This time last year I’d set about on a mission to run every day in January. At the time it seemed to be the only way I could improve my endurance as a runner and get ready for my 2nd marathon in May.
I lasted all of 6 days before I had a break for a long run. During those 5 days I ran 6 times and ended up running twice on the Friday.
Then I burned out and stopped for a break on Saturday.
I was gutted!
In this post I’ll examine both the benefits and the drawbacks of running daily.
The benefits of running daily
- Running becomes your routine – If you run every day then it’s something you do without questioning it. Your day simply won’t be complete without a run!
- You become more confident in your ability to run – If you don’t run for a week or longer then you start losing your endurance gradually. If you run every day then you’ll notice progress quite quickly. This will make you want to continue to improve.
The negatives of running daily.
- If you set out to run every day as a New Year’s resolution and you haven’t ran much in the past, then you’ll likely get demoralised at some point and stop. Once you break your run streak it makes it easier to not run the next day as you’ve broken your perfect record. It’s better to set out a realistic plan where you’ll resolve to run a certain amount of times per week.
- If you’re training for a marathon then it’s important that you focus on quality long slow runs. Throughout 2011 and 2012 I ran regularly on a Saturday to maintain my streak and left myself exhausted for the Sunday run. This made my 2nd marathon much more difficult than it should have been.
- You are more likely to get injured on a run streak. I’ve only been injured twice in the last 2 years and both injuries came through running every day. I entered Juneathon in June 2012 and winded up with a bad case of runners knee after 20 consecutive days of running. This left me out of action for at least 2 weeks. The run streak was meant to improve my fitness but it ended up sabotaging it.
- Running can start to become boring – Sometimes you’ll want to try something different just to break the monotony of jogging. It can be beneficial to take a day off and do some light cross training instead.
- You can’t predict the future – You might get ill or arrested for pissing in a bin and be forced into stopping your streak against your will.
Since I’m training for 2 marathons in the spring, a run streak is the last thing I need. I will be focusing primarily on the long run and going on 3 or 4 quality short runs through the week with a long run on Sunday.
If you do go with the run streak route, then it’s especially important to mix up your training with easier sessions before more difficult runs.
So what do you think about run streaks? Have you ever tried one and failed? Are you on one now and finding it beneficial to your fitness?
by Matt the Angry Jogger
Angry Jogger loves running to lose and maintain his weight. He started running as an obese man and is now only overweight at 200lbs. He started off at 280lbs.