Streaking has never been more popular in the running community. The United States Running Streak Association, defines streaking as running at least one continuous mile (1.61 kilometers) within each calendar day under one’s own body power (without the utilization of any type of health or mechanical aid other than prosthetic devices). Streaking requires discipline, endurance, luck and may be the wrong approach for almost all of us.
Why is Streaking Popular?
- It’s bigger than the individual. Runners can join thousands of others in a common challenge to run everyday and then report out via social networks on their progress.
- The streak comes at a time of the year when the racing season is over for many runners and their next big goal is too far away to motivate them.
- In many places the weather is cold and the days are short, making it difficult to get out the door.
- The holiday season can make it difficult for many people to maintain their fitness routines and their diets.
Why You Should Stop Streaking
Rest and recovery days are vital to remaining healthy. Most running injuries are caused by overuse. To run everyday is to invite injury. It is important to be in touch with your body and notice the warning signs before it’s too late. Are you feeling run down? Is that nagging pain in your foot, knee, hip or shin still there? Are you losing your love for the sport after 2 or 3 seasons of non-stop competition? If so, you need a break, not a streak.
About 60-65 percent of all endurance runners become injured during an average year – Owen Anderson, “Running Science”
Cross-training can be a great way to maintain your fitness level and workout other little used muscle groups. Consider biking on an indoor trainer, taking a class at the gym, or swimming. You can still run, but you may reap even greater rewards by mixing things up a bit in the off-season.
To make things more attainable and less regimented you might want to focus on a flexible yet quantifiable goal. For example: running 4 times per week or 30 minutes of exercise per day. Keep it fun and you’ll keep doing it.
Runners are independents. We pride ourselves on being outliers and rugged individuals. Continue that tradition by making smart choices and listening to your own inner voice when it comes to training. Run. Rest. Repeat.
SaltmarshRunning.com – Run For Your Life!