A blog by runners. For runners.

Starting a running streak

how to start a running streak


The word conjures images of inebriated people running naked through halftime shows at high school football games. With regard to running streaks, the word takes on quite a different meaning. Think back right now: when was your last rest day? For me, it was yesterday – my husband and I opted to take a family walk with our daughter around the neighborhood to rest after our long runs. For you, it might be weeks, months, or even years ago!

The United States Running Streak Association compiles lists of registered running streakers on its website. A streak, as defined by the organization, involves running at least one mile a day on the road or on the treadmill. It doesn’t matter how fast you go either, but you can’t use any assisting devices like canes or crutches (prosthetics are fine). Unfortunately, it only covers runs on land, as aqua jogging doesn’t count.

There are many who take this extreme quite seriously, earning spots on the mighty Streak Registry. As the Washington Post recently reported, Jon Sutherland, 63-year-old music journalist from Sherman Oaks, Calif., just gave everyone a new standard to run up to. His recent jaunt – a simple 3-miler – marked his 16,438th consecutive day of running for a total of 45 years and 2 days. That’s 190,715 miles total (and counting!), a new U.S. record and an incredibly impressive average of 11.2 miles per day.

Let me repeat: This man has run every day for more than 45 years!

I’m sure now you’re scheming for how you might beat John’s impressive feat, but good luck catching up! He’s run through 12 presidential terms – and The Beatles were still cranking out tunes during his early years plodding the streets. Plus, it’s important to note that Sutherland’s has not been a journey free from its obstacles. He’s run through 10 broken bones and two knee surgeries, sometimes limping to get in his miles.

While there are inherent dangers with embarking on a running streak, especially if the activity isn’t taken seriously, these concerns aren’t much more, well, concerning than regular training. John Strumsky, another streaker for more than 20 years, suggests the following methods: Before you start streaking, you should be running on a regular basis for at least half a year. You should not just run, but exercise your entire body – paying attention to your upper-half as well. And you should keep a log of your running efforts to stay in-tune with your body and your plans.

What’s your longest running streak? And could you see maintaining it over the course of your lifetime?

Written by Ashley Marcin.