My Wife makes my lunch that I take to work each day. When she is left with 2 ends of the loaf and 2 regular slices, she always uses one end per sandwich, so I am left with 2 sandwiches that are less than perfect. Yesterday was one of those days and I thought to myself is it better to have one awesome sandwich made with 2 regular slices and one double ender that leaves that sandwich bland and not so desirable.
How does this relate to running, you ask? Well, I will tell you. Given the opportunity to have 2 weekend runs that are better than average or one awesome run one day and one less than average run the next day, which would you choose?
The last few weekends have provided me with samples of both scenarios. I ran a 7 mile on a Saturday and another 7 miles the next day. Both runs were fine, but really didn’t tell me much about my overall conditioning and each just kind of lasted with that just get them done feel. Flash forward to this last weekend and I purposely ran a shorter distance of 5 miles on Saturday with the intent on running 11 miles on Sunday. My only worry on Saturday was if the weather didn’t work out on Sunday, my weekend goal would be shot. The weather did cooperate and I pushed myself to that 11 mile finish and my farthest run of 2013. The satisfaction level of that 11 miler far exceeded the 5 miler, but they each had their respective purpose toward the weekend goal of pushing my limits.
This takes me back to a marathon training program that I used in 2011 for the Fargo Marathon. The planned called for weeks where the weekend runs were either twins (same distance both Saturday and Sunday) or cousins (different distances with the longer distance on Sunday).
It’s nice to have that one spectacular run, but those average or blah runs do have their purpose. Variety in training is always a good thing and not every run (like a sandwich) will be perfect.