Running everyday is not for everyone. It requires a lot of consistency, patience, and practice. Lots of us have to keep going back to square one to pull it off. I must’ve tried more than five times to try and earn my first 100-day streak on Smashrun. Novice runners should be especially careful, because lack of training and/or lack of adequate preparation can easily result in injury. But running everyday is doable, and the key to keeping the streak alive is finding the right balance between the quantity and the quality of your runs.
Start easy. Progress gradually. If you’re new to running, it helps to keep your distances short. Or, better yet, train by time instead of distance. For example, you could set a goal for yourself to jog or run 20 minutes/day this month and move on to 3 km/day next month.
If you find yourself breathing hard at every run, you’re overdoing it. Our bodies are very good at adapting to certain physiological stresses, given enough time. If you can only get your 20 minutes of jogging/running by walking every 5 minutes, then you should walk every 5 minutes! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that 🙂
It’s all about moderation.
Speaking of… learn to adjust intensity
Plot out a schedule. Stick to it. Rest is a key component of every training plan. A novice runner would have a difficult time logging 5 km/day for 30 days without any “off” days. So how do you give yourself enough time to recover during your streaks?
- maximize your rest periods – if you ran at 8am the day before, consider running at 5pm the day after or aim for (at least) a 24-hour rest period between runs
- shorten your distance or duration – run a mile to recover on some days or cut your average duration by at least half
- pace yourself – slow down; try running your usual Long Slow Distance pace
you’ll only become better at doing something when you’re able to understand how well you’re performing over time
Ideally, you should have at least 3 days with real easy runs when you start out and always err on the side of caution. If you need an extra day of rest. Take it. Running everyday will also be tiring so you’ll have to keep an eye on what you’re eating. Aim for a balanced diet with simple and complex carbohydrates and protein. Not to mention, getting enough sleep is just as important.
Need more details on nutrition? This Runner’s World training guide on Nutrition for Runners is a great starting point!
A long-term training schedule
Quantity is a given when you’re running everyday. Quality can be a little tricky. If you throw in a hard run, you’re bound to be tired the next day. Every hill run would mean tomorrow’s run will feel a little stiff in the beginning. Ugh.
How do you look forward to each run when you’re tired from the day before?
- try running on different surfaces such as grass, trails, tracks, and on a treadmill – it’ll prevent overuse injuries and your legs will love you for it
- make it a “destination” run – go out of town for a change of pace or run at a different park than your usual
- set a goal and register for a race – go for a 5k, 10k, half, or maybe even a full marathon; it’s guaranteed to introduce changes to your routine, but it’ll also give you something more to look forward to!
- create a new running playlist – it works wonders
- track it – because you’ll only become better at doing something when you’re able to understand how well you’re performing over time
- remember to reward yourself – it’s probably not cost-effective to get a massage after every hard run, but it’s sure nice to have it once in a while when you know you’ve earned it! Remember what I said about ensuring proper recovery? This probably isn’t a bad time to mention that it’s nice to sleep in on some weekends or enjoy a casual jog to offset that mean interval you just did.
Every runner has a different reason for running everyday. Some do it to to stay on top of their training, others use it to prevent a “runner’s block.” Of course, there are also those who would say that running everyday is bad for you. As I mentioned, streak running is not for everyone.
Here’s the thing: running is a pretty easy sport to begin, but keeping it up isn’t. Luckily, you don’t have to run everyday to really stick to it – running every other day or even every two or three days is just as good.