I do a lot of things I shouldn’t when it comes to running. I run too many races for a start (10 marathons and above in 12 months, whoops) and I sometimes run on a niggle when I know I shouldn’t. But running every day without a rest – that’s not something I can get on board with.

This is the time of year when the runstreak becomes a thing. Hashtags appear on social media encouraging people to run every day for a month. While I’m all in favour of getting more people running more often, encouraging beginners and helping people learn to love running – this is not the way. It’s neither a sensible approach to training or a way to build a sustainable habit.

Now there are some people who run every day for more than a year. Good for them. Ron Hill has been running every day since December 1964. You can’t help but be impressed by that. Well done Ron.

trail 1

But just because Ron Hill does it, it doesn’t mean it’s a healthy way to approach running for the masses. Ron Hill may be in his 70s now, but he’s a professional athlete – he was the second man to break 2:10 in a marathon, he was European marathon champion and he held world records across several distances. The man has form and years of sensible training in his legs.

I believe that training should be individual, and tailored to the athlete. It should be flexible and not rigid and prescriptive. Encouraging people to run every day is none of those things.

By committing to run every day and not give your body time to recover, you’re signing yourself up for an increased injury risk. You’re making running a chore and something that you HAVE to do – which won’t help it become more enjoyable. And when the time comes that you miss a day – because most people will at some point – you’re likely to stop altogether.

Many people are motivated by making a commitment and declaring publicly that thy’re going to do something. Of being part of something. So sign up for a group or a club and commit to training with them. Sign up to a race and commit to a plan.

If you’re a beginner, declare that you’re going to run three times a week, or complete a 5k by Christmas (you totally have time by the way). For the rest of us, October, November and December are a time to chill out. This is the off-season for most of us who have been training for races throughout the summer. I know a lot of people don’t like to take a break from running, but a break is exactly what you need. It’s a time to allow your body to recover, repair and get stronger.

I have plans for the winter. I’m going to get back to swimming – I’m aiming to go twice a week. I’m going to do yoga more regularly and I’m going to write myself a strength program and get strong in the gym. I’m committing to things that will make me a better, stronger runner, and I definitely won’t be running every day.

2017-06-23T07:39:29+00:00 1 October 2015|

9 Comments

  1. Amy October 1, 2015 at 4:36 PM

    Very sensible, I’ve never signed up for the advent running for these reasons. I think committing to something like this takes the fun out of it and you start running for all the wrong reasons. A x

  2. Amanda October 1, 2015 at 6:22 PM

    Very sensible indeed. But then it loses the appeal of using hashtags and being part of the in-crowd, which is a motivational factor for many of the new runners. Might not be the most glamorous thing but I think your approach is more sustainable. That said, I have nothing against working out every day, as long as you exercise different muscle groups.

  3. heather October 1, 2015 at 9:13 PM

    I agree with you, I know some runners who run everyday just so they can log miles for social media. I take rest days and it helps so much. Thanks
    bakingrunner.blogspot.com

  4. Tess @ FitBits October 2, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    I got caught up in the flurry of excitement for this after seeing a post in a Facebook running group and hastily signed up and declared on Twitter I was doing it ‘to see how much my body tells me to fuck off’.

    Incidentally, I chose to go to the gym instead of running yesterday and today I’m having a rest day because the DOMS from my 2day mega-sesh would laugh in my face if I tried to run.

    I can’t run every day, never have been able to and never will. I’m just a sucker for a 30day challenge but you’re right, it’s a quick way to get an injury so I’ll stick to my 3 runs a week and behave!

  5. Jane October 2, 2015 at 12:24 PM

    Totally agree!

    I have been becoming more aware recently on social media of the advent of running streaks – with people asking what the minimum distance per day should be etc.

    I’ve been running for several years and I’m pretty sure that my body wouldn’t thank me for upping my running from 4 – 5 days a week to every day.

    It worries me that if very much beginners are drawn in, they will end up injured and then they will be with the people saying running is bad for you! It would be far better to commit to running parkrun + one or two other runs a week. Or walk every day….

    http://amilerun.wordpress.com/

  6. Clementine Buttercup October 2, 2015 at 4:23 PM

    Wise words. I’ve been guilty of putting so much pressure on myself when it comes to running. Running on a niggle or when ill are a recurring theme but after having to pull out of another race and forking out a lot at the physio, I’ve finally seen the error of my ways. I need to think long-term and rather than running just for now, I need to use it as one of myriad tools in my arsenal of being healthy and fit in the future too.

  7. Rebecca October 3, 2015 at 7:23 AM

    I think this is very valid. I simply don’t think I enjoy running enough to do a streak and think it would completely turn me off running. I already struggle when I HAVE to run when training for a race and crave the time when running is something I can do because I want to, not because I have to.

  8. […] A fellow blogger posted a blog recently how she is NOT going to do this month’s challenge as it is makes you prone to injury and is not necessarily a good motivator to keep running. This is something I totally agree with, but I feel I need to run every day this month. My base is good for Marysville but my legs need as many miles as possible if they are going to survive November. […]

  9. Sarah October 5, 2015 at 12:17 PM

    My body would be broken if I ran every day. I picked up an extension of my Achilles issue yesterday on a 10k and I won’t run to Wednesday.

    Eep.

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