It wasn’t long ago that I was sharing Jon Howard‘s challenge for the month of August to run or walk a mile each day of this month. A number of you guys have joined the challenge with me, and hopefully y’all are still going strong.
Now that we are on the 13th day of the challenge, I need to be honest with you guys–I hate run streaks.
This is the 3rd or 4th time that I’ve done a run streak, and I’m still not a fan! My legs feel heavy all of the time, and it takes longer and longer for them to loosen up when I’m doing a real workout instead of just getting in my mile or two for the day.
I’m not sure how some people manage to streak for years, because for me, 30 days is pushing it.
Of course, I could be doing some of these things to help the legs stay fresh….
Keep Your Legs Fresh During Your Runstreak
Admittedly, I only do these things sporadically. Every time I do them, however, my legs feel pretty good for a couple of days.
However, I do them monthly at best, so they don’t really help me on my streak.
Maybe that is the secret of the multi-year streakers, regular maintenance.
- Massage–Over time and over many miles, we as runners develop adhesions within our muscle tissue that prevent the fibers from smoothly gliding past each other. As you run you cause micro trauma to the cells, the fibers aren’t always able to realign properly during the healing/recovery process. Pretty soon, the fibers can’t move properly and everything just feels “tight”. By massaging those muscles regularly, you help to break up those adhesions, and encourage the fibers to realign properly. If you can afford regular massages, that’s great. But if you’re as cheap I am, invest in a quality foam roller or a good stick, and you can get really good self-massages at home.
- Stretch–There is no scientific proof that stretching helps with anything. That said, regular stretching helps to improve the range of motion that allows you to move freely while running. Regularly stretching after running is a great way to help lengthen the muscles used while running, and can help reduce the chances of developing a number of overuse injuries. In addition to regular stretching, a regular yoga practice is great for runners as well.
- Cross Train–An easy cross training session after an easy recovery run can do wonders for your body. My favorite method is to jump in the pool and just move my legs for 20-30 minutes. I’ll do some pedaling, some standard kicks, some butterfly kicks–the point is to just keep moving. The lack of impact and the low intensity helps the body bring nutrients to the muscles to help them repair as quickly as possible. If you don’t have a pool, and easy bike ride, some time on the rowing machine, and elliptical training are all great options as well, just keep it real easy.
This Might Be My Last Streak
I like the idea of running everyday, but it’s not as enjoyable for me when I put it into practice. It almost becomes more of a mental burden than anything else, and that really sucks the fun out of running.
I’m going to keep going with the challenge for the month, but come September I’m going to be taking a few days off.
For those of you that are streaking with me this month, or who have done so in the past, what are your thoughts of run streaks? Do you feel the same way that I do, or does the routine of daily running actually make it easier for you?
Let me know how you’re doing, and if there are any other tricks I should try to make it through the rest of the month with my sanity in one piece.
And maybe, I’ll actually try your suggestions, instead of mostly ignoring my own advice even though I know it works!
Join my Tribe!
There’s always room for more members of the tribe!
The Facebook group is still small, but it is a great way to connect with fellow runners and foster community amongst like minded individuals. The email group is THE way to stay up to date about future guests on the show, as well as getting some other freebies and offers that aren’t available to anyone else.
If you’ve got questions about either/both, just let me know!