Gone Streaking?

Ginger

Ginger

Jinger has written 109 posts on Salty Running.

One of the original Salty bloggers. Runner since 1999. I enjoy the simple things in life, such as laughter and hugs. Pizza isn't bad either.

Streaking

Photos of runners are boring. Photos of streaking runners are not! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In addition to my official running resoluion, my boyfriend James and I made an unofficial resolution to streak together. No, it wasn’t to see who could run naked the furthest without getting caught, although I guess nudity is an option!

Many streakers claim that they didn’t intend to start a streak, it kind of just happened. Then after a year or so of streaking it became a new challenge to see how long they could go without missing a day of running. My guy already has some street cred in that his longest streak is close to four years, set during the periods of high school and college. As of this writing, my current streak is at 37 days. Prior to that, my longest streak was 36 days.

And since streaking is on my mind, I’d like to share a few tips in case you decide you’d like to challenge the longest current streak in the United States, which is held by one Mark Covert, who has been running every calendar day for:

44.47 years. Yes, nearly 44 and a half years of running at least 1 mile a day!

The parameters of Covert’s and other streaks are set by the United States Running Streak Association (yes, there’s an actual association!), which defines a streak as running at least one continuous mile (1.61 kilometers) within each calendar day under one’s own body power, without the utilization of any type of health or mechanical aid other than prosthetic devices.

English: Japanese-Streaking

Does it count if your pants are still on your legs? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As my streak continues, I’m trying to become more aware of how I feel while running and more importantly, how I feel after running. I’ve noticed that there has not been a single run in which afterward, I felt horrible. In fact, even when it was a hard run, I’ve always felt more relaxed and sometimes even able to focus better on other tasks. Once it even cured a headache! Sounds like a magic pill, doesn’t it? Well, consider me sold on theories about running endorphins as a daily medicine. This type of mindset surely makes streaking more possible.

But just as every pill has side effects, so does streaking. Critics argue that running without any rest days can lead to injury and burnout. Word on the message boards is that streakers are obsessive and too extreme. I could see taking things too far if you were on the brink of injury when you started your streak. Let’s say you are 40 days in and are experiencing the symptoms of a stress fracture. Well, the obvious answer would be to stop running. It’s only 40 days. And once you heal, you can start over.

Robert Opel streaking at the 46th Academy Awar...

Wowzers! Is that Nekkid Pre? No, it’s Robert Opel streaking at the 46th Academy Awards ceremony. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, what if you were 40 years in and experiencing the symptoms of a stress fracture? A bit tougher, eh? For Julie Maxwell, the decision to stop was heartbreaking when her 33 year running streak ended after a fall. For the other legends, like Mark Covert, it becomes easier to run through pain when you are on a streak. The key, they say, is easy running. Which leads me to my first tip for holding a running streak.

Easy Days

Just as easy days are the bread and butter of a good training plan, so are they the bread and butter of a running streak. Running easy allows the body to recover from the hard workouts while still buiilding the aerobic system. Typically, easy running is based on feel. When one runs by feel, it ensures that the body will appropriately recover and minimize injury. And if you are on the brink of injury but don’t want to ruin your streak, it helps to run easy until you’re pain free.

Streakers

They must have just finished their run (Photo credit: oscar alexander)

Solid Foundation

According the USRSA, you could run a mile a day for the rest of your life and get on their list. But what would be the fun in that? It’s likely the one mile rule is reserved for those with years long streaks who just got out of hernia surgery. You see, the majority of the streakers have years of training under their belts before their streaks officially began. When you make running a consistent and almost daily routine, you become stronger and build that muscle memory, making it easier to try streaking.

Runner, Know Thyself

With consistency comes the ability to learn how to read aches and pains. The more you run, the more you learn. Many streakers develop a keen sense of body awareness, thus likely experiencing a higher pain tolerance. After three years of pretty consistent running, I’ve noticed a better ability to read what pains are a red flag and what pains can be rubbed out with a foam roller or awesome ART specialist.

