What I Learned by Running Every Day for Over a Year
by Ryan Orilio
Editor’s Note: Ryan is a local runner and member of The Sneaker Store Run Club. He’s an educator, Boilermaker Ambassador, canine lover, graphic designer, and asset to the community. You can find him at Wednesday night runs, local races, or running around town. You’ll be able to identify him by his superb sunglasses collection. Ryan is often the first to volunteer his expertise, helping us out with all things tech and design. He has big ideas, cares about his community, gives generously of his time, and we certainly appreciate having him contribute to our blog collection, too! (P.S. We agree with him that his wife is pretty awesome, too!)
Have you read about those folks who have completed run streaks of thousands of days, over years and years. I am NOT THOSE FOLKS. But I did run every single day of 2017, and even though it’s a year ago that I stopped my run streak, I have some take away that I thought I should share.
First, a run streak is WAY harder than I thought it would be. I ran 380 days in a row. No days off, no cross-training-only days. I made an agreement with myself to run a minimum of 1 mile each day. Seems pretty easy right? Well I thought so too. And I was wrong. A run streak is not easy. But I found that the hardest part isn’t the actual running, but instead, the making it work within your schedule. Finding a time every single day to run was tough. I am lucky to have a wonderful wife who was so supportive of my running every single day. She and I scheduled vacations, dinners, and more around my finding a time to run. It wasn’t easy, and it took a toll on some things that we did. She was my biggest supporter, and I would not have been able to complete my streak without her. The PR (personal record) was a great motivator.
In reality, aside from the support that I had from my wife (who is awesome by the way!) There was something else that kept me going. Once I hit about a month of days in a row, I didn’t want to break my streak. You know why? Because everyday when I logged my runs in my app, I got another little achievement saying “longest run streak ever”. It’s honestly such a silly little thing, but that was something that kept me going. Because I knew that I wanted to get all the way to the “360 day run streak” achievement!
Making my goal public helped me keep going. I had done a podcast interview with a friend at the start of 2017. In the interview he and I talked about our goals for the year. One of the things that I mentioned was trying to run streak through the entire year. And since I had made that goal public, that was something else that kept me going every day. I knew that I had said it out loud, so I could be held accountable. I didn’t want to be the person who says something and then doesn’t finish it.
There’s always someone to run with. Literally. Over the course of 380 days of running, I ran with all sorts of different groups of folks. Friends, acquaintances, local run clubs, and more. It was never difficult to find someone to run with. I didn’t run every day with others, but many I did. We have a really vibrant and friendly running community in our area. There are some of us who take advantage of that on a regular basis. If you’re not one of those folks, just remember that there is always someone who is willing to head out for a run with you. Just look to social media, your closest run store, or the local run club. I guarantee you’ll find a partner to run with, and likely make some great new friends in the process.
Anyone can do a run streak. A year-long streak is nothing more than running today and then doing the same thing tomorrow. You can run today. It’s very attainable. Don’t think about tomorrow or the rest of the year. Just run today and don’t worry about tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, then decide again. I encourage you to give a run streak a try. Start with one day, then 2, then 5, then more. I think you’ll get into it way quicker than you think!