If you use social media there is a good chance you have come across a person who is in the middle of doing a run streak or some kind of 30 day challenge. First let me just say I commend anyone who does these. It takes a lot of dedication and shows a great deal of commitment. I however do have a slight problem with some of these things.
First the run streak. I have been watching a person who has been doing a run streak for over 200 days now. Everyday this person will post what they have ran. One day I noticed this said person did a run of 1 mile. At first I didn’t think much of it, but then a few days later saw another run just over a mile. This got me interested and I decided to go back and look at some posts and found that there was a fairly large amount of runs that were only a mile or a bit longer. So I started to ask myself does this really count? Yes, you are still running everyday so the streak is still going, but what are you gaining out of only running one mile? There is no answer to this question. Every person is different and will validate their reason for each day. I however don’t really count a run streak a streak if you are just hitting the road to make sure you can post you kept your streak alive. If that is the case then I am on day 12 thousand and something. I am pretty sure that at least once a day I engage in running, it may be to the bathroom, it may be chasing my dog around the house, hell it even may be just to get out of the cold. I am still running none the less. Do you get my point? I think whoever started this streak needed to set some kind of guide line. If someone wants to do a streak let me make some rules for you. Rule number 1- all runs must make you break a sweat. If you are a beginner then sure 1 mile may do that, but by day 200 there is no way 1 mile is cutting it. I want to see some progression. Rule number 2- After you have ran a 5K race you are not allowed to count anything less than 3 miles. And Rule number 3- If you run anywhere over 15 miles you are entitled to a day off that still counts. I know you’re thinking Shaun that isn’t a streak then, well yes but your legs need some rest and going out and running 1 mile isn’t doing anything anyway so you might as well enjoy the day off and still call the streak alive.
This is the sole reason I have never done a streak. Well that and I honestly see no point in them. I know that there is days I would rather cross train than run and some days I just need a rest, but hey to each his or her own. Now onto the 30 day challenges. I really like these because most of them have set rest days for your body to recover, and they are realistic. The results of the challenges are usually noticeable too, which is a great confidence booster and may help the person continue to want to keep working out. I am currently in the final weeks of a burpeechallenge. I will be honest though I have slacked on it because I am also in stage 1 of my half marathon training, and that takes priority over the challenge. I still try to do as much as I can but I am behind most people in the group. I have noticed many of the people are saying how good they feel and that it has become a lot easier for them. Tom the person in charge of the group plans to go right into another challenge for the group. I will try a little harder this time to stay with the group and not fall behind. The only problem I have with a challenge is I think some people use these as their primary way to work out. I have seen a person do a challenge and they feel like that is all they need to do for the remainder of the year. I would like to see more people start with a challenge and then be motivated to do another one or start some other form of exercise. A real positive thing also about doing a challenge is you are usually doing this with a group, and you can all motivate each other. Instead of doing one challenge together make it a monthly thing and choose a different one like Tom is doing for our group. He is not only making himself healthier, but he is making the whole group want to work harder.
So weather you are doing a streak or a challenge I guess the main thing is don’t cheat yourself out of a workout. If you are going to do a streak then do a streak. If you are going to start a challenge then see it through and let it be the beginning of more than just a month of being healthy.