If you thought your training regimen touches upon the obsessive, then you haven't heard of Mark Covert of Lancaster, California. Now 56 and honorary chairman of the U.S. Running Streak Association (USRSA), Covert has run never missed a day of running in the last 38 years. According to the USRSA, a running streak is defined as, "running at least one continuous mile within each calendar day under one's own body power (without the utilization of any type of health or mechanical aid other than prosthetic devices)."
Covert's streak began 14,114 days ago as a 17 year old just out of high school. Last July, he set the new record for the longest consecutive running streak according to the USRSA. Currently, there are 61 runners who have running streaks of over 25 years. Jon Sutherland of West Hills, CA, trails Covert by only 307 days. After a visit to the USRSA website, I discovered 21 year old, Joel Pearson, from Mead WA, who has a streak of over 12 years which means that he has been running everyday since he was 9 years old!
Unlike these "streakers" who obviously don't mind a routine, many of us struggle when it comes time to wake up and go for a run in the morning. By creating our own simple routine or ritual, it becomes easier and easier to leave a warm bed and start running. Before your next early morning session, try gathering all of your clothing and equipment together in one place. This will help you get dressed and out the door faster and prevent wasted time and energy searching through the dark for your things. I have even found that measuring out my energy drink mix into my water bottle, on the eve prior, is a huge time saver. I wouldn't consider this behavior, "compulsive", as one could argue about the aforementioned athletes, but I do endorse a certain degree of preparedness to boost motivation. At the very least, try hitting the snooze button 1 less time tomorrow! Rise and Shine.