Can I run daily? Can anyone do streak running?
Valuable information to know and understand before you set a goal to do streak running
Every runner in their running journey would have heard peer runners talking about or doing streak running. Some do 5K for 50 days, some doing a marathon for 100 days, and all kinds of consecutive days running.
Is streak running any good? Can everyone do it? Are there benefits? This article intends to throw more light on streak running and how you should approach it if you plan to do it.
Running is one of the sports which looks the easiest but the hardest that many do not understand well.
For a not-so-well seasoned runner, running would be hard on the body, joints, and muscles. The recovery may take longer. For a seasoned runner, one may feel comfortable running most days a week. The recovery may be faster due to adaptation over the years of running.
Either way, when you run daily, you overuse certain muscle sets and joints in your running that get the most load and may cause injuries or stress fractures. It means that recovery and rejuvenation are essential before you run again through proper WU (warm-up) before the run, CD (Cool-down) after the runs, along the right nutrition. In most cases, after a hard run, a supplemental protein is suggested to recover the worn-out muscles. You may add a bit of carbohydrate to ensure the glycogen store is replenished to give you the energy for the rest of your day.
Let's take a quick look at what it means to run daily, and let's review both pros and cons. Let's say you want to run 10K daily for 100 days. Don't scold me if you are not that kind of a runner yet. Even I don't run like that. So, don't worry. I am with you. :-)
1. It takes somewhere from 50 minutes to 70 minutes to do a 10K run depending upon how seasoned you are in running (you may be much faster, but you don't want to run that fast in your streak running!). Add 20 minutes for both WU and CD for that run. Maybe 10 to 15 minutes for the commute. It means you spend about 80 minutes to 100 minutes for your daily workout. Think of your time affordability to do so.
2. Running for a week or two vs. running for months has a huge difference. In the initial days, your body may take in the load from all perspectives. But over the days, your body would start to wear out if you do not focus enough on rest, recovery, nutrition, sleep, hydration, and diet. They all together can take out the joy of running in most cases, if not in all cases.
3. Weather conditions are not same always. Sometimes, we force ourselves to run in the rainy weather, causing sicknesses. Not that running in the rain is always harmful because you may do it once in a while. But remember, because you are running daily, it may turn detrimental. Studies show that our immune system weakens for a few hours after a tough run. For a few, it even takes several days for the immune system to be fully back to its original state.
4. If you are a recreational runner, you have your daily life to take care which also may demand adequate energy in your system to feel energetic. If you don't recover well from your runs, you may feel drained with your energy for your daily activities apart from running.
5. If you can make time to do other cross-training apart from your running, you are better off. Or else, you are sure susceptible to injuries. I can guarantee you that unless you take regular sports massages to recover well.
Ok, enough of the cons. Are there any advantages to daily running?
Well, daily running is unquestionably beneficial to your overall health if it is only for a short distance of 2K. It improves your cardiovascular health, strengthens your muscles, and improves your overall fitness. You can do a pre-workout or post-workout along with that running workout or do another cross-training at a different time of the day.
If you are going for longer than 2K distance, you should definitely be aware of the cons that are called out above and address them as part of your daily running.
For records, you should also know this. There have been people who have proven anything is possible. For example, Ron Hill ran consecutively for almost 52 years, before he stopped running because of the pain that he felt in his heart. He won Boston Marathon in 1970, ran it in 2:10:30. These are extreme athletes who lived for the sport of running, in my humble view. They all showed, with the human spirit, anything is possible. They broke all human barriers.
A clear running goal comes a long way to improve your health and wellness. You can always come up with the best running goal for yourself by considering other life priorities of your life.
Streak running is doable, but with shorter distances and for a considerable number of days. You can always experiment and see what you find for yourself if you are inclined towards doing streak running.
Always remember this as a runner - We never want to outrun the joy of running.