A Run a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Interviewer: Will Lind | Interviewee: Jody Fischer
Image © / Dollar Photo Club
Streaking is a favoured Australian running tradition usually reserved for cricket pitches, bucks parties and footy grand finals. If getting drunk and nuding up is what you need to get running, we’re talking here a variation of streaking that might not be of much interest. If running for health and happiness is more what you’re about, then here’s a type of streaking that more of us should get involved with.
Streaking is running. Every day. Without a break. Ever. Your streak is the number of consecutive days you run without a break. It’s a growing international movement and where a coach usually prompts for rest days and time away from running, the influence here is to get you up and moving. But it seems to work wonders.
Jody is an Australian ultra runner with some admirable ultra distance ambitions who doubles as a streaker on his recovery days (because he still runs, even just a touch). I’ve known Jody for a while and have quietly followed his streak record, which sits at over 430 consecutive runs. I reached out to Jody for a written interview because I reckon we can all gain some inspiration from his efforts, and I feel it’s a movement that’s worth spreading.
WL: I love running. I really do. But every day. Like, literally, every, single, bloody day. Without fail. Why Jodie, why?
JF: It all started when I decided to start training for an ultramarathon. When my Coach did up my training plan, which was to start in May, he mentioned that a guy he knows does this event in June called “Run for the Sun” in which you run everyday in June for a minimum of 1 Mile (1.6km). He asked if I was keen on having it on my training plan and I said, ‘Sure thing’.
Any rest days that were scheduled during that month were just basically the minimum 1.6km (in which I would mostly do 2km). At the end of June I had totalled around 310km and really enjoyed it so I asked my Coach (as any good student would) if I could continue it on during my training. He was stoked and said yes but emphasized that rest days needed to be the minimum distance only and no more.
So it has really just continued on from there as the goal then was to get to 2 months then 3 months and so on.
WL: I’ve been stalking, erm, I mean following you through social media so I know where you’re up too but for the Functional Running readers, what are your current stats?
JF: As of yesterday, which was the 13 August, I’m currently up to Day 439 and a total of 4207km which is around 9.58km per day on average. I’m gunning to hit the 10km per day, which isn’t far away, but it is a bit harder getting that average up as the days get higher. While I am currently training for the Glasshouse 100 Miler, I’m slowly getting up there.
WL: Do you have an end goal? Is there supposed to be an end goal here?
JF: Honestly, I don’t have an end goal at all besides to keep the streak going for as long as possible and to also stay injury free. I do actually think that running everyday has also helped me stay injury free as the body now knows the routine whereas if you have a few days off from running and then head out for a decent one, the body wonders what’s going on and I think the risk of injury can be higher.
WL: Can you take us through the positive impacts streaking has had on your life?
JF: I only really properly started running last May when I started training for the ultramarathon. Before that I was just running randomly here and there and doing it all wrong and came out with a few niggly injuries that halted me for up to four weeks at a time, which is frustrating.
The positive impact it’s had on my life is obviously getting fitter, healthier and knowing what our bodies are capable of achieving. It has made me a better person in my relationships with others, my girlfriend and kids, it really helps me (during the run) to process a whole heap of stuff in life whether it be dealing with issues going on, planning my day, thinking about people and what I’m going to do after the run/the next day/week.
Also having dealt with depression a couple times and I still think I feel that way at times but running is a great reliever of those symptoms and the feelings you can get associated with mental illness. One of the biggest things is it helps me deal with my emotions in the sudden loss of my Mum a few years ago. I don’t really know how I would’ve coped with her loss and the ongoing process of grief if I didn’t run and/or was fit and healthy.
WL: What about negatives? I know running can take over and consume too much from our lives. Does streaking have to be like this? How is it balanced with your work and non-running life?
JF: I think the negatives for me is that if I haven’t run that day yet I’m not a standard get up early and run type of guy), I’m constantly thinking of either how and when I’m going to get it done for the day, and it plays on my mind a bit.
I really try to balance the load with my kids and girlfriend. I will try and get big kilometres in during the week while the kids are at school so it doesn’t impact our time together too much. It goes the same on the weekends with my Girlfriend. I will try and reduce the running so as to not affect our time together too much so they will generally just be a rest day short 2km run or we might go for a 5km run together, or do Parkrun if she is up visiting.
As far as work goes, that’s when I usually have a lighter two week block doing anywhere from 50-70kms per week. It does get a bit draining as I do work Night shifts (730pm-730am) for 14 days straight. At the start of my two weeks work I do 2k, 4k, 6k, 8k, 10k as a build while I adjust my body clock and always run before my shift starts as I’m way too buggered after my shift.
I think from a work perspective it is very positive as I am a lot more switched on, focused and energised for my shift and it doesn’t feel as hard as it used too.
WL: If anyone is interested in streaking, what do they do? Is there a club or website? What are the rules and regulations?
JF: If you want to start a streak, the requirement is that you run a minimum of one mile (1.61km) per day. My recommendation is to start slow with smaller kilometres and build from there, it isn’t a lot I believe to at least run that distance per day as its only like 10-15 minutes out of your day. I say to some people that have started and want to take a rest day because they are tired or sore or something that it probably has something to do with what’s going on in the other 23hrs 50mins of your day and the 10-15mins of running will help you deal with the other stuff. Don’t take the easy way out.
I post my Streak on Instagram with various pictures, quotes and stats so you can click here to head on over to my Profile and check it out and keep tabs on where I am up too.
I have yet to register my Streak but there is an Association in America that you can register with but you have to of at least got a streak of 1 year before you can join.
The link is below!