I feel like yesterday’s post was a bit heavy in a Yoda of Running kind of way, so I thought I’d start today with some thoughts on a very important weekly event:
Now, the term “Sunday Funday” was brought to my attention by BF, who would describe this holy day of the week (pun intended) as something like this:
Sweatpants, couch, football, eating, beer, football, beer, nap, football, repeat.
Maybe you’ve heard of it?
He and his friends have practiced a mean Sunday Funday through the past few years during football season, and while I can’t entirely understand it—I am big on once-a-week sanctioned events. I realized that I actually do have my own version of a Sunday Funday—but instead of the boy-version, mine involves running. Long running.
While most of my weekly runs would qualify as “longer,” it is specifically Sunday where I like to test my endurance with a steady high mileage run. I suppose I really started this when I was marathon training, as that’s how my program was set. However, I’ve sort of continued this routine post marathon—and I’ve found that there are innumerable benefits to taking a long run on a Sunday. Below, I’ve listed a top ten list of why it’s the best day of the week to strap on your shoes and hit the pavement:
1) Starting the week off right.
I feel like I tend to forget that Sunday is actually the first day of the week, technically. If I treat Sunday like a jumping off point instead of a slog-around fest where I avoid the inevitable reality of Monday, then I’m much less prone to resenting Monday. If I can jump into the work week feeling like I’ve already accomplished something big, then I’m all the more ready to take on whatever’s next.
2) Evaporating weekend indulgences.
I am a master of eating great throughout the week and then once the weekend hits, all bets are off. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing—reward systems can go a long way—however when my system that is used to fruits and veggies is filled with beer and cheese, I can go a little out of whack. I also have Ulcertive Colitis, which really tends to hate these sudden dietary switches. Sunday is a great day to sweat out the treats of the weekend and clear both your conscience and arteries of that extra brownie, or four.
Yes, that was me Saturday night. I have no shame—worth it.
There is really never another day of the week where you have the amount of leisurely time available to test yourself and see what your legs are made of. I’m personally used to scheduling my workouts between set time frames, and sometimes it’s very freeing to know that I have as much time as necessary to do one simple thing.
4) Saturday carbo load.
As if you needed an excuse.
5) Be with the people!
Tons of people, whether they’re training for a race or not, run/walk/meander around on Sundays, and it’s nice to feel like you’re out enjoying the day with them. If ever I want some entertainment on my runs, people watching and dog watching are among my favorite activities.
6) Be with the runners!
Kind of similar as before, but by seeing other runners out there, you are sure to be encouraged and inspired to be part of such a cool group of people. And I’m not being cocky or exclusive or anything like that, but the fact of the matter is that runners love other runners. Runners love to talk about running, give advice, listen to others, and generally they have a great energy and enthusiasm about them. Perhaps this is why non runners scoff at runners sometimes, but I know that there is really nothing quite like the classic runner-to-runner head nod exchange to keep my spirits high.
7) Be outside!
It’s so easy to stay couch-logged on the weekends; we’re overworked, tired, and just want to relax a lot of the time. But sometimes getting outside is just what we need to clear our heads of all work and stress related burdens. Running offers an opportunity to be outside and get exercise—both integral to regaining our sanity.
8) Good sleep before the week.
If you’ve garnered some extra energy over the weekend, sometimes Sunday night you’re prone to go to bed later, sleep restlessly, and then our Mondays are groggy and slow, which no one likes. If you can burn off some energy on Sunday, you are so much more likely to settle into a restful sleep that night and start the week off right!
9) Enough time for stretching, hydrating, and relaxing.
I cannot tell you how many times I promise myself to stretch more after my runs, or roll out on my foam roller, or do any of the standard post-run necessities. Problem is, once I’ve squeezed in all the minutes I can into my run and get back home, I need to shower and get to work asap…leaving no time for these easy but important things. With the flexible time on Sunday (for the most part), you not only get to take your time on a run, but you can also take ample time afterward to properly stretch all your big running muscles, take an ice bath (if necessary), and prepare a good recovery meal.
In honor of BF, I will include football watching as the final reason for a Sunday long run. Once you’ve logged some solid, quality miles—you truly have earned the right to sit on your butt cheering for your favorite team.
There you have it! If you find yourself restless and antsy at the end of your weekend, I really recommend trying out switching your long run to Sundays. While I was in school, Sunday was by far my least favorite day of the week, but now that I am free of homework and able to orchestrate my Sundays more loosely, it might just be one of my new favorites 🙂
When do you do your long runs? Do you change it up every week, depending on other circumstances? What is your idea of a Sunday Funday?