Quantity Over Quality? Yes, really.

This isn’t what you think. I’m not going to say that it’s my opinion that runners should finish 75 miles a week and they should all be miles that feel like poop – as long as you get them in! But, during my long run today, it really did become necessary for me to understand that quantity was more important to me than quality. Anyone training for a half marathon or marathon distance will probably understand what I mean by the end of this particular rant.

This morning, it was a rough run. I didn’t sleep well and wasn’t “feeling it.” A mile into the run, we had a dog chasing us, the big kind that growl and show their teeth at you. So, we changed our route to avoid the meanie and ended up on hills and slippery roads. About 7.5 miles in, I looked at my friend as were both feeling really tired and said, “How about we just do 10 and try to finish it faster than our last 10-miler?” She said, “I know this isn’t how the saying normally goes but it’s about quantity over quality in this run, so I think we should finish 12.”

And we did.

The last two miles were slow and painful. I also forgot (probs TMI, sorry!) to put body glide on, so the same final two miles put some other issues a little over the edge, too. We finished them, though.

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I’ve heard people say that it’s about getting time on your feet (Megan’s coach tells her that A LOT). My running pals and I discuss that sometimes when we feel like we have to take more walk breaks than scheduled, or it’s just not the best run we’ve had and it’s kinda slow. I just don’t always listen. I’m pretty flawed and one of those flaws is my belief that I am invincible and need to as fast as I can be ALL. THE. TIME. It leads me to try to do every run at race pace or at least close to it. It also led me to try to squat 75 extra pounds without a spotter this week and nearly get crushed by the bar. But…. That’s another story. These things could lead to injury one day and that’s the last thing anyone wants, right? So, at the end of all this, the lesson is: Get the miles in sometimes without worrying about how fast the miles are.

Please notice that I said we pushed through because we just felt TIRED. We were not ill or injured or coming off a hard race and pushing for more mileage than recommended. I would never advocate for that. Actually, a girl I have never actually met, but feel like I know, wrote a great post about stopping when you need to – The Long Walk Home – and we can all agree that she did the right thing. Should you push through when you ran 26.2 miles a few days prior and it might be too much, too soon? NO. Should you push through when you’re just feeling blah? Absolutely. You will be thankful for the mental toughness and endurance when you do.

Not every run is easy, but the hard makes you better and training correctly (including the correct amount of REST) makes you the best runner that you can be. Humans can do REALLY hard things and that’s pretty awesome.

After the run, this cute niece of mine insisted that I sit down and play playdough with her. I was instructed to make yellow ducks, blue dolphins and brown butterflies.

How can anyone say no to that face?

I tried to teach math to a 3.5 year old? Do you think she understood? 😉

I tried to tell her no because I didn’t think sitting down wasn’t a good idea just yet. I was right. I’ll probably be sitting/ laying down the rest of the day now. I hope someone else is productive in my place. 🙂

Happy Weekend!

How do you make the call if you need to stop or push through a challenging run?

Are you running Gazelle Girl? Please let me know!

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3 thoughts on “Quantity Over Quality? Yes, really.

  1. This is always tough for me – finding the balance between listening to your body or getting in the mileage! As we continue to grow as runners, I think we learn that fine line 🙂 I’m glad you were able to get in your 12 miles and can’t wait to rejoin the group next weekend!

  2. I’ve had this discussion with my coach and alot of my Boston Marathon training is “time on my feet”. Your friend was exactly right to keep you out their until you completed all 12 miles on your plan! My coach keeps telling me the long runs train your brain to stay out their happily for hours. This training cycle has kicked my butt, but the end prize will be amazing! You might want to consider carrying “Halt” on runs in unfamiliar areas. I was bitten last year while on a run (totally unprovoked and I was walking by the time the dog approached me). It was a bad bite on my calf and would have been worse if I had been without this spray that saved me from more biting/damage.

    • Oh my gosh! Thank you for the recommendation. We were actually in a well-known area, only a mile from my parents house, but their daughter had brought her (obviously untrained) dog over! I still think you’re right, though – carrying that would be a great idea since we did end up changing our course. I am so sorry you had a bad experience with a dog – that’s scary! GOOD LUCK IN BOSTON!!!!!

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