 

Now, I’m no expert, but I know that with only 37 days under my belt, I’m bound to face some challenges. However, this little streaking challenge has helped me better appreciate each and every run so far this year. And as time goes on, I’m sure there will be fine lines drawn between a daily routine and an obsessive compulsive disorder. But keeping in the present moment, I’m enjoying this magic little pill called running.

What’s your longest running streak? What types of situations could potentially ruin your streak?

***

Hi! We’re taking a week off from posting new material to spend time being slugs and hanging with our families and friends. We’ll be rerunning some of our favorite posts from last year instead. This post originally ran on January 21, 2013. For what it’s worth, my streak ended after 45 days. But an even bigger streak to end this year was Mark Covert’s!

9 Responses to “Gone Streaking?”

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  1. Salty Salty says:

    There should be excused days off as part of a streak so people don’t do stupid things like run the day after giving birth :)

    In other news, this post makes me want to be a nerd and check out my logs to see what my longest streak is!

    • Salty Salty says:

      119 days in 2007 and 131 in 2011 I had a 1.5 mile day when I had a bad fall in 2011, otherwise I ran at least 3 miles. I doubt I would ever do much more than that. I like my down time :) Now I need to go do 10 productive things for wasting that time! Ha!

      • Ginger Ginger says:

        Nice streak! As of last night, James’s short lived streak ended due to a bad cold. He said, “screw streaks.”

  2. Mint says:

    Not me. I need my weekly rest day to keep my sanity. Once in a while I go longer, but my typical streak is only 6 days.

  3. Amanda says:

    I’ve never done a running streak. I think rest days are really important and value their place in my training so a streak has never really appealed to me. I’ve heard of other people doing them and they sound impressive but I don’t think they are for me. Good luck with yours though.

  4. Cilantro Cilantro says:

    I love this – I’m inspired to run at least 1 mile a day (much more on most). I think my active recovery days would benefit from a mile of super easy running (especially mentally, as those days KILL me).

    I wonder, however, does pool running count?

  5. 6packmomma says:

    I started at the beginning of 2012 with streaking and lasted 60 some days before I had to stop due to an intense injury. I was then hit and miss for a few months, even took an entire 4 weeks off of no running at all. Then on Memorial Day I started back up and so far, I haven’t stopped yet. So as of today I’m 240 days in. I’ve ran in some pretty fun and unusual circumstances just to get my mile in. Not every step or run is easy, but I get it done!

    Great post!!

    • Salty Salty says:

      Awesome! Mind sharing some of those unusual circumstances? Sounds like you might have some good stories:)

      • 6packmomma says:

        My most unusual one (for me) was last fall. I failed to get up early in the day to run and had an otherwise busy on the go day. That evening I headed to an out in the middle of nowhere haunted house with some of my kids and friends. In theory I had plenty of time to do the haunted house, get home and still run. It might have been 11 p.m., but I have been know plenty of times to scoot out of the house at 10-11 p.m. and go run a quick mile. When we get to the haunted house there was a looooong line and it was very cold. I stood there jumping around at first, then jokingly said to my friends….”I should go run. It would warm me up.” Insert awkward pause and weird looks from friends (not unusual). Then I realized how true my words were. So dressed in jeans, converse sneakers, a tshirt, warm jacket and regular bra I took off and looped around the haunted house until I had completed 1 mile. It was dark, middle of nowhere, etc., but I got it done. So glad I did because once we got done and back to my car there was a big hoopla with my keys missing, yada yada, lots of drama and before everything was figured out, keys back in my possession and I finally get home it was well after midnight.

        Another most memorable was the day of the men’s Olympic marathon. I had just completed in an 8 hour ultra the day before and completed 46 miles. Fair to say I was exhausted and it hurt to move my eyelashes. But being a true running/marathon fan I was determined to get up and watch the race live. I watched the beginning then decided to take off for a “quick” mile thinking nothing would happen while I was gone for a mile. Did I mention that EVERYTHING hurt. I still took off and am pretty sure I kept saying “ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow” the whole entire mile. But I got it done! And lo and behold during that mile run is when the 2 American runners pulled out of the race. I walk back into the house, see the tv and had a complete WTH moment. It was just 1 mile. 1 I’ll never forget.

        Currently I’m getting lots of runs done in sub zero temps. What keeps me going? My streak!

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