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Your long weekend running questions answered

Campsite by lake

This weekend is of the long variety. With that can come some scheduling errors. We all make plans and life just gets busy. We’re helping your sort of your plans this weekend by answering those questions we know you want to ask us.

Q: I’m pressed for time. Can I split up the long run?

A: Generally speaking, splitting the long run isn’t the most effective method. When running long, you’re training your body to adapt to the demands that you will be putting on it come race day. Splitting the run isn’t going to have the same effect. If your options are no run versus splitting the run, splitting is still better than nothing. Just know that you’re not giving yourself the full benefit as if you had done it all in one go.

Q: Should I do the long run on Monday?

A: If you’re planning on running on the holiday Monday instead of the standard Sunday morning, there are a few things you have to keep in mind. It’s not a bad idea, especially if your Sunday is booked up with activities that might require more energy. Rescheduling is about balance though. You need to make sure if you’re doing a tough run on Monday, it gels with the workouts you have planned the rest of the week. Don’t do a long run before attempting a hard workout the next day. If you have to shift around the initial plans to make it work then go ahead, if you can’t, it’s best to stick with Sunday and plan low-energy activities for that day.

Q: I’m spending the whole day driving. Is running afterwards the best way to go?

A: If you are planning on running after sitting in a car all day, you must make sure that you’re doing an adequate warm-up. Sitting in a cramped car can cause stiffness and it’s not uncommon for a runner to end up injured by running after a road trip. A run can definitely be a nice way to shakeout the legs after a day of being sedentary so it’s not to be avoided, just don’t jump right in.

Q: The weekend is jam-packed. Can I skip this long run?

A: This depends on what type of runner you are and what kinds of goals you have. If you are aiming for a fall marathon in a few weeks, skipping a long run now is going to have a high cost later. It’s not a smart idea. If you’re a more casual runner or are training for a race that’s a half-marathon or 10K, you can manage to skip a long run without such harsh consequences.

Q: I’m running somewhere new. How should I plan?

Research the weather and bring gear for the worst case scenario. If you’re going away, you have to make sure you’re prepared. Check out in advance where the best place is to run so you have some idea of where you’re going. You may end up having to do loops of a camp ground or park and, if that’s the case, a great playlist of podcast might be in order to stave-off boredom. Maybe your route is really hilly and you have to adjust time expectations accordingly. Knowing your route in advance helps you know what to bring and it helps you plan your day better.