Ever heard of a running streak?
Put simply, a running streak is when you run every single day. Runners who hold a run streak are called ‘run streakers’, and they are part of a growing community.
Running streakers don’t just go unchecked however, there are actually two official run streak bodies. The Streak Runners International (SRI)(est. 2012), and the United States Running Streak Association (USRSA) (est. 2000).
These bodies narrowly define a running streak as running “at least one mile (1.61 kilometers) within each calendar day. Running may occur on either the roads, a track, over hill and dale, or on a treadmill.”
In this article we will take a deep dive into;
- The running streak community,
- some big names in the running streak world,
- and the dangers and benefits that come with running every day.
Ready to learn more about how to complete a running streak, and this niche in the running community?
The Running Streak Community
Where do fellow running streakers go to get inspired, share their successes and struggles, and feel part of a community?
There are some pretty active running streak Facebook groups.
The Streak Runners International has a Facebook group with 5.7k members.
And the Runner’s World Run Streak Facebook group has a whopping 40.5k members!
These groups, especially the Streak Runners International group, generate a lot of engagement. If you join this group, expect daily running updates, obstacles, and success stories from fellow run streakers.
The Streak Runners International and the United States Running Streak Association
These are the two official run streaking bodies.
Ownership of a running streak, either active or retired, entitles you to a SRI/USRSA membership.
Once that streak reaches a year in duration, you then qualify for SRI/USRSA listing of your streak.
What does it mean to have your run streak listed?
Well, you’ll find your streak on the website’s official run streaks list which is divided up by country and is continually updated.
The SRI and the USRSA list 1,773 total female streaks and 2,935 total male streaks.
That’s a lot of streaks!
The 11 Running Sreak Rankings
Run streaks are divided into 11 ranking categories by the SRI and USRSA and are classified in terms of years spent running.
Here they are:
- The Hills (50+ years)
- The Coverts (45 to < 50 years)
- The Legends (40 to < 45 years)
- The Grand Masters (35 to < 40 years)
- The Masters (30 to < 35 years)
- The Dominators (25 to < 30 years)
- Highly Skilled (20 to < 25 years)
- Well Versed (15 to < 20 years)
- Experienced (10 to < 15 years)
- Proficient (5 to < 10 years)
- Neophytes (1 to < 5 years)
Why Do People Run Every Day?
But is this enough of a reason to run every day?
To find out what really motivates streak runners, I asked the Streak Runners International Facebook group this simple question:
Why do you run every day?
Here are some responses I got from the community:
- “I started running a month into lockdown. At first it was a chance to get a few minutes to myself everyday. After quite a bit of time, my streak became something in my life I could feel in control of. I knew I was going to, at bare minimum, accomplish my run. It was and has been something predictable during such unpredictable times.”- Carolyn
- “I run for those who can’t.“- Cheryl, 7 year run streak.
- “I run because I can, and I want to earn my beer.”- Alex, 1122 day run streak.
- “I run for my mental health. I started as a 40 day challenge and just kept going. My running gives me the focus to tackle what life throws at me.” – Rachel, 1364 day run streak.
- “The first day I don’t run the next day it becomes that much easier not to.” – John, Retired streak 31 years, current streak 12 years.
- “The date I started coincided with my sister’s birthday so the date is easy to to remember and meaningful. She’s proud of me and that helps drive me.” – Dawn, 3 year run streak.
Some Big Names In The Running Streak Community
Did you know that are some running streak celebs out there?
Jon Sutherland and Lois Bastien each hold their gender record for the longest run streak, and they are both still active.
70 year Jon Sutherland holds an impressive streak record of 19,878 days, that’s 52.23 years- the longest in the world!
Jon spent his career in the music industry and was the top heavy-metal journalist in the US for over a decade.
Canadian runner Lois Bastien’s run streak amounts to 15,098 days or 41.34 years.
Lois is 84 years old retired hairstylist and also a great-grandmother.
Here’s some advice from Lois Bastien
If you’re in the market to start out on a run streak endeavor, you should probably listen to the pros. Here is some top notch advice from Lios:
2. Stick with it: “Don’t give in easily,” she said. “Make up your mind and just do it.”
3. Take it easy: “If you are not feeling 100 percent, don’t cancel your workout, just hold back a little bit,” she said. “If you are used to running 3 miles, maybe only do 2.”
The Dangers of Running Every Day
Benefits though there may be, running every day isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
Here’s what he told us:
“Running every day is dangerous when the degree of overload is too high.
When the frequency is set to daily, the other ‘FITT principles’ (Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type) that govern exercise need to accommodate that to ensure we’re not overtraining.
That means reducing either the intensity, time (duration), or type of training that we do.
If you don’t adapt your FITT principles, and running every day increases your total running volume, you could be placing yourself at an increased risk of injury.
Pounding the pavements every day may lead to overuse injuries caused by repetitive trauma. These can include stress injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments, or even stress fractures.”
How Do You Know If You’re Overtraining?- 5 Signs
A 2015 systematic review of injuries in runners found that the risk of acute injury increased when weekly running volume exceeded 30-39 miles for women and over 40 miles for men.
You are obviously more likely to hit this mileage if you’re running every day.
Physically there are a number of signs that you may be overtraining. These include:
- You are having trouble sleeping or are experiencing sleep disturbances.
- Your resting heart rate is higher than usual (particularly in the morning upon waking).
- You feel ‘under the weather’ or like your immune system isn’t at full strength.
- You are more tired than usual, or you are generally fatigued.
- You have a loss of appetite or reduced appetite.
Why Should Runners Take Days Off?
Rest days are important.
Your body responds to exercise by becoming stronger and more efficient if it’s given the time to adapt.
Harder training days followed by rest days or active recovery (easy) days, are the safest and most productive way to improve your running and to keep making progress.
An ‘appropriate’ amount of training varies from person to person and depends on a variety of factors, including genetics, training history, and approach to training.
Although, if we don’t give our body the appropriate amount of time to recover, we give it little opportunity for physiological adaptations to take place.
According to running coach Jack McNamara, these psychological adaptations include;
- an increases in blood volume,
- an increase in mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell!),
- and an increase in muscle fibre.
It is crucial for runners not to view rest days as ‘time off’, but more accurately, as an essential part of training.
How To Run Every Day- 5 Tips
If all the drawbacks of maintaining a running streak haven’t put you off, and you are determined to run every day, here are some things to keep in mind.
1.Get the right shoes.
If you’re running every day, finding the right shoe for you is crucial for keeping injuries at bay.
2. Do easy runs.
Pushing hard on every run will not only increase your risk of injury, but it will also make it harder to stay motivated. Consistency is the aim of the game, so don’t make it more complicated.
3. Get the right clothes.
4. Motivate your friends to join you.
There’s no better way to keep you accountable than having a running buddy. Not only will you have more fun, but you’ll be less likely to skip a run- you can’t let them down!
5. Mix up your route.
Doing the same route over and over can be dull.
Of course, it is good to have some trusty favorites up your sleeve, but mixing up your route is a great way to keep running interesting- especially if your plan is to run every day.
Are you a running streaker looking to treat yourself for all your hard-earned miles? Check out this t-shirt…
Or are you interested in discovering more nooks and crannies of the running community?
Check out these articles!