When it became apparent that all of 2020 was canceled and the pool was shut down for the season I randomly decided to begin a run streak. The thought behind it was that I considered swimming as my easy recovery workout after my long run. Without swimming it made sense to introduce those easy runs that everyone insists on into my routine.
I have never run more than three or four days in a row since I began running in 2009. A run streak has never really piqued my interest before, but I always thought it was cool that others did it. Without putting much thought into it, I just started. That’s really how I do most things, just start!
I’m on day ten, which has equated to 58.8 miles so far. On an easy day I’ll go out for one simple mile with my dog Ziggy and a more structured day was 400m repeats on a track.
A couple observations I have made in ten days:
A run streak can help enforce toughing it out in undesirable conditions. On Sunday it was 40 degrees, 20-30mph wind gusts and rain. I ran 8.5 miles that day. To sneak in some honesty here, Sunday is normally my long run day. While I’m happy I toughed it out, I didn’t tough it out for a full long run. My intention was to get a full, real long run done the next day.
The run streak prompts purpose behind each run. It’s making me think carefully about my efforts on a daily basis, plus upcoming efforts. The day after a tempo paced run I feel like I’m running in molasses. The day after an easy one-mile run I can fly effortlessly. A friend gave me some great wisdom on this, “You don’t want to become really good at running mediocre.” That’s exactly what I’m setting myself up for if I don’t learn how to utilize each day properly.
Recovery runs were a piece of the inspiration for this run streak, so it’s important to actually do recovery effort runs. What this means for me is mapping out a route ahead of time and leaving the watch home. I’m too mentally stubborn and feed off of the numbers on my Garmin. Fortunately for me, my dog Ziggy is a very slow running buddy!
The run streak has created a new way of testing my limits. Personally I don’t do well with training plans or things that feel like a chore. So far it hasn’t felt like a chore and it’s been fun to see how long I can keep this going.
Lastly, the run streak is improving my flexibility with running in general. Since the pandemic has canceled all of my spring races I’m not training for anything specific at the moment. It’s been a challenge when I’m out there to keep myself motivated to power through a weak spot. There are no “It could be windy on race day” thoughts to motivate me to keep going on a windy day. Right now it’s up to me to find mental strength in the unknown.
Some run streak photos: