Friday and the mood is vastly different to Monday. We, the family have made it through another week and the running plan today is a ’relaxed whatever I can manage’. It’s an easy run between a big three days Tuesday to Thursday and ahead of the big weekend where I usually achieve a lot in a running sense. This is common to most competitive distance runners in Australia who follow the same weekly protocol of hard workouts on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday along with long runs on Wednesday and Sunday. What does a runner do on Monday and Friday?
The Australian marathon textbook (there is no such thing, see blog â€œ97 days to Rio) clearly says what should take place on Monday, however it does not clearly stipulate what shall be done on Friday. I guess that’s because no one has figured it out yet.
Over the years I have observed and tried many different solutions to the Friday problem;
Solution One: Complete Rest
To be honest this makes complete sense. After banging out three hard days which may have also included a 2nd run on at least one of those days and/or other cross training, the complete rest seems logical. The big problem is that there is absolutely nothing for me to put in the training diary. This option is clearly out.
Solution Two: 10 miler
Copy can past the ideal Monday run. The textbook of Australian Marathon training says run 10 miles (or 16km) on Monday then why not do it on Friday? It’s good for the training diary, and no doubt a dedicated marathon runner can’t hit 200km for the week without at least 16km on Friday. So why don’t I do it? Wellâ€¦â€¦..because I’m buggered!
Solution Three: Two easy runs and some gym work and ice bath
Yes great idea! Good to get some gym work in there and then finish off with a recovery ice bath. If I am heading to the gym then I need at least a 30minute run to warm up and get some ’miles in the legs’ for the day. As a shorter run this can be partnered with an afternoon run where another 6-8km can be achieved. As much as this plan ticks all the boxes I am put off by the total time commitment and driving around town to achieve it all. Doesn’t sound like a recovery day at all.
Solution Four: Relaxed whatever I can manage
By blending all three of the above I can have the perfect mix for any given Friday. I can take as little or as much of the ’Complete Rest’ option as I need, if it’s a massive week then a lazy 30minutes will be ok. (30 minutes being the self-administered minimum time for a run owing to advice from my good friend Andrew Letherby who told me once; â€œif you’re not going to run for 30minutes then you can’t call it a run!)
Blending in â€œSolution Twoâ€ or at least a little further is great if the sun is shining and there is plenty of love from Fernleigh Track users. Similarly a jog an a dip in whatever water course is available is a great modification of â€œSolution Threeâ€.
Therefore I propose that all runners everywhere need to chill out a little with Friday. Let it be in the true spirit of what Friday is; the end of the five day working week and the beginning of good times ahead.
Here’s to Friday. Cheers.