Why I won’t be streaking this year

By , November 25, 2013 12:10 pm

A daily running streak, that is.


I’ve seen a lot of people pledging to do the Runner’s World Running Streak – run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day – and asking if others are going to join them. 

From the Runner’s World site:

We know how easy it is to fall off the running wagon around this time of year. If you’re a training-plan devotee, you might be in the dead zone—your fall goal race is over, but it’s too early to start a plan for your spring goal. If you’re more of a free spirit—you run how far you feel like running, when you feel like it—you might skip a run (or two, or several) after a late night at a holiday party, a day spent braving crowds at the mall, or a long trip to see far-away family.

The streak is a great idea if you fit in to the categories mentioned above – off a plan and feeling lost, or worried that you won’t fit the miles in with the busyness of the season. Or! For anyone looking for a fun challenge. And I think it’s smart to have one mile “rest” days, as they recommend. 

But I don’t think I will be doing it this year, based on what I learned about myself from the running streak I did last year. 

In 2012 I ran every day from December 1 – January 2. I decided to start it on December 2 because I had already run the first two days of the month, and why not keep going? I was also hoping to get more miles in than November*. I was originally just going to run at least a mile a day, but then Slowing Tri-ing set up a 5K a Day Challenge for December and I joined that. And looking back at my posts about the challenge, you would think I would be doing it again this year:

 But there were some not so good parts about it:

I think the big thing, which apparently I didn’t write too much about (?) was that when it was all over, I felt like I had really let go of my endurance, because I was running a 5K**, or not much more, most days. And that was my choice, of course. But in January, I was annoyed to have to build my endurance back up a bit. I like to be able to run 15 milers whenever I want. The way I did** the challenge didn’t keep me in that state. So. Anyway. 

I am hoping my December 2013 will be like a normal month of the year for me – run 5-6 days with at least one double digit run each week. Hopefully lots of fun in the snow. Rest days with no exercise. 

Side note: when I started running (and sticking to it) back in 2007 I found the month of December to be really challenging to fit workouts in. Of course, I was commuting three hours/five days a week, and actually going to stores to buy holiday gifts, and all that. It’s nice now, to have my time management figured out****, and to approach December without the worry of how I will fit it all in. I know I’ll get in what I want to get in!

Are you streaking this holiday season? Or planning out how you will make this busy time of year work for you?

*which typically ends up being a low mileage month for me, following an early November marathon
**I think it could definitely be more structured and still include “purposeful” running (you know, speed work, tempos, etc. – all that stuff I favor “junk” miles*** over), and I could have included longer runs. But once I  had the ” ‘only’ a 5K” a day mindset, that was often all I wanted to do. 
***Junk miles for me = I run for fun. 
****And a WAY more flexible schedule. 

41 Responses to “Why I won’t be streaking this year”

  1. Shelley B says:

    I’m not streaking because A) it’s too much effort to get into my running gear (sports bra, I’m looking at you) for just a stinking mile; and B) my body is slightly broken already (hamstring, I’m looking at you) and I don’t need to tempt fate. Plus, I bet I’d end up like you did, not being thrilled with running.

    • kilax says:

      Ha ha ha! SUCH a good point with the sports bra. I tried out a new one from Amazon this summer, and as soon as I knew it worked, ordered about 8 more. Sometimes I do doubles and I can’t wear the same bra two times in a row w/o washing!

      What’s up with the hamstring? :(

      • Shelley B says:

        I injured my hamstring in September, spent all of October doing PT and not running, and just recently have been able to run, although it’s slow and the hammy is still not 100%. I feel like it’s a temperamental 2-year-old, ready to blow at any moment, and I need to coddle it!

  2. Rachel says:


    I tried it last year and made it about 5 days shy of doing the whole streak. My hip didn’t like it. :)

    I don’t think I’ll be trying again this year. I just want to try to follow the training plan I made for my January half. ;)

  3. Bean says:

    No streaking for me. I usually fail at the streaks for some reason. Instead I am just going to start training for my marathon on March 1st. Ahhhhhh minor freak out happening;).

    • kilax says:

      Do you think you will like training in a warmer climate for this marathon? :) Don’t freak out, you got it! Once that darned cold goes away!

