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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Streaking: The Disadvantages

This is a follow-up post to what I started last week, as I ruminated about my 100 day streak. So, without further ado:

The Disadvantages

For me, the primary downside to streaking can be summed up quite concisely: I found that I often sacrificed quality for quantity. Or maybe I shouldn't even say "quantity." Perhaps "consistency" is more accurate. In short, I ran every day, but I didn't run far and I didn't run fast.

There are those runners out there who can streak and put in quality runs, but that wasn't me. I seem to be able to do one or other, but not both. When streaking then, my running energy and mojo had to be focused on the very simple task of running every day, just getting it done. This was fine for the summer months since I had no races on the calendar and no real concrete running or training plans, so just getting the running done was good enough. But, now that it's fall and I have a few races in mind, I didn't feel I could continue to streak and train.

The other principle disadvantage to streaking was that, at the end, I began to feel burned out.

I think this was because I'd been working with the same goal for 100 days -- run every day -- and I'm one of those people who needs to change things up just a smidgen every 3-4 months with a new goal. Plus, it's nice for me to have a little space between those new goals, so it was restful for me to end the streak and take a few days off before resuming my running again.

And for your info, I took 4 days off last week, and then began running again on Saturday, and right now, my primary goal is prepping myself for my Halloween HM (which I am currently feeling very under-trained for).

So, there weren't very many disadvantages for me, and I'm fortunate to be able to streak for 100 days and avoid injury. However, while the disadvantages were few, they were still significant enough that I couldn't picture myself continuing the streak beyond those 100 days. Last week, on day 101, I was more than ready to rest!

24 comments:

Viper said...

I think I would be the same way with the lack of quality. It's hard to get up the motivation to go fast and/or far when you're more focused on just getting out there every day. That said, I'm contemplating a streak myself. Cheers!

Jamoosh said...

I would have to think Norah (through no fault of her own) would be an advantage sometimes and a disadvantage at other times. Either way, it's impressive you got out there with her in the baby jogger so many times.

Lily on the Road said...

You so deserve the rest and you crazy girl a Half Marathon in three weeks? ME TOO!

teacherwoman said...

Good points! Thanks for sharing!

Marlene said...

This is exactly why I know streaking is not for me. I NEED my rest in order to put in those long and/or quality workouts.

Sounds like it was a great learngin experience overall. Now good luckwith your HM training!

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

We have some similar feelings to this long term streaking thing. Today is day 150. I just don't know if there will be a 151 with my ultra on Halloween. I may want/need to be off my feet a bit.
It does come down to goals and what a person wants more. Today I want to improve my 50k time more than I want to reach 200 days.
Tomorrow will tell.

Lisa said...

i only took one rest day in my run/walk adventures last month and that was enough to make me feel burnt out. i can't imagine 100 days of running...

TNTcoach Ken said...

I hear you, those days when you just go through the motions are the worst....

Katie A. said...

I think I would be the same as you: quantity over quality - and I'm pretty certain that is what kept you injury free.
You'll be back to your old fast self for that HM in no time!

aron said...

I think I would be the exact same way. Its hard to get quality in when you are just worrying about getting out the door every single day. I look forward to my rest days after some hard workouts :)

Andrew Opala said...

cool - I actually need a change of goal after 3-4 days!

You are awesome!

Heather said...

I think not changing things up would be hard for me too - I like to have something new to work towards and think about. Still, what a great accomplishment.

ajh said...

Hope you enjoyed your well deserved rest and I agree that changes keep it interesting.

BrianFlash said...

When I do three days in a row, it is a 'streak.' My body just doesn't hold up well to running everyday - four or five days a week is just fine.

Congrats on the streak but it is more important to just keep running consistently!

lee said...

I can't run a week without getting burned out. I'm still in awe that you did it for 100 days.

Her Name is Rio said...

Silly me...I was thinking a disadvantage would be the increased laundry! LOL. That's just me because I am always so BEHIND in getting laundry done.
Good luck on your HM prep!

X-Country2 said...

Interesting. There's no way I could run for 100 days straight. I'd forget around day 33 and be screwed. :o)

marmot ski said...

It's nice to hear that there weren't very many disadvantages for me, and I'm fortunate to be able to streak for 100 days and avoid injury.

Krissy said...

The half marathon will be a breeze for you I think. It is all mental and you have it in you after this past 100 day streak you did!

Runners Passion said...

In training you must have consistency and variation. Consistency doesn't necessarily mean you have to run every single day but more days then not obviously. Variation means you have to put in the quality workouts (speed and tempo and long runs). So in threat of breaking your streak unfortunately you must rest sometimes so that you can definately get in those quality workouts that help make you faster. Good luck!

Jess said...

I think I would struggle with similar things you did with the streak. It'd be hard to motivate myself to go fast when my main goal was just getting it done.

Still props to you on an awesome streak!

N.D. said...

you did great. I think I'd hate running after the end of that.

MCM Mama said...

I've never streaked as long as you did, but I definitely had a similar experience with regard to not getting in enough quality runs when I wasn't taking a day for a break.

Good job sticking with it though and good luck in the half!

Allon said...

Very vital features discussed for streaking.Really what matters is consistency not quantity.

bera