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Saving Your Legs…for training runs?

Posted May 06 2013 7:21pm

I have purposely been avoiding a strict training plan. I realized half way through the training for my first marathon that having a strict “must run X mile, TODAY” plan made me hate running. It wasn’t until last year that I really managed to develop a not-really-a-plan training plan that worked for me. It may not have gotten me to my fullest running potential, but it did get me a 48 minute PR at the Fargo Marathon , so I’ll take it.

…Mile 19-ish at Fargo, loving life and going strong…

That plan concept is back again this year. It probably should have been scribbled out in February but it finally appeared in Google Drive a few weeks ago. The first week may or may not have been deleted so I didn’t look like a complete slacker but since then its been getting used. My body isn’t rebelling since yesterday’s 8 miler and last weeks 18 miles so it must be working to some extent.

And all this training plan babbling leads me right into something I’ve been pondering.

Do you save your legs for a training run?

I’ve been spending a lot of time running hills lately – I have some hilly races and some trail races in my very near future. On Saturday morning I got up “early” to run before my class {yes, a 3 hour class every Saturday for the entire semester, it sucks!}. Green Mountain was near the campus so took a minor detour – it had hills and trails, exactly what I needed. I ran a total of 2.3 miles with two notable hill climbs then headed to class. Yes, all sweaty…that’s what they get for having a Saturday AM class, and that’s the benefit of being a “college kid”.


I wasn’t overjoyed with the 2.3 miles, I wanted more distance. Alas, at the moment it was all I had time for. During class I managed to talk myself into another 2-3 miles on flat-ish ground. After sitting for 3 hours the walk to my car was a tad tighter than I would have preferred. Apparently my legs felt the hills more than I expected. Or maybe going directly from running hills to sitting in class isn’t the best plan ever. Whatever it was, I talked myself out of the extra 2-3 miles.


Because I knew on Sunday I was going to be running 8 miles with even more hills.

I consciously made the decision to save my legs for a long training run. I still have not decided if that was a good decision or not. My Sunday run went surprisingly well, I didn’t hate the hills, my legs didn’t threaten to detach themselves and aside from a little dehydration {need to remember to actually drink the water I’m carrying} it was a great run.


So I guess not running the extra miles on Saturday may have played out to my benefit on Sunday. However, was it the right thing to do? I’m training my way up to 13+ mile races, being a little worried about an 8 mile run shouldn’t cause me to bail on a few extra miles…should it?! Especially since my legs are fully capable of a very solid half marathon . I wanted a good, confidence boosting long run…but it would have been a much bigger boost if I’d run 5+ miles the day before.

Where do you stand with training runs? Have you ever held out for the sake of a solid long run? Or do you focus on the overall weekly miles? Of course, this is all assuming you are injury free!

The post Saving Your Legs…for training runs? appeared first on run.around.aroo .

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