Quality is not an act; it is a habit (Aristotle)

Deb Runs

The title is one of my favorite quotes. I think consistency is one of the most important qualities a runner can have.

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
–Steve Jobs

When it comes to fitness, I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity. It’s why you won’t find me doing a run streak, 100 pushups a day, or any sort of challenge of that sort.

It’s important in food, too. 100 calorie snack pack vs a banana? Which one will leave me wanting more, and which one will satisfy me?

Don’t get me wrong: when it comes to food, I love a sweet as much (or maybe more) than the next person. I also know that sweets don’t keep me full. They may taste satisfying in those first few moments, but ultimately, they’ll lead me to want to eat something else (and probably something sweet) because they don’t fill me up.

And if it doesn’t taste great, then I’m not going to finish it. I don’t care how much I paid for it, better in the wastebasket than on my waist.

And speaking of that banana, I’ll usually pair it with some almond butter for some healthy fat and a tiny bit of protein to keep me feeling full longer.

Let’s get back to fitness, and more specifically running. Did you know that every workout should have a purpose?

Tempo runs: increase your stamina

Long runs: time on your feet/endurance

Speedwork: to increase speed

Easy runs: maintain your aerobic fitness

Remember, I’m not a nurse, doctor, or running coach and that is a rather simplistic list, but you get the idea. I feel that when I go out for a run, it ought to have a purpose, and that purpose isn’t to keep a streak alive.

If you want to streak and you find it helpful — many runners do — I won’t argue with you. We are all an experiment of one, and while I’ve never tried a streak, I don’t think it would work for me: too time consuming and too easy for me to overdo it and injure myself.

Do you feel your streak runs are quality runs?

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30 thoughts on “Quality is not an act; it is a habit (Aristotle)

  1. While I myself am just new into a run streak you do have a lot of good points thing to say. My need is to add more tempo runs and speed work. I always have the easy run, long runs and a bit of hills in between handled I could use the rest. As for my streak I feel it’s a not that demanding. On my non run days I hit the gym and do weights with a soft one mile warm up before anyway so the only thing I have added to keep it alive is my one rest day a week has become a 1 mile on the treadmill rest day. This is no problem until injury rears it’s ugly head. Now I am resting and recuperating with 1 mile a day everyday. If it does not heal though I realize I may have to forgo my streak for my health.

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  2. If I didn’t work and lived in a warm climate, I might consider a run streak but not here. Not enough time, the weather in the winter is prohibitive. I like running 3-5 days a week.

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    1. If you lived in a warm climate, the weather would be just as prohibitive in the summer. Which is exactly why I had a treadmill in the first place!

      Because in Austin, it’s 95+ from May through October. And humid.

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  3. No run streaking for me. I would hate to have running feel like a chore and lose the quality just for quantity.

    As far as food-i too have to make those decisions over taste good right now and quality fuel for my body. Those sweets taste so good at the time though!!

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  4. I totally agree about streaking and never will. 3 days a week of running are usually my thing, and very occasionally my coach puts a fourth run on my plan. Honestly, I love three quality runs and then some cross training. It makes my weekly workouts much more interesting.

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  5. Judy, what a great topic to write about today, right? I personally am not a fan of the running streak either but I see how they can be helpful to some runners! For me, being able to walk the next day and take care of my kiddos is more important than a streak!

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    1. Luckily I have no kids (or unlucky, I suppose, depending on your view), but I do have the furkids and Lola needs her walks. Except lately it’s been too cold, although we finally got out for a short one yesterday. She shivered through it with a sweater and a coat on!

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  6. As you know, I have done a few streaks, but they have been very short-term (usually around 35 days)….and I’m always glad when they end. I’m a huge believer in 3-4 runs/week and nothing more, but the streaking gives me a brief change of pace (no pun intended) and confirms that the daily running is not for everyone. I’m glad to see most people are in agreement 😉 Now about those sweets…..I’m hopelessly hooked on the stuff.

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  7. No streaking here! I can’t imagine doing the 100 push-up daily challenge that’s popular right now. Ack! I do think it’s important just to go run sometimes without much thought or purpose. But then again, the purpose becomes clear — it’s the love of running.

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    1. If I only run because I loved running, I probably wouldn’t be racing, because that’s why my runs have purpose — training for a race.

      When I’m not training, then I don’t have a plan for the most part. Which is why I take an off season when I do just that.

      I’m kind of surprised, though, it seems to me streaking would suit your personality!

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  8. I think you can consider a run streak quality if it’s purpose is to help you establish a routine or to help you keep a routine during the holidays. That’s the key – it has to have a purpose. You make a great point that every workout should have a purpose, and I’m so glad to see you agree that easy runs do have their own purpose.

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    1. Although it seems to me that if the purpose of the streak is to keep you moving during the holidays why not just have an exercise streak instead of a run streak? I would think that would be so much better for your body (and when I say you, I mean the royal you).

      I also think it kind of depends on why you run, too.

      Most of the year I’m training for races, and for that, my runs have a purpose. But when my big goal races are done I take an off season and then I just wing it.

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