We get to this time of year, and most people are looking to change up their routine a bit. You’ve got months before any serious training kicks in, you’ve probably got an intense fear of losing fitness and you’ve got the threat of all the end of year festivities to well and truly throw you out of all the good habits and routines that you’ve built up over the year.
Enter the run streak.
The run streak is awesome for a few reasons:
- It’s so much easier to create habits when you are doing things every, single day.
- You can increase your weekly distance without actually increasing the length of your individual runs
- It can be great for motivation
- And, if you are doing it with a friend you can keep yourself accountable.
But it’s not without its weak points either. The number one risk is injury. Whether it’s because you are running while fatigued, or pushing through a run when you aren’t feeling well, or you just aren’t recovering well enough between runs.
How to minimise the risk of your run streak;
- Firstly, make sure the vast majority of your runs are super easy. You aren’t going to get the recovery time you need for high intensity runs.
- Always prioritise your health and wellbeing over your run streak. If you feel sick, rest. If you feel fatigued, rest.
- Only increase your overall distance a little bit at a time.
The biggest risk of the running streak, isn’t about injury at all.
For me, the biggest risk of a run streak is that I will outrun my joy in it. That every day will make it seem more like a chore, than something I choose. It will start to feel boring, because I don’t have the variety of a more structured training plan that I enjoy. Nurturing my relationship with running is the most important thing. Part of that relationship is feeling like I’m getting the most out of my hard work: and that happens when my running fits my big picture goals and is more strategic in focus. That is personal to me though, and you might find at the end of the year a run streak is just the kind of thing that you need to reconnect with what you love about running, run short, run long, run often and run without being dictated a pace or a session or a roadmap.
Just remember it’s your joy that matters, not your run streak.