The trouble with mid week long-ish runs

17 Apr

Overall, I have been pretty happy with how my training has gone for the Pittsburgh Half in 16 days (so close – yay!). But there has one thing that has been difficult that I’ve got to figure out.

Mid week runs longer than 3 miles.

I’m not sure what it is – lowered motivation since it’s wednesday or thursday, genuine lack of time, boredom of running, or something else – but I have struggled this entire training cycle with fitting in runs over 3 miles during the week days.

Weekend long runs are no problem – I get up saturday morning and get out the door to get the miles done. But doing 5 miles on a wednesday or thursday – I just cannot. do. Almost every time I end up cutting down to 3 miles. I am pretty good at making excuses – some are legit (when I have plans with friends or someting), and some aren’t as legit (when I’m just not feeling it or my legs feel a little lethargic).

This may be a slow-runner problem too – a 3 mile easy run takes me about 40 minutes. 5 miles, we’re talking over an hour. That’s a large chunk of time to try to fit in and be motivated for after the workweek has been going for a while. Β 

I have tried running in the mornings before work, which requires waking up superearly since I have to get to work at 8. I can’t do these runs over my lunch break at work – it would take to long for me to get to the gym, run, shower change and get back to my desk. and the evenings in general are tough for me for running – my motivation is low and in general I feel very tired.

I promise I’m not trying to shoot myself in the foot here, I’m just explaining what I have tried and why I haven’t been able to be consistent with it.

Maybe I need to shift my running schedule around so I do the longer mid week ones on monday before the tiredness of the work week kicks in. Maybe I just need to give it up and plan my training with 3 3-mile max runs during the work week.Β 

I’m not really sure what the right answer is, but I’ve gotta figure it out before I start marathon training in the next few months.

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11 Responses to “The trouble with mid week long-ish runs”

  1. ssc April 17, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    I’ve been subscribing to your blog for a while, and I just wanted to say that I really appreciate you writing to those of us who struggle to run a 12 minute mile! I definitely relate to this issue of not being able to do long runs on weekdays. I have the good fortune of having a job that allows me to leave early sometimes, so there are days (especially once daylight savings kicks in) where I can get through 6 miles after work. But most of the time, I have the same issue you have. However, I read a while ago that the weekly long runs are the most critical part to a training plan, and that even if you don’t do any other runs during the week, the one long run will get you through race day.

    • becca (@beccarun) April 18, 2014 at 8:23 am #

      I’m glad you find my blog relatable. πŸ™‚ and you are so right about long runs being really important. That’s exactly why I’m trying to figure this out. somehow. haha

  2. Noelle Bakken April 17, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    I struggled with the fact that I’m a 12ish min miler too. My half training plan called for days that combined strength and a 3 or 4 mile run, and I just didn’t have time to do both (which eventually meant I pretty much scrapped strength training after awhile, and especially once my midweek runs grew to 4/5 miles each.) I have done pretty much all of my runs after work since it’s too dark for me to run outside in the early morning, and I’ve started to take in a little fuel beforehand to give myself a little more gas in the tank (like some gu chomps). I also do a lot of out-and-back runs, so if I can make myself get to 2 or 2.5 miles, then I don’t have a choice but to make it back.

    However, I think for a half, if you’re at least consistently getting in 3ish mile runs midweek, and are completing your long runs like ssc said, I wouldn’t worry about it. The endurance benefit of completing runs closer to an hour in length a couple times a week will probably serve you better for a marathon, though…

    • becca (@beccarun) April 18, 2014 at 8:17 am #

      Ohhh, the idea of taking some fuel is a fabulous one! Thank you, I will try this. And I agree with you in the last paragraph, I am not as concerned for a half but for my full in October I need to figure this out.

      • Noelle Bakken April 18, 2014 at 9:50 am #

        It’s helped me a ton, though now I feel like I’m always going out to buy fuel πŸ™‚

  3. BackatSquare0 (@BackAtSquare0) April 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    Mid week long runs do take a huge chunk of my time. I found the only way I could get them in was to find a friend who would meet me somewhere. That held me accountable.

  4. mizunogirl April 18, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    Time is such a factor. I run a bit faster than a 12 mm-Usually (not last Friday!), but anything over 5-6 on a weekday takes some planning…Luckily I live in actually such a small town that I can run in the pitch black with no fear, so I can start out super early. The only people I ever see are other “Gettin it done before the sun people”
    One thing that I did when I was working on building fitness was to do 2 runs in a day. Like 3 miles in the morning and then 2 after work. You are really doing great and have such a positive attitude.

  5. specialkkluthe April 22, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    I totally understand this dilemma. When I think about the challenge of training for a full marathon, those long midweek runs are probably #1 on the list. But I would definitely recommend doing at least one longer run in addition to your long run. It helps! The Monday idea sounds good. Or maybe a 2-a-day? I think that would be helpful too.

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