Why This Is the Absolute Best Day to Do Your Long Run, According to a Running Pro
The weekly long run, the most important single run of the week and probably the one run you think about most: What route will I take? Is the weather going to cooperate? How will I feel? Can I finish it?
For most, the long run is a Sunday morning ritual. It’s set in stone, like some unspoken rule. I mean why not run long on Sunday? It seems perfect: Sunday is the last day of the week and last day of the weekend; You can relax and get loose Friday night after a long workweek and recover by Sunday; Also, most training plans have the long run set on Sundays and odds are most of your running partners run long on Sundays.
These are all good reasons to run long on Sundays. But the thing about a Sunday run is, given most people have work on Monday, you must get it done on Sunday or skip it. And skipping a weekly long run can have a negative effect on your training — and skipping a few long runs will definitely have a detrimental effect.
But the nice thing is, this is super-easy to steer clear of. You can avoid setting yourself up to skip your long run by scheduling your long run on Saturdays instead of Sundays. Below, four very convincing reasons to move your long run to Saturdays.
1. As I stated above, if life calls and something comes up on Sunday that prohibits you from getting out the door for a long run, odds are you’ll have to skip it. Moving the long run to Saturday allows you to push the run to Sunday given something comes up the day before.
2. Oftentimes, the long run can hang over your head all weekend and cause anxiety. Planning it for Saturday means Sunday is anxiety-free and open for you to enjoy as you please. Watch football; play with the kids; do whatever you choose. If you’re a morning runner, you can catch up on some sleep Sunday, so come Monday morning you’re well rested and ready for another workweek.
3. Let’s face it: Getting up and out the door for a long run when it’s cold, rainy or super humid out isn’t fun. Scheduling the long run for Saturday leaves room for flexibility if the weather isn’t cooperating with your training plans. Just take a look at the forecast on Friday and pick which day is more ideal.
4. How many times have you started a run and just felt awful? Maybe you slept horribly, ate too much the night before or just plain don’t feel good but still have 15 more miles to run. Finding this out on Saturday gives you the opportunity to hit the rest button and try again the next day.
Trust me here: Try getting your long run in this Saturday and, odds are, when you’re able to sleep in, enjoy a big breakfast and watch the Eagles Sunday morning, your friends out running their Sunday long run will wish they’d followed suit.
Note: If you’re following a training plan that has the long run on Sunday, just push every run forward by one day.
Cory Smith is a Philadelphia based running coach; founder of Run Your Personal Best, a private running-coaching business; head cross country coach at Penn State Brandywine; and an American Cancer Society DetermiNation running coach. He is a USA Track and Field-certified coach and a 4:03 miler. As a student athlete at Villanova, Cory was an NCAA Division One Regional and National Championship qualifier. Contact Cory at [email protected]. Read all of Cory’s posts for Be Well Philly here.
Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with Be Well Philly — here’s how:
- Like Be Well Philly on Facebook
- Follow Be Well Philly on Twitter
- Follow Be Well Philly on Pinterest
- Get the Be Well Philly Newsletter