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This time of year running streaks are everywhere. It seems like everyone is committing to run at least one mile everyday from Thanksgiving through the New Year (or longer). I have participated in a running streak in the past and thought about doing it again this year. I ultimately decided against doing a running streak this winter, but thought I’d go through some of the pros and cons of streaking in case you are deciding to participate.
The Pros of Streaking:
Forcing yourself to commit to physical activity every single day is by and large a good thing. It gets you outside and gets you active. Total win!
You are reminded that you really do have the time to run each day—it may not be far but something is always better than nothing.
Committing to running each day can lead to you being overall healthier during this season of parties and extravagant meals. I know that personally I tend to eat better when I’m working out a lot.
It’s a fun way to stay accountable. So many people streak that it’s really nice to have the support of other runners who are doing the same thing you are.
It’s a reason to sneak out of the house on Thanksgiving. If you need a little break during all the family time—blame your run streak!
The Cons of Streaking:
Forcing yourself to commit to physical activity every single day can make you ignore issues that are cropping up. Sometimes you go on a run and something just feels “off.” You are not sure if it’s just something you tweaked or if it’s an actual injury so you might decide to take a couple days off—but if you are run streaking, you probably won’t do that. You will be more likely to run when your body could actually use the rest.
It might not fit into your plan. When I was streaking before, I had a hard time taking the run easy on days where I was just running a mile. These were days that would be rest days or cross training days in my plan and because I was only running a short distance, I inevitably took them faster than I needed to. Ignoring easy days is a no-no on most plans so be weary of that if you decide to streak.
You might need a break. Personally, this is why I’ve decided not to streak this year. I have raced a lot this year and a heck of a lot this fall. In order to be ready to go for my next training cycle, I really need a couple of weeks where I’m just running for fun. A streak would be the exact opposite of that, so I decided against it this year.