Today I completed my final run of 2016. It was my 369th day in a row, which included the last three days of 2015 and all 366 days of 2016. Achievement unlocked!
My last run was a 17.46-mile run on some of my favorite trails at Lincoln State Park. These miles brought me to 100 for December, which was sort of important to me. Just by chance, I ran at least 100 miles every month in 2016. I like that kind of consistency.
While, as I mentioned before, it may be true that the run streak didn’t really make me a stronger runner and didn’t really add any huge benefits to my running capabilities, I did learn a few things throughout the year.
I can run today.
The day after 32.7 miles at Yamacraw, I ran a mile. The day after 50.15 miles at Tunnel Hill, I ran a mile. All week on vacation in Colorado, at a hotel in Utah after being up since 2:00 a.m. In the rain, over ice, through snow, and while being sick – I’ve run miles. Every day. Without fail. I can run today. Even if it’s only one mile.
There were a few days I didn’t get to it until it was really late. Sometimes that happened because I was too busy. Other times, I didn’t lace up until late because I really just didn’t want to do it. I was tired from a long run the day before – or the weather was crap. But in the end, I did it. 369 times in a row.
Merely running does not a strong, efficient runner make.
Aside from forcing an excellent level of consistency to my running routine, there really wasn’t much in the way of measurable benefits. The “streaker keeper” days when I would just go out and run one mile were really more of a nuisance than anything.
Consistency is key.
I’ve heard over and over that consistency in routine is more important than any single workout. Maybe that’s why I have had one of the most successful years in terms of injury. My IT band hasn’t flared up at all this year, despite running 400 miles further than ever before, and never taking a single full rest day.
This consistency is more important than the streak itself, and I don’t want to let go of that. So, in 2017, I’m going to try a different kind of streak. A workout streak.
Instead of running every day, I’m going to do a low-impact, 10-minute workout every day. Arms, legs, and core in a circuit for 10 minutes. I expect the results from this streak will be far more noticeable than the results from the run streak.
- Every day. I’ll work through a 10-minute circuit every day. Here is an example: 10 pushups, 10 dips, 10 squats, 10 lunges, 10 V-ups, 10 bicycle crunches. Repeat until the timer beeps.
That’s it! Barring serious injury or other unforeseen circumstances, this will be it for the year!
So long, 2016!
This was a great year in many respects, and I’m looking forward to making 2017 even better. Here’s to another trip around the sun!