Sunday morning I woke up and had zero motivation to run. It’s not something that happens all the time, but the desire to lace up and get out the door was very low. Normally I can still get myself to make it happen, but for some reason whether it was my body telling me to take a break or just laziness, I decided to listen to it and added an extra rest day.
This got me thinking a lot about something I’ve noticed popping up a lot in the last few years: run streaks. A run streak is where you commit to running every single day for a year, or whatever amount of time you’ve set. They’ve becoming very popular on social media outlets such as Instagram.
I’ve been asked several times over the past year to participate in them for various reasons, but I have always politely declined. It’s not that I don’t think they are fun, or that I don’t want to, it’s that I know they are not something I need to be involved in.
Here are a few reasons why Run Streaks aren’t for me:
I Have an Obsessive Personality
It took me several years, but I finally was able to admit to myself that I have a slightly obsessive personality. There is good side to it – I always follow through, for the most part, with what I set out to do. It allows me to be extremely goal oriented and focused when I have a specific task at hand.
The down side to it of course, is that I will do whatever it takes to make something happen. If I tell myself I am going to run every single day then I have a tendency to do it – regardless if my body is telling me to stop. I’ve been injured several times due to this, so I have to make it a focus to keep it in check.
That being said, you can see why committing to a run streak isn’t a good idea for me.
I Know My Body
I’ve gone through periods where I don’t take a rest day. Sure, I loved it but in the end it always left me burnt out and tired. There are amazing people out there who can do this without a problem (i.e. my husband) but I know my body and I know that it doesn’t respond well.
My running focus outside of the mental peace it brings me is usually towards a race or goal. Running extra miles on a day just for the sake of saying I ran is a quick way to get myself worn down for my important workouts and runs.
In the end, I have learned and now know what works for my body.
I ENJOY My Rest Day
It’s taken me a few years but I have come to the place where I truly enjoy my rest days. They are days where I can take the focus off running and really focused on recovering. I know my body responds best to having at least one rest day a week and I look forward to it.
Always having a running goal can leave you mentally burnt out some days, and by adding this one simple day in each week can make a huge difference in my mental health.
I Like to be Able to Adapt When Necessary
As I mentioned earlier, Sunday morning I was worn down and decided it just wasn’t worth slugging through 5-6 miles. I like being able to have the freedom to take a extra rest day on the rare occasion when I need it.
If I was participating in a run streak, it would be added pressure to forgo listening to my body and just doing it for the sake of keeping on task.
Should you avoid run streaks? Absolutely not. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be done, I’m just saying they aren’t for me. I think it is important to be in tune with yourself and your body, especially when training and working hard. Some people do great with running every day, and some people don’t. One person is not any better than the other; they are just doing what they know works for them. Run streaks can be great at getting someone back on track and staying motivate. They are perfect for some, but not for me.
It’s take me many years to come to terms with this, but it has also given me a lot of peace knowing that I am training for my body.
Have you done a run streak?
Do you ever find yourself trying to mirror someone else?