Saturday, June 17, 2017

#RWRUNSTREAK HALF WAY CHECK IN: The Good, The Bad and The Sweaty

Are you running the Runner's World Summer Run Streak? The run streak is a commitment to run at least one mile from Memorial Day until the Fourth of July. I've been posting my daily runs on Instagram and using it to stay motivated and connect with other runners on the streak. Are you on Instagram? I'd love to follow other fitness enthusiasts!


I wrote a post over on my Lea Genders Fitness blog about how to stay safe and sane during the streak. Spoiler alert: use common sense (or is it uncommon sense?) and listen to your body to make sure you aren't risking injury or burnout by running every day for 37 days straight.

The secret to success is to run as many one mile days as you need and run those miles slow so that your body has time to recover from your harder and longer runs. I also say that walking your mile is also acceptable if your body needs rest, although the official Runner's World rules say otherwise. Be a rebel. Do what you want. A Runner's World official isn't going to jump out from behind the bushes to issue you a citation for walking.

So far I've been averaging three regular runs and four one mile runs each week. I have a calendar on my fridge that I have been using to track. You can download it over on my blog.



THE GOOD

The run streak has been great for me in rebuilding the running habit. I hurt my shoulder last year and the swinging arm motion irritated my shoulder, so I took a long time off of regular running. I would run occasionally, but certainly not every day and not even every week. The first week back to running was hard, but lacing up my shoes every day really helped me stay on track.

Knowing I had to put in the mile for the run streak took the decision making out it. I knew I had to run every day whether it was one mile or five, so I built the mental habit quickly. There was no "I don't feel like it today" which would have likely happened a lot if I was trying to establish a running habit again without the streak.

The good news is that running does not seem to be hurting my shoulder like it did a year ago. I'm back, baby!

Five days into the streak I was visiting family in Pittsburgh and knew that hotel treadmill would probably get me through the weekend. One night I got caught up talking to my sister all things Walking Dead (get 'em Daryl!) and realized it was after 10PM. I almost dropped the streak but she helped me by agreeing to follow me up to the hotel gym to keep talking while I pounded out a mile on the treadmill. Great sister, right? We get up to the gym and it's 10:05 and the gym closed at 10. Ugh. Then she pulled the best sister act ever. My sister, the weight lifter, not the runner, agreed to run a mile with me through downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday night at 10pm.

It was during the Art Festival so there was a still lot of activity downtown at that hour. We ran the mile and we both felt so great that we ran a second mile. Sister to the rescue!

THE BAD

My legs are tired. I mean T.I.R.E.D. I don't know if it's the heat or just 20 days running in a row. I am foam rolling and stretching. Right now, they just feel tired, not really sore and definitely not hurting, so I will keep going. I'll just pay attention and be sure to listen to my body. I may to adjust to even more one mile slow days to make sure I am taking care of my body first. 

THE SWEATY

I live in Texas. Oh yeah, it gets hot and humid here. I've been running at 6PM when I get home from work, which for the first two weeks was fine, but it seems the temperature has started to intensify and is now trying to kill me. I had a couple of bad runs in a row (heavy legs, high heat, high humidity) and it might be just what I needed to make the switch back to morning runs.

I love morning runs, I just can't seem to remember that at 5:30am when the alarm goes off. Next week I'll make the switch (pinky swear I'll actually do it this time) and see how I feel. 

So are you running the streak? Have you ever run a streak? As a running coach, I think that as long as you do it safely, by keeping your mileage and intensity low on most days and listening to your body, it can be a great way to ramp up motivation during the summer.




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Keep Running,

Lea

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5 comments :

  1. "Be a rebel. Do what you want. A Runner's World official isn't going to jump out from behind the bushes to issue you a citation for walking." That made me giggle. Love it!

    I don't think I could do the run streak. I would get burnt out very quickly. I have to have variety in all my fitness endeavors or I get so bored!

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    1. I'm ready for it to be over lol! I'm enjoying it but will be glad when it's done!!

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  2. I also am being a rebel. I am not doing a running streak :P Maybe someday I will, but I just feel like I would hurt myself running every day and I don't want to just run 1 mile. Plus I'm in training now, so I need to focus on that :)
    I'm glad you're doing it and enjoying it though--it definitely takes grit!!

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    1. Ha ha. That's what my husband says, he could never just run one mile, that once he started he wouldn't want to stop--- but the key to a run streak is to do a lot of one mile days so that you don't get injured or over-trained! So needless to say he's not doing it with me. But yes, your training is more important, this is just for fun!!

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  3. I haven't missed or walked a single day. :) There have definitely been days when my legs have felt tired, but overall I'm feeling pretty great about it.

    Last year, I ran or walked every day in a different location. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. The streak snuck up on me this year, so it's been mostly the same old route every day.

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