This year I was intending to run every day until November. In 2015 you’ll remember that we met Ron Hill in Lincoln and were inspired to follow in his epic footsteps by embarking on a runstreak for a year.
We both managed 62 days in 2015 – I even PB’d at the Rockingham 10k in November – and continued into January, February and March without a hitch, and surprisingly managing to fit running in every day without it really being a chore. Sometimes it was only a mile, often it was longer, and I seemed to be getting fitter and faster and stronger. The only spring race I had was the Liverpool half marathon, where I knocked 4 minutes off my PB, but my parkrun times remained unremarkable. Attempting a runstreak with my husband, Dan, also meant we could motivate each other to keep going.
However, in April, my body told me to stop. I wasn’t injured, but on day 167 it was just time to have a rest. So I took a day off, did a parkrun the next day, and then took an entire 5 day break from running. I volunteered at a race later that month to stay involved in my running community.
And then, as if by magic, the PBS really started to happen …
Newark parkrun course PB at the end of April
Nottingham 10k in May 50:52 (previously 50:55 November 2015)
Woodhall Spa 10k in June 50:43
I then had a couple of “off” races at Leeds and York 10ks but you can’t expect to PB every time.
Parkrun overall PB in September 23:36 (previously 23:47 2015)
I definitely think my 167 day runstreak strengthened my legs up and gave me a good base fitness. However, I also now appreciate the value of at least one rest day a week as well as a couple of easy runs in addition to my training. I’m amazed at how the PBs have kept coming. I do regular track and hill training now, and I run on average 5 times a week, sometimes less, sometimes more.
Whilst I wouldn’t consider another runstreak for myself, I’ve learnt a lot about myself from doing it and I’m supportive of those who want to try it for themselves. I also know a lot of people who have been successfully runstreaking for many years and post great race times. It’s just not for me.
Things I learnt from my
- It’s easy to run every day. The legs get used to it after about 3 weeks.
- By slowing down on recovery days, you can avoid injury. Don’t try to smash every run.
- Some days you don’t want to run, but your legs are as tough as your mind.
- Increased miles on the legs meant I got quicker and stronger. Practice makes perfect.
- Once I stopped running every day I got quicker still. Bodies need rest. Find that balance.
- There are so many different types of runs and routes – it never needs to be boring.
- Running shoes wear out quickly. And I was always washing kit.
- It becomes acceptable to wear kit 2 or 3 days running.
- Even after a 4am start and a 16hr working day, there IS ALWAYS time for a run.
- Rain/cold/snow/hailstorms – they’re just excuses. Skin is waterproof.
- You learn to listen really closely to your body which, as a runner, is a fantastic skill.
- Dry shampoo is the best invention ever. Stock up.
So if you’re considering a runstreak to start the year with, just remember to listen to your body closely to avoid injury and overtraining, and let me know how it goes!