      • Bean says:

        I think warmer will be better. Might mean less treadmill time but I think running on the treadmill helps keep me injury free so we will see. I have someone helping me train so that will probably be the best/most helpful part!

  4. Jen2 says:

    I plan on doing the streak that you mentioned. It helps me to have a goal to work on. My mileage is pretty low anyway so running between 1 and 3 miles depending on the day, works for me. I just need to lace up everyday; no excuses! I’ve been pretty good at finding excuses to not run, so I need this kind of motivation.

    • kilax says:

      No excuses! I am going to be your streaking police! JK. You got this ;)

      Also… streaking is a good excuse to buy more running gear so you have less laundry to do. Good for the environment. LOL. Bad for the nose.

      (Okay, okay, a lot of people say they get double usage out of their clothes in the winter, but mine still are sweaty and stinky and need to be washed. And… TMI*).

      *Like I didn’t make a ton of poop/fart jokes at your house the other night or something.

  5. Steph says:

    I definitely don’t do streaks. When it becomes an obligation to run, it stops being enjoyable. Plus I love to do other activities. Plus running every day =injury for me. Plus I have a marathon in Dec and will need a break afterwards.

    Haha. Lots of compelling reasons for me not to do it. But I can see how it might help motivate people who struggle with that. :)

  6. Michelle says:

    I don’t do streaks…my poor legs couldn’t do it, and HAVING to run would take out the fun/peace/enjoyment. I HAVE to go to work every day…therefore can often ‘dread’ it. I never want to dread running. <3

  7. Mary says:

    I’m on the fence with the streaks.

    How come so many “***” “***” “***” I don’t mean to criticize, but it makes your posts cumbersome to read :(

    • kilax says:

      Sorry, I use all those asterisks because I get completely side tracked and write super long crap in parenthesis that isn’t necessary to be read to get the gist of the post (I hope). So I put it on the bottom if people want to read my side tracked thoughts. ;)

  8. Jennifer says:

    I am planning to do a modified version… There are some days where it just won’t be possible to run a mile (unless I get up at 3:30 in the morning… not gonna happen). So I am more likely to just add that extra mile on to a different day. However, despite the rule of having to run a mile a day, I do plan to still try to do more mileage if the time permits.

    My December mileage is usually insanely low so that’s why I am doing the challenge this year… I do well with short challenges as a way to kick-start something else. My hopes are to translate this to running 5/6 days a week come the new year.

  9. Xaarlin says:

    It’s just a bad idea to run every day. YOUR BODY NEEDS A BREAK otherwise it will BREAK!! Smh. :) no but seriously. No wonder so many people end up with injuries. So many other ways to “stay in shape” during the holidays without possibly compromising your health. So no, I’ll never be streaking. I love being injury free and plan to keep it that way :)

  10. Michel says:

    I’m not streaking. I need to finish school in 2.5 weeks. Then it’s get busy for the holidays. Hopefully new shoes are under my tree but I have to use my spare time for that Wii U thingie…

  11. Amy says:

    I tried the summer one from memorial day to the 4th of July last summer and it was great at the beginning and motivated me for a half marathon at the end of June. After the race, however, I was burnt out and needed a break. I learned that I cannot take running lightly and even on days when I just did one mile, I managed to feel tired and like I pushed myself. Doh…

  12. Kristina says:

    I’ve never tried the streak, basically because I can barely handle 3-4 runs a week! I think that your points are interesting, especially those about losing overall fitness, not something that you’d expect from running every day. I try to focus on quality and not quantity (either of mileage or of number of runs per week).

  13. Heather says:

    No streaking for me!!!

  14. Pete B says:

    Loved this post! I ran something like 65 days in a row to prepare for the Chicago Marathon, but it was only to abuse my legs to get them ready for the rigors of miles 20 to 26.2 not to keep some arbitrary number going. Like you, I missed long runs when I was streaking. I was able to avoid injury by keeping the miles per run low. However, I did feel fantastic running everyday (sometimes twice a day).

    • kilax says:

      Thanks! Did you do that this year, or in the past? Ha ha ha. I love that you say you purposefully were abusing your legs. How many rest days did you take before the race?

