This Runner's Trials

Running rules

Posted by runnerstrials

Did everyone have a fantabulous Labor Day? Why can’t every weekend last 3 days? I’d gladly work 4, 10-hour days to make that happen.

My weekend was great :) We headed to the other side of SC to see my in-laws and go to Clemson’s home opener with Michelle and her hubby.


Beautiful orange everywhere!

This week was a step-back week for marathon training. So my long run was pretty short compared to recent standards. “Only” 12 miles. <—Love how marathon training skews your sense of reality.

My plan was to do the long run before the game on Saturday. We had to be out the door to start tailgating by 9 am, the sun doesn’t rise until 7 am and my in-laws live on country roads with no side walks. When my alarm went off at 5, I knew it wasn’t a good idea to run. Running in the dark in the middle of no where is quite negligent.

I postponed my long run until Sunday and went for a swim instead.


The swim was physically refreshing, but my brain was the furthest thing from relaxed. I was panicking about doing my long run the next day.

I have these running “rules”. And one of them is to not do a long, hard workout the day after spending the majority of the day outside, in the heat, standing or doing something physical. For example, I’d never do a long run the day after a football game, laying on the beach, rafting or hiking.

Why not? Because I’m weird. Or because I always thought I’d be too dehydrated or exhausted to complete a good workout.

Instead of stressing about it, I tried to stay out of the sun, drink a ton of water and eat plenty of food- like eating would ever be a problem for me. ;) And honestly, once we started tailgating I had so much fun that I never worried about my run.

Note: I am not drinking alcohol at this point in my life. But if I was, I would have refrained from drinking to feel better the next day.


So what happened on Sunday?

I did wake up a little dehydrated, but still managed to knock out 12 miles at an 8:16 pace. And it felt great! Wohoo :)


This just proves to me that my “rule” was pretty pointless. I wonder how many potential workouts I skipped over the years because of my foolish misconceptions?

During my stellar run, I thought about other self-induced running “rules” that I’ve since broken:

  • Fear Gatorade. I used to be afraid of the calories and sugar. Ridiculous. I now drink some sort of –ade all the time and know it helps my performance.
  • Walk breaks will hurt you. I was paranoid once I stopped running I’d never be able to start back up again. But walk breaks are necessary. In fact, taking a break helps me run faster once I start up again.
  • No running the 2 days before or the 2 days after races. I’ve learned a light run a couple of days before a race is just what my legs need. And often I’m ready for a slow run or walk/run 2 days after.
  • Don’t exercise on travel days. Psycho alert. In college, I read somewhere that flying dehydrates you and you shouldn’t exercise on days you fly (can you tell I’m terrified of dehydration? ;) ). I’m sure this was followed by “if you take a 12 hour flight” or something like that. But I took this to heart. Mind you, 90% of my flights last shorter than 2 hours.

Of course, some running rules are good ones. I don’t run in the dark (as noted above), I always carry water, wear sunscreen and stop if something hurts.

Do you have exercise “rules”? Any as ridiculous as mine? Please share :)

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