You have to run at least one mile a day if you want to start a so-called running streak.
But streak running is by no means a newfangled trend.
In the meantime, daily running has established itself as a sporting challenge in the scene.
But not everyone is aware of the effects of this running challenge.
Therefore, in this article you will find the pros and cons of streak running.
Streak running as a running challenge
No matter whether old or young, on the street or in the forest – wherever the eye looks, there are currently crowds of runners everywhere.
No wonder, after all, one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to do more exercise.
In addition, the ongoing corona pandemic has sparked a veritable running boom.
In times of closed fitness studios, swimming pools and crossfit boxes, classic endurance training is more popular than ever.
The search queries on the topic of “running” have increased significantly since the outbreak of COVID-19.
In addition to the usual questions about how best to start jogging, what needs to be considered and what benefits running has for the body, answers are also sought to the question of whether it makes sense to run every day.
The search results are mixed:
If you type in “run every day” on Google, you will find tons of websites that explain what is known as streak running.
The term can best be translated as “running series”.
Streaming is about running on as many consecutive days as possible in order to start a series that will last as long as possible.
The idea of making daily running a sporting challenge originated in the USA.
In Germany, the running challenge is particularly popular at the turn of the year.
Runner’s World’s annual January Challenge is designed to encourage participants to lace up their running shoes every day.
The rules of the United States Running Streak Association (USRSA) are simple.
Run at least one mile a day.
On the other hand, it is completely unimportant where this distance is covered.
On the street, on a running track, on a trail, or on a treadmill.
The main thing is that you are out and about every day.
However, this running movement is quite controversial among experts.
On the one hand, the right balance between stress and relief plays a decisive role in your own training success.
On the other hand, such challenges can also increase motivation, possibly even arouse one’s own ambition.
The advantages of regular endurance training
Reduce weight, reduce stress, stay healthy and fit.
There are plenty of reasons why it makes sense to run regularly.
Repeated endurance training triggers adjustments in the different functional systems of the human organism.
Those who run regularly train their cardiovascular system.
The heart muscle gets bigger after each running session.
So you can pump more blood through your body at the same time with one heartbeat.
This stroke performance is called “cardiac output” in training science.
It tells you how much blood your heart can pump in a minute.
A trained heart muscle also leads to both a lower resting heart rate and a lower stress frequency during endurance training.
So while the heart rate of untrained people increases quickly, that of trained runners increases much more slowly.
So after a short sprint you will never again be panting in the light rail that you almost missed.
But running doesn’t just strengthen the heart.
Your lungs also benefit from regular endurance training.
The body requires a constant supply of oxygen.
Of course, the following applies: the faster you run, the more oxygen you need to be able to supply your muscles with energy.
For this reason, most of the time you breathe through your mouth during fast tempo units.
Continuous exercise optimizes your breathing economy.
Your lungs are then able to take in more oxygen from a constant amount of air.
However, in order for your body to adapt to the endurance training, it needs time to recover from the training sessions.
The principle of supercompensation
This adjustment process is based on the principle of supercompensation.
It says that after a training stimulus, the body not only restores the old performance level, but also increases performance over the course of regeneration beyond the original level and maintains it at this level for a certain period of time.
Let’s take a closer look at that.
As a runner, you do muscle work.
The heart pumps faster so that your muscles get enough blood.
The body’s own cell power plants – the mitochondria – work at full speed to produce enough energy.
And your musculoskeletal system gives full throttle so that you don’t have to give up exhausted during your run.
This creates small hairline cracks and microtraumas in your muscles, which the body has to repair before it can process a new training stimulus.
An increase in performance only takes place in the rest phases
But instead of restoring the muscles to their original state, your body repairs the musculoskeletal system in better quality.
With wise foresight.
So you are perfectly prepared for more intensive training loads.
Systematically planned regeneration days are just as much a part of a training plan as longer runs and speed units.
The principle of supercompensation is shown schematically: After a training stimulus, your performance initially drops before it increases after a phase of recovery
The danger of streak running
So streak running is pure poison for your own training success.
Because it disregards the principle of optimal design of stress and relaxation and thus inhibits important adaptation processes.
Without sufficient regeneration, you will find it difficult to constantly increase your own performance.
In addition, you weaken your immune system through this constant stress.
After all, it’s running at full speed to repair the damage it caused while running.
Every day that increases your streak creates additional stress on the body.
In response to this constant tension, the levels of cortisol in your blood rise.
The body’s own stress hormone is not only responsible for food cravings, but also makes you much more susceptible to pathogens.
Ambitious runners in particular should take a critical look at streak running.
It is well known that the foundations for an upcoming running season are laid in winter.
The training here focuses on slow endurance runs.
Due to the low temperatures and the often snow-covered or frozen roads, many runners forego speed training during the dark season.
If, despite everything, you take part in a streak running challenge and run every day, you risk two things.
On the one hand, there is no good performance development without the right amount of regeneration.
This jeopardizes your goals for the further course of the season.
On the other hand, you risk mental exhaustion.
Because if you run every day at the beginning of the year, you may already be fed up with your running training in the spring.
The greatest danger of streaming, however, is overloading the entire musculoskeletal system.
As a rule, your own body has to get used to the regular running loads over several years.
If the running lengths are increased suddenly, inflamed Achilles tendons, overloaded knees or sore calves then quickly quit their job.
And there is nothing worse in a runner’s life than grappling with an unnecessary injury.
Read more: No more injuries: 11 tips to prevent injuries
The greatest danger of streak running is certainly the mental exhaustion that results from daily running
To be enjoyed in moderation
However, daily running is not all downside.
A sporting challenge like streak running can motivate beginners in particular to lace up their running shoes regularly and convince themselves of running in the long term.
For old runners, on the other hand, streaming can be a welcome change in the competition-free time.
For streak running, however, you should definitely set your own rules of the game.
The United States Running Streak Association provides clear guidelines, but they go far beyond the running-crazy mind.
Because regardless of whether it is bad weather, injuries, illness or other circumstances – nothing should prevent a streak runner from running every day.
Do yourself a favor and do not fall into the typical American higher-further-faster mentality, but enjoy daily running as long as it is good for you and your body.
Do not develop a false ambition to prove something to yourself or even to break the streak running record.
The Briton Ron Hill, who has taken a well-deserved break from running for health reasons after 52 years and 39 days, holds it.