When I saw the post on Runners World a few weeks back promoting their run streak (#RWRunStreak on Twitter), I was immediately interested. The premise was to complete a run of at least one mile between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. I'm already running 4 to 5 days a week, and it's only a mile for the "off" days, so why not?
Why not? First and foremost would be my history of injury. In the 3+ years I've been seriously running, my calves have given me problems. And it's not relegated to one or the other. I went to a Physical Therapist in Fall 2009 to treat a bad right wheel, and just this past June, I injured my left calf. So I was wary about ramping it up to a 7-day per week schedule.
But after 2 weeks, the results are encouraging. For 2 of my formerly off days, I'm running an easy 1.5 to 2 miles, depending on the route (I like to mix it up a bit). I cut back my Friday morning run from 3.7 to 3.25 miles, since it follows my long Thursday tempo run, and I added an easy 3-miler on Saturdays to prep me for my Sunday long run. I've found that my heart rate is actually better now than it was when I was running 4 days a week. Meaning, I can keep my heart rate around 70% more consistently.
It's to the point where I'm considering doing a 7-day schedule after New Year's, just because of the cardio benefit I'm getting. And it defintely should help as I prepare for the Rock & Roll DC Half in March and the Philly Marathon (most likely) in November.