January 2016 Running: A recap of my #runstreak Journey
As I write this, I am celebrating my longest #Runstreak ever! I started my streak on Thanksgiving day by joining Runners World #RWRunstreak 2015 challenge from Thanksgiving to New Years Day of running at least 1 mile/day every day. There were days where it was a challenge but one way or another I guilted, motivated and even bribed myself to get it done. Now Im looking ahead to continuing and finding myself addicted, if not obsessed with this new “healthy” habit. There are lots of pros/cons to attempting and signing yourself up for such a challenge, beware that once you get started and well into it you will not want to give it up—rain, sleet, sickness or tired, you GET IT DONE.
January is not typically a time of year, especially for midwest that one would expect to see a spike in the miles they run. Enter spring marathon training and BOOM you suddenly find yourself pushing harder than you would have done otherwise. In 2016 I have yet to register for a race, been re-evaluating my goals and enjoying my RUNSTREAK. What happened last year when I attempted a runstreak, I was also in TRAINING MODE, I like to follow Hal Higdon’s half/full marathon training schedule, if you are beginning to look at longer distances I suggest you check it out because they really prepare you for race day.
To help anyone who is thinking of beginning a runstreak, I thought I’d offer some ah-ha tips that I think has helped me be so successful in this runstreak. You can do this and I hope that after reading this you will be inspired to begin your own runstreak and join the club.
Begin when you are NOT training for a race. When you are already in a training program, you have committed yourself and being to sticking to those training runs. Training programs for a race have “rest” days built in for a reason and you do not want to stray from adding additional miles on your schedule in fear of possibly adding injury during your training.
Find a runner and a group (or create a group) of runners to join you. Chances are there are other runners out there who share a similiar goal to you, so find them! Power of the group is huge. Just like those long runs in training, when you are part of a bigger entity it makes it harder to stop.
Accountability and Tracking is important. Tracking your miles, be it pen to paper or posting daily on social media, is essential so just do it. I found that creating images that included the daily miles ran/total miles logged really helped me to keep on track and allowed other runners to see how many miles I was getting in day to day.
Find a 1 mile route from your home. There were days I was home and realized I had not ran yet! A few years ago I realized that from the corner of my house down to where the street ends and back is 1 mile RT. This is my go to “loop” when I want to warm up for doing my home workouts but for this #runstreak challenge it became my go-to on days that I felt like I couldnt get it in. I found that lacing up and just getting to that first stop sign I felt more awake and telling myself that this was a good thing, that the alternative would be feeling disappointed with myself. Having a route that is familiar to you helps because as your runstreak goes on this 1 mile loop will begin to get faster and FASTER! It will feel like you’re putting forth little effort, it is the 1mile you do when you are feeling a little sick, your legs are sore, your body aches or you’ve already done hard work that day.
A slow mile is still ONE MILE. During your one mile loop, just know that IT COUNTS no matter how fast or slow you do it. Make each mile run count though by setting a goal for each run. Here is a short list of ways I would plan out my mile runs: fastest time, focus on upper body form with arms in tight, breathing, foot strike, fartleks, butt kicks, test for running gear and temperatures, create a scavenger hunt while running (how many dogs did you see, houses with decorations, etc) and finally just focus on getting from start to finish however you can get there.
I know that these tips made a difference, the biggest is that I have not yet signed up for a spring race. I know that once I do, my miles will increase but know this that no matter what even on rest days I will be fitting in a 1mile “run” that might be slower and easier in intensity but I now have trained by body to expect it and I know it can handle it. Who knows what lies ahead when I do begin to run longer miles, especially back to back days and on days when I teach group fitness. All I know is whatever I have on my plate, no matter how busy my days get I will be getting out there and running my MILE!
Happy Running friends—let me leave you with this one thought:
THINK YOU WONT MAKE A DIFFERENCE with ONE RUN? You wont make any difference DOING NOTHING.
Reach out if you need an accountability partner when you begin your #runstreak and I will happily cheer you on!