Kelly the Culinarian: Why Streak Running is not for me

Monday, February 27, 2017

Why Streak Running is not for me

Ah, the beginning. So optimistic.
I first heard about streak running from Mo, who is several years strong on running at least one mile every day. The idea is to get up and moving and run every day until you can't.

It turns out, I just can't.

At the beginning of the year, we decided to give it a try and log at least a mile every day. I made it about 40 days before my body started breaking down. I can't be sure it was the constant running, my shoes or something else, but I know when I knocked off this constant jostling, I felt much better.

By Jan. 1, our Circular Logic Marathon training was well underway. This called for two hard run workouts a week followed by a long run on the weekends. I've followed this plan for several years without incident, typically filling the other days with cycling, CrossFit, swimming or rest. This year, I added a run and some light weightlifting for each "off" day.

My first indication this wasn't working was when I couldn't complete a simple tempo run. These runs are meant to be challenging, but attainable. I had to quit less than halfway through because I was abnormally winded. If I was less stubborn, that would have been the last day of my streak.

Somewhere near the end of the streak
Alas, I didn't stop until I had a pain in my hip that woke me up at night. It was so pronounced that it hurt to cross my legs. I rested until my next long run, which was 16 miles. I realized that if I stopped running, starting again was impossible, so I shuffled through those miles the best I could. I went to go on my run the next day and couldn't make it out of my neighborhood.

The streak was over, but the effects were still there. I got X-rays, which revealed nothing, and have cut back on my mileage. The pain has subsided, for the most part, but I haven't regained my mileage. I changed my shoes, which may have had an impact as well, but I've learned that my body is not happy when I run back to back days. I am healthier crosstraining or doing something else with my body day to day than trying to check the boxes of keeping up with a mile every day. I have deep respect for the people who maintain these streaks for years on end, because it was at times difficult to coordinate as well.


Unknown said...

I did a streak once but I wasn't training for anything so running 1-3 miles easy every day was fine. I was actually surprised that nothing hurt! I will say, though, that I think more people would benefit from less running and more cross training.

KellytheCulinarian said...

That's where I'm at - I need to lift more to run happier.

Amanda said...

I feel completely the same way. I don't generally run back to back days (just every once in a while). But my body doesn't like it. I think cross training is hugely important.

Maggie W said...

I think Erin's on to something, it's probably better to start a run streak when you aren't training for anything and just doing short, easy runs. Marathon plans have built in rest days and cross-training for a reason! Back when I was running regularly, my body was happiest with 4 days/week of running, when I tried to up it to 5 days, my body was just too tired. Plus I love other types of workouts, so I would get bored just running.

Also, how do you incorporate stretching into your training plan? The older I get, the more I need to stretch and foam roll more and more and more ... which is something my PT confirmed back when I was going to PT. The older you get, the more time you spend doing other things so you CAN run and the less time you actually spend running! I've been doing a lot more yoga in the past 1-2 years.

KellytheCulinarian said...

I know I don't do enough stretching or foam rolling, but I have resumed the exercises I did in PT with some success.