The long run and your weekend

This morning I started my day with a level 2 30 Day Shred workout. Next week I plan to go back up to level 3, and then will probably continue to do the level 3 workout in the future.

As I was driving during work today, I got to thinking about my weekend. I had a really enjoyable weekend and I was trying to pinpoint why that was. Barry and I enjoyed a low-key weekend at home, both of us were off work, and it was very relaxing. While those are all great things, I still didn’t feel like that was the main reason. And then I thought of Saturday’s long run.

The run went really well, I felt great, and I loved being back at an old trail. I think this definitely contributed to the enjoyable weekend. Which got me thinking. Does my long run dictate my weekend? I’m not talking about a time commitment, because we all know we’ve based our weekend plans on when we’ll get our long run done.  I’m talking about the quality of my long run dictating how the rest of my weekend will go.

Happy Runner

Sad Runner

I haven’t paid attention to it in the past, but I’m pretty sure there have been bad weekends that started off with a tough or less-than-ideal long run. Is it possible that I allow one two hour chunk of my Saturday morning affect the rest of my weekend? Absolutely. That Saturday morning long run is kind of the kick off to my weekend, so I think this makes sense. It sets the tone.

The strange thing is I don’t think races have the same negative effect on my weekend. Sure, when I run a PR it bolsters the excitement of the weekend (especially if Barry also PR’s!). And if I’m on pace to run a PR and then the race comes up short (ahem.. 2012 Drumstick Dash 5K that was 2.88 miles. I’m still bitter…) I’m not happy and I will continue to talk about it months later.

But if I have a bad race, I just kind of move on with a “you’ll get ’em next time” attitude. I may feel down about the race, but I usually keep that to myself, and still enjoy the rest of my weekend.

Smiling, despite having just run a PW.
Partly because I’m happy to be with friends.

I’m not sure why I don’t have the same approach when it comes to my long run, but it definitely has a strong effect on the rest of my weekend.

Does your long run dictate your mood for the weekend?

What day do you typically do your long run?

How do you handle a race that doesn’t go as planned?

11 thoughts on “The long run and your weekend”

  1. When I trained for my first marathon, I always ran long on Sundays, but now I prefer Saturdays. Usually I am tired Friday night and look forward to coming home and having a quiet night in anyway. So I run on Saturday, come home, shower, eat a lot of food, and then decide if I feel good enough to do anything else or if I just want to rest. It does, in many ways, take up a lot of my weekend. But I love it!

    1. I definitely like Saturdays better! Even though I like running, when my long run isn’t until Sunday I feel like it hangs over my head the whole weekend. I look forward to quiet Friday nights, too 🙂

    1. Do you have a particular reason for switching to Sundays? From May through mid-October I occasionally have to work Saturdays, which forces me to push my long runs to Sundays.

  2. We have done our long runs on Sunday mornings mostly. I think a lot of it has to do with Gabe’s soccer schedule and the marathon plan we chose to follow. When a race doesn’t go as planned… I try to learn from it ~ write down some of my expectations and how/why they didn’t pan out the way I planned.

    1. It makes sense with soccer that y’all run on Sundays. Sounds like you have a good system in place to figure out why things didn’t go your way in a race and how to fix them the next time.

  3. I prefer to do mine on Saturdays. That way I have Sunday to recover and relax and not feel stressed about having to fit it in, since it’s already done! If I had it my way, I would run them first thing Sat mornings, but I usually run with my sister and she’s more of an afternoon person. I definitely feel like my runs make or break me on weekends (or any given day). I’ve gotten really bad at gauging my mood based on how my run went. It’s a little better now that I don’t have such a strict training schedule, like Hansons, but I do feel bummed when I can’t quite hit my tempo run, or when my 6 miler feels harder than my 12 miler. For me though, weekends and long runs right now are for trails and there is nothing that makes me happier. I don’t worry about time…there are no tourists (or angry dogs in your case) to get in my way, and I can just enjoy the world around me. So on weekends…my runs usually always put me back in my happy place. Sometimes the extra drive for that kind of a feeling is worth it.

    1. I definitely prefer Saturdays as well, and like you I prefer to run in the morning! I love that fresh chill you get in the air in the morning.

  4. I like doing my long run first thing on Saturdays so I don’t have to think about it the rest of the weekend. I don’t think it bothers me if it’s good or bad as long as I get it done!

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