Many trends come and go in the fitness industry, and while these trends often involve various styles of exercise, they usually don’t affect runners. However, there has been one major exception over the past few years: the running streak.
For years, runners have been “streaking” without giving it a name or even sharing their progress without anyone else.
But recently, this running trend has really started to make an appearance on social media, in running groups and throughout the community as a whole.
What is a running streak?
A running streak is exactly what it sounds like: running every single day for multiple days in a row.
Some runners challenge themselves to run every day for a week, month, or year, while others start a running streak without even realizing it and continue to keep it up for years.
One appealing aspect of a running streak is the fact that it can be completed at your own pace, with mileage customized to best suit your training. Runners on the same day of a running streak have probably completed very different mileage at many different paces.
Although running streaks can be customized to meet your own fitness and training needs, many runners find themselves uncertain when deciding whether or not running every single day will help them improve.
So are the benefits of completing a running streak?
Running streaks provide a variety of benefits to any runner – whether they’re embarking on a 30 day running streak or beginning a streak with an indefinite ending.
Committing to running every single day is a great way to practice self-discipline, maintain consistency, banish excuses, and conquer mental barriers.
Proving to yourself that you are capable of running every single day is a great way to set yourself up for to conquer future challenges in the sport. Completing a running streak helps boost your confidence, build physical stamina, and increases your endurance.
30 Day Running Streak Challenge
So here’s the challenge: as we enter the last month of the year, we find ourselves approaching a busy time. Many of us find our schedules packed with holiday activities while the weather transitions to a less-welcoming season.
As things get busy, it’s easy to come up with excuses to skip a run or workout. Many runners find themselves taking an unplanned break from the sport as one run after another is missed.
However, the craziness of this season is exactly why we need running at this time even more than other. Running provides us with an outlet for stress, time to ourselves, and the ability to maintain overall health – especially when illnesses are most prominent.
This season, I am challenging you to complete a 30 day running streak. This streak can be completed during the holiday season as we wrap up the year, or used to kick start 2020 in the best way possible.
It doesn’t matter whether you run 1 mile every day or head out for double digit mileage – getting out there is all that matters. Use this running streak challenge to stay motivated and conquer those excuses that so often arise this time of year.
If you choose to complete the 30 day running streak challenge, be sure to tailor your mileage and pace to your body’s needs. When you’re feeling a bit sluggish or sore, take it easy with a recovery run. If you’re training for a long distance race, vary your mileage throughout the week to fit in plenty of easy days after long runs.
After 30 days, you will set yourself up for a successful year of training. Once you get in the habit of running without making excuses or second guessing your plan, it becomes a lot easier to stay consistent.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you begin the 30 day running streak challenge.
4 Tips for a Successful Running Streak
Incorporate recovery days.
It’s tempting to assume that since you are running every day during a running streak, you won’t get any rest or recovery days. However, completing a running streak teaches us to use slow, easy runs to help our body recover.
Running streaks involve a great deal of active recovery – which is something most runners neglect during regular training.
Plan to include at least 1-2 recovery days each week during your running streak. On recovery days, slow down your pace and reduce your overall mileage. The goal of these recovery runs is to help your muscles flush out lactic acid from previous workouts.
In order to stay healthy and strong during a running streak, it is crucial that you prioritize recovery. Don’t neglect these recovery days, no matter how good you might be feeling.
Continue strength training and cross training.
On the contrary, strength and cross training are even more important during a running streak. With so much monotony, it can be easy for certain muscles to become inactive or lazy on the run. Before you know it, you might develop various imbalances that could quickly lead to a running injury.
Strength and cross training help keep all of your muscles active and strong to prevent running injuries from occurring.
During your running streak, schedule in a couple short runs each week to allow time for a quick cross training or strength training workout. Complete some simple bodyweight exercises at home or head to the gym to hop on your favorite cross training machine after your daily mile.
Listen to your body and respond accordingly.
Running streaks teach us the importance of listening to our bodies and responding according to their needs. It’s impossible to predict how you might be feeling after 7 days in a row of running, so paying attention to the signs and signals your body sends you on the run is crucial for long-term success.
When your body is feeling unusually slow or sore, it’s probably time to scale back the daily mileage and ease up on your pace.
If you’re feeling stronger than ever before, challenge yourself to a longer run than usual during your streak.
Pay attention to all of the signals your body sends. One week might leave you feeling strong and motivated, while another leaves you feeling extra tired. Take the time to adjust your daily mileage and intensity level each day, no matter what you originally had planned.
Keep track of your progress.
One of the greatest rewards of completing a running streak is seeing all of the work you have put in start to add up.
While knowing that you have run every day for a certain number or days in a row is certainly satisfying, but after a while it can become harder to keep track of.
Log your progress in a planner, calendar, or training plan to keep track of how many days you have run. Share your progress with fellow runners and family members, and don’t forget to reward yourself along the way.
Completing a running streak challenge is no easy task, but that hasn’t stopped runners before. If you’re looking for a simple way to end your year on a high note, or kick start the new year with motivation and consistency, a 30 day running streak is an excellent choice.
Continue to challenge yourself in new ways and you might just surprise yourself with what you are capable of accomplishing. Make the most of this winter running season with this simple running streak challenge!