Want to try trail running, but don't know where to start? Join the (totally free!) Trail Running Jumpstart eCourse

One Tip Wednesday: The no-time-for-a-long-run solution

Aaaaah, summer. Those blossom breezy days of hammock naps and garden bounty are upon us.

Or upon someone. I’m not sure who, but it’s not me.

My days right now are filled with wrapping up homeschool with the kiddos, scheduling play dates, working, writing, and fitting in and all those catch-up appointments.

When are we supposed to go camping, exactly?

This week, the busyness hit overwhelm (because friends need help with aging parents and sometimes your kid ends up in a cast). It has been back-to-back busy since May, which feels like yesterday.

Oh, and then there’s ultra marathon race training. I have a 50K in September, and, while the peeps in my Trail Running Community for Women have been awesome cheerleaders, I still have to do the actual running.

But what’s this runner momma to do when the weekend disappears like an unmonitored bag of Cheetos and there’s no time for that long training run?

Despite my planning, this weekend’s long run…  Just. Didn’t. Happen. But Sunday night I remembered that when life hits you with back-to-back busy, try back-to-back running.

the TIP: The no time for a long run solution – back-to-back longish runs

What’s that now? Back-to-back runs or B2Bs, if you want to use the hip ultra lingo which, of course, we do, is a strategy long distance runners use get in long miles over two or more days. For example, an ultra runner might hit 15 miles one day and grab 15 miles the next being able to log 30 miles over two days.

It can do a few things:

  • Mega-boost confidence as you learn to push through from the previous day’s effort
  • Give you the experience of running on tired, heavy legs, similar to what you will experience in your long race

But here’s what it can do for busy mommas:

  • Reap the benefits mentioned above
  • Allow us to get our miles in when life is crazy busy

And, we can use it even if we aren’t logging 30 miles per long run. My training plan called for a 15 mile run this last weekend. Instead, I ran two runs of about 8.5 miles in the last two days.

While there is oodles I could write about this strategy, here’s the basic how-to and cautions:

  • B2Bs aren’t a complete substitute for the long training runs, but using this strategy a few times in your training season can be great when you’re managing time, managing mild illness, or managing children of any age. Oy!
  • If you are doing a combination of flats and hills or trails, do the flat on the first day. It might be easier to hike the steeps on the trail day than to pound out the flat and boring on tired legs the second day.
  • Be vigilant about spotting injury. You need to key into the difference between what feels like an injury or just tiredness on the second day of running.
  • As with any long runs, recovery is key.


the WHY

Because you can never have too many tools in the toolbelt! A little B2B action seriously saved my booty this week. And, to be honest, it did wonders for my mental state. Both runs felt manageable and I felt so good about myself that I could get in so many miles despite the calendar cra cra.

I would love to hear how your summer running is going. Are you getting any hammock time? Are you in the middle of race training, thinking about signing up for something, or just enjoying the sun? Throw me a comment below in the comments.

Still believing in you….!

We’ll be chatting about time crunches and fitting in running over in the Trail Running Community for Women Facebook Group so join us if you want to hook up with the girls who have your back!

2 thoughts on “One Tip Wednesday: The no-time-for-a-long-run solution

  1. Great suggestions and I love the suggestion about the flats on the first day. I often use the following mentality if I can’t get out for the number of hours I need for a run to go to the bike in the basement and do a hard hill workout to get the quads firing. At least I feel like I’ve worked hard and then finish with squats. I’ve been struggling as of late after my 25k and need to really start ramping up for my 50k in September. I took 2 weeks off during busy life and vacation. We are tucking in 8 miles Saturday and I’ll see how I feel but may try the trails on Sunday then for a shorter run. My big thing will be to learn how to go out solo and be okay with that.

  2. Hey Amy! Thanks for chiming in. Biking, I hear ya, whatever it takes, right?! Safety is such a concern, I know this one. The other day I pretended to be on my phone in the middle of a trail run because I wasn’t sure about the guy who was running behind me. Sounds weird, I know, but it gave me a way to stop and connect with the vibe I got when he passed by me, which turned out fine. I felt better having him ahead of me, allowing me to pick a different route from there if I wanted to. Let me know how it goes with the Sunday run if you do a double-header. xo ~Laura

Leave a Comment