Thoughts on Streak Running
I run every day. Make sure to get at least one continuous uninterrupted mile 7 days per week. Haven’t missed a day in over four years; and in fact I’ll hit the 1500-day milestone next Thursday.
As is the case with such quirky pastimes as streak running, there are organizations, Facebook groups, and other online peers who share this interest. And even though there are many people who have decades-long streaks and that with my sub-5-years I’m still a neophyte, I still feel like I have learned a few things in the last four years. Following are two comments I have made on Facebook in the past 24 hours.
Don’t sweat the half. You've done 50s, the half will be no problem even though you may not be in tip top shape. As far as the streak — here’s the thing. When the streak becomes a burden, that’s when it’s the hardest to maintain. It’s physically difficult but mentally easy to get psyched up when running through an injury, sickness, or bad weather. The hard part is the day-to-day boredom that will happen when everything is going fine and you’re just in a routine. Discouragement due to lackluster results will compound that tremendously. Your morale will sink to the floor when that happens. However, this moment, when your streak is in its darkest hour, is also precisely when the streak is most valuable. The streak does not effect your tendency to be demotivated. You’ll go through periods of motivation and despair whether you’re in a streak or not. What the streak gives you is loss aversion and that will keep you going through the dark times.
I love it when people assume streakers stay uninjured. While it’s true that we’re probably less susceptible to injuries than most runners (especially those who run as fast as they can as often as they can), the reality is that we too get injured just like everyone else. The difference is that we don’t let injuries stop us. This is, admittedly, the hard part about streak running, especially when we’re pressured by our peers to “stop the madness” (which is what one well-meaning friend said to me when I sprained my ankle two years ago.)