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Most runners try to run four or five days a week. Unless we are in serious training for an important race, missing a day or two every so often is not the end of the world. However, there are runners who will stop at nothing to get a run in everyday. To these runners keeping the daily “streak” alive is extremely important.
According to runeveryday.com there are four people that have run for more than 40 years. The longest active streak is Mark Covert, who began his streak on July 23, 1968 and has been running everyday since! Wikipedia has an interesting article on Ron Hill who has been running everyday since December 1964. That is nearly 46 years!
I think that the most amazing thing about Hill’s streak is that this streak includes a period during which he was a very competitive runner. In fact, in 1970, he ran a 2:10:30 at the Boston Marathon. The training necessary to run this fast is extraordinary and it is unbelievable that he never had to take a day off due to injury.
This brings me to a word of caution about streaks. I guarantee you that Hill has run injured many times during the last 46 years. Due to sheer luck and great genetics he has been able to heal from these injuries despite refusing to take a break. If you are thinking about starting a running streak, or are currently in the middle of the streak, please be careful about keeping the streak alive. Running on a sore achilles can result in a torn achilles, and training on a pulled or strained hamstring can damage that muscle for life. The bottom line is to be smart and don’t allow your streak to put your running career in jeopardy.