The Runner’s World Run Streak is back, and now that I’m an official member of the RW squad, I’m pretty much obligated to join in the feat of running a mile a day for 38 days—from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.
I loved the run streak when I did it last time. It was 2020, I needed more reasons to get out of the house, and it allowed me to explore new routes and just get more steps in each day. This time is no different; I still need new places to explore and more steps to take. Plus, I get to bring my pup along this time. And it’s been so fun to see her smiling little face while full-out sprinting the entire mile. She also got me to run a mile in under eight minutes twice and both on very cold days. And TBH, I think she not only hit a PR for herself but helped me hit one too.
But the thing is, streaking isn’t really about speed—at least not during the run, even if it’s fun to see how fast Candy girl and I did it together afterward. It’s about consistency and dedication. What’s nice about a daily run streak is that it eliminates the question of whether you’ll run today. The answer is yes. It’s just a matter of when.
I’m very guilty of focusing a lot of my run time on trying to go faster or farther and getting disappointed in myself when I can’t seem to achieve one or both of those goals. This sort of takes some joy out of the journey. But letting go of that brings focus to the simple pleasure of putting one foot in front of the other. It also makes you find new things to look forward to with each mile, and discover new things about yourself as you go. For example, I’ve realized how steep downhills scare me a little because I feel like I might actually do a somersault, and I’ve found I’m much less stressed throughout the day when I get a workout done before work.
All of this is to say that finding new goals, new challenges, new ways to explore an activity you’ve done approximately 1 million times before helps you discover new reasons why you love it. I’m a big believer in setting goals for the New Year—taking a look at the big picture view of the 365 days ahead and writing down all the things (big and small) to accomplish—and I aim to keep this idea of finding new ways to enjoy old things in mind while narrowing down my list.
Also, most of us probably don’t set enough goals based on pure pleasure. But maybe that’s just what we need in 2022—more fun, more joy, more play not just in our fitness routines, but at work and in the grind of the everyday, too.
A few other people’s words about wellness I’ve read (and loved) recently:
Simone Biles. Women marines. Bike mechanics. Stephanie Catudal. What do all these people have in common? They’re on Outside’s list of “The 2021 Outsiders of the Year,” which celebrates people who have broken down barriers to get more people active and outside. I love the mix of inspiring stories and mini-profiles, and always enjoy these types of lists.
If you’re like me, you’re sick of reading anything about COVID 10000 years into the pandemic. However, I keep hearing about at-home tests becoming more available and less expensive so I found this story on The Cut about what to know about these tests informative. And hopefully, this will be one of the last COVID news stories I share, at least for some time.
Mario Fraioli recommended this next story in his newsletter, The Morning Shakeout. In an essay on Tracksmith’s content site, titled “Grateful to Witness,” Devin Kelly wrote about his experience spectating the New York City marathon for the first time, despite running it many other years. If you’ve never watched a marathon, it truly is one of the best ways to boost your belief in the good of humanity and community and see strength in action. I love how Kelly said it made him re-think all the times he felt shame for not hitting a pace while running a marathon. I also loved this part: “We are met, each day, with the various limits of our various individual existences. Maybe life is not about turning inward in the face of those challenges and trying to determine how we can each break those limits. No. Maybe life is about turning outward to acknowledge each person’s daily act of trying in this collectively trying world.” Because marathon runners need the celebration, the cheers, the support to make it through. And we could probably all use that in our daily lives. (Also, Glennon Doyle makes a pretty good case for watching a marathon on her IG.)
The latest updates on the fitness industry:
Lululemon, a previous partner to Peloton, is now suing the brand over sports bra and legging patents now that Peloton is making their own clothes. Read more about it on CNBC.
Nike recently launched “Mind Sets,” a series of programs focused on mental well-being. It’ll include things like a walk-run program with a mental component, podcasts on the topic of mental health, and more. All of it will be centered around the question, “how are you feeling?” rather than paying attention to what you can achieve.
Nike isn’t the only brand bringing a focus to mental health. New Balance teamed up with rapper and actor GaTa to film a YouTube docu-series, Beyond the Run, about his struggles with bipolar disorder and how his journey with running has helped. They also now have a Beyond the Run hub on their site.
Tracksmith started a charity organization, The Tracksmith Foundation, to help bring track & field to more people. They’ll kick off their money-making efforts with a Midnight Mile and gala on New Year’s Eve in NYC.
Here’s one form cue that always resonates with clients…
These words tend to work for individuals I train as an ah-ha moment for feeling stronger in a move or activating the right muscles. In a wall sit, lots of people put weight in the front of the foot, which makes the quads burnnnn. But to feel it in the backside—a bigger muscle that can take on some extra work—shift weight to the heel and squeeze those glutes. Want to turn up the challenge on wall sits? Instead of adding time, try lifting one foot.
One move to add to your exercise routine…
Work balance, improve stability, and better your posture with a single-leg deadlift + a reverse fly. To do it, start standing on your right foot, holding a dumbbell in each hand down in front of you, palms facing each other. Hinge at the hips by sending butt straight back. Keep back flat and shoulders packed down, and lower torso toward the floor while lifting left leg back behind you, leg straight. Pause when you’re about parallel to the floor, in a T shape. Then, lift arms up and out to the sides to shoulder height, slight bend in elbows. Lower arms back down with control like you’re hugging a beach ball. Then, drive through right foot to stand back up. Repeat for 8-10 reps, then switch sides.
For a full workout, try…
The WOD Generator app. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s also the easiest way to get in a quick workout (for free) as it has endless options for bodyweight workouts, often of the high-intensity interval variety. Do a Tabata with jump squats, an AMRAP with burpees and push-ups, or a mix of a bunch of moves you can do anywhere and anytime. WOD will tell you what to do and time it for you too. Easy peasy.
The gear I’m loving to get me out the door…
Running with a dog is so much easier when you have this Nathan K9 Series Runner’s Waistpack with Leash. It fits comfortably around the waist so you can run hands-free. Plus, it has a springy leash that reels the dog back in when they pull too hard (or run too fast). The leash also moves side to side for when your pup is running wild. And to top it off, you get a little pocket to stash your phone, keys, poop bags—whatever you need on the road with your BFF.
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