      • Pete B says:

        Yes, I sort of follow the Hansons/Brooks method which is all about leg abuse. Yes, it was this year, I did it for my nine week marathon training crash course. I was coming off an injury and only had a short time to prep. I took two days off before the marathon to recover, which looking back on it, was way too little as my legs were tight for the whole race. However, I still BQ’d by 6.5 minutes. To be honest, I had just moved into an older age group which gave me an extra 10 minutes to qualify. Thank goodness! :)

  15. Anne says:

    I thought about it, but I don’t think a running streak really makes sense for me, since I do so many other things besides running and I’m not really lacking for motivation. And I totally agree with Shelley’s first point – it takes me way too long to get ready to go out for a run just to do a mile! And I’d probably be setting myself up for injury or burnout.

    As it is, I usually exercise 6 days a week, so even if I have to cut back to 5 occasionally because of holiday plans, it’s not like I’m not going to be active during the holiday season.

    • kilax says:

      Yeah, I didn’t want to come out and be mean about it… but I was thinking if you already have the motivation, you probably don’t need to do the streak.

      And all that prep for one mile is a total pita. lol

      • Anne says:

        Oh, I don’t think that’s mean! It’s really hard for a lot of people to stay motivated this year, and I DO like the idea of starting now, versus after New Year’s when everyone else does. I happened to start working with Katy during the holidays a couple years ago, and it was super helpful because I figured if I could make good choices during the holidays, I’d be set once life settled down again.

  16. Stephany says:

    I am planning on doing the streak, but am modifying it to be a “1 mile a day” challenge. It kinda rubs me the wrong way that the elliptical “doesn’t count” because activity is activity! So I’m planning around 3 actual runs (which is more like run/walking, let’s be honest here!), 2 days of walking at least a mile, and then 2 days of doing whatever cardio I want (probably the bike!), as long as it equals to a mile of working out.

    I have been so unmotivated for exercise lately, so this may be the kick in the pants I need to get back on the horse and consistently exercising. Plus, I’m finding myself falling into “Oh, what’s another month? I’ll start over in January!” mentality so I need to shape up (literally and figuratively! Ha).

    We’ll see how I do! But I totally get why you wouldn’t feel keen on doing it, especially with how much you are already exercising! Like you said in the comment above, if you already have the motivation, the streak doesn’t make sense. It’s for all us lazy people, ha. ;)

    • kilax says:

      Did it say elliptical doesn’t count in the FAQ? I think Runner’s World has running only in mind, but it sounds like you are doing a workout streak with a goal of a mile a day, which is super great!!!! Are you starting with your 5K on Thanksgiving? :) Keep us updated so we can cheer you on!

      Ha ha! See! I shouldn’t have written that! I don’t think people are lazy! I do know that not everyone enjoys exercise like I do (especially when I use it as a way to catch up with friends). ;)

  17. I’m streaking, but I’m following the same idea that Pete has, so I’m just switching my rest days (1-2) to be 1 miler days. January marathon…

    Plus I am interested in seeing about my willpower. I usually crumble after a “streak” of plankaday type of things, so I’d like to challenge myself mentally as well on doing this!

  18. I’m still on the RW Run Streak from Memorial Day to July 4th (2012), so, yeah, I’m streaking. 540+ days and counting.

    Everyone always assumes that I’m hurting myself, but honestly, I feel great… I just have to do laundry WAY more often :)

  19. Erin says:

    I’ve had the worst time motivating myself to run now that it’s dark out and I don’t have anyone to run with. Also, I’ve just been so busy that I haven’t been making time. But I need to get my mileage up if I want to PR at a spring half marathon! So, I’m doing the RW’s streak. When I do the super-short ones of a mile or two I’m doing them on the treadmill to force myself to go slow and then I just hop off and do some body weight exercises (planks, push-ups, tricep dips, etc) so that I didn’t put on workout clothes just for 10 minutes :-)

    • kilax says:

      Good luck! It is time to start planning for that spring marathon PR ;)

      That sounds like a good plan to do the short runs in the gym then follow up with some strength!

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