Most runners I know do a pretty good job with eating a good diet as well as with motivating to get out the door for runs. Where we all might fall short, however, is in resisting adding on too much mileage or too much speed. It’s easy to get sucked in to too much of either or both sometimes, especially when we run with others.
I found myself in a tempted situation just last week. Suffice it to say that my long run schedule has gotten entirely out of whack lately. What with the Runner’s World half marathon on Oct. 21, travel plans, and the Baltimore Marathon relay this coming Saturday, I’ve managed to get my long days all turned around. Being one who
loves likes to stick to a plan, this is bugging me.
This past Friday, I planned to run 16 in between two weeks of 20. In getting the run organized with several friends, it became clear that most of them were doing 20. Joining them for the full 20 would put me back on the correct long run pattern, so for a few hours, I considered adding in those extra four miles. But–doing so would have made it my third 20 in a row. I wasn’t so sure I wanted to do this. My legs were feeling a bit tired last week and going for my third 20 in a row? Just didn’t seem smart.
On the other hand, my next chance to run 20 is this coming Saturday at the Baltimore Marathon. My friends and I have two teams put together for the relay. In years past, I’ve turned this run into a 20-miler. So I run hard for my 6-7 mile leg, and then add on the remainder of the miles on the course. I like doing this but will admit that it can be a hard way to do a 20. With the Runner’s World half one week later, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to go with this option either.
In the end, I chose the 16. With the emotional pain of past injuries looming large in my brain, I decided that conservative was the smarter approach. So I did my 16 in a glycogen depleted state, did an easy seven on Saturday, and followed up with a nice 10-miler on Sunday. My legs are feeling pretty good now, so I think I made the right move.
Would an extra four miles have made or broken me right now when I’m running 50-mile weeks? Probably not, but I feel good about making the right move and not having any regrets. These days, I’d rather go with safe over sorry.
Do you manage to resist mileage or speed temptation fairly well? How has it worked or not worked for you in the past?
Don’t forget–if you want to join me at the Runner’s World half weekend, you can get a discounted registration by using code blogger17.