I'm wondering if yesterday was a food related issue rather then an actual illness), so I'm optimistic that I'll be starting healthy. Let the streak begin!

Yesterday's HBBC points: 0
Week to date: 14
Total: 52


  1. I may have to try...Just getting back into base building and it may be a good idea. Running is my worst sport anyway and the easiest way for me to lose weight...we will see if I can streak for a a week.

  2. It is clear. I will not be streaking in December.