By Mariah Cressy, RPM editor
Happy Almost Spring, RPMers!
Obviously, since we live in Michiana, we can’t be sure we don’t have one more snow storm in store for the following months, but every ray of uninterrupted sunshine is a literal ray of hope for this athlete.
My last article in print, you may remember, was an interview with my husband about his running streak. I’m proud to say, both he and I have continued our streaks (running at least one consecutive mile every calendar day), but he has tacked on another facet to his count — since October 17, 2017, George has run his mileage without a shirt.
I completely agree that it sounds silly — like an excuse to run half-naked, which no one really needs when it’s summertime. But did you take note of that date? George started this streak heading into the winter months.
Now why would he do a thing like that? That’s exactly what I asked, as I was getting our winter hats, gloves, and running cleats out of storage. George had recently finished a book titled What Doesn’t Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength by Scott Carney and was taken by Carney’s argument — that we need to test our bodies and get them out of their comfort zones to rev our immune systems and keep them functioning at the top of their games.
So George took to keeping a new kind of streak, running without a shirt. And yes, that streak continued through the Polar Vortex of 2019 when wind chills were -45°, though I insisted I drive next to him in the hopes he’d change his mind. When asked, George claims three main reasons he started and continued his streak:
- It’s a challenge;
- In case the purported health benefits are true; and . . .
- It keeps running interesting.
But that’s not the point. Perhaps a mile in the (probably still to come) freezing cold sounds crazy and unnecessary to you (as it does me). In our own health and fitness pursuits, we each likely has an area of our training in which we can push ourselves.
What part of your training this spring could you make a concerted effort to improve? Is it your nutrition that could use a boost in the more nutritious direction? Or perhaps cross-training a few times a week could round out your overused muscles’ groans. Or maybe you could start routinely warming up before your rides.
Turning whatever you peg as your pursuit into a streak could add some extra push to your efforts. Starting and keeping a streak creates buy-in — you’ve gotten this far; what’s one more day? Just make it a part of your routine, and before you know it, a month will have passed because you’ll have been focused on accomplishing the day to day of your training cycle.
You’ve got this! May your streaks be long and your injuries nonexistent! Happy spring training, friends.