Saturday vs. Sunday

When I first started running and through my first few marathon training cycles I always did my long runs on Saturday.  It worked best for me and I liked the way it synched with my weekends.  However, when I started upping my mileage (running both days on the weekend) and adding group workouts to my schedule this changed a bit.  The last couple training cycles I have done a majority of my long runs consistently on Sundays, except when I have something special come up that I need to work around.

This past weekend I did my long run on Saturday and it had been a long time since that had happened!  I was thinking about the comparisons all weekend of which one I liked better.

Saturdays
Pros:

  • It is out of the way first thing on the weekend.
  • You can play the rest of the weekend without having to worry about your long run.
  • You can sleep in on Sunday.

Cons:

  • You have to get up early on Saturday and go to bed early on Friday.
  • You have to be in long mode prep on Friday night when you are tired from the work week.
  • I feel like I get to “refuel” (eat whatever I want) from the long run for the entire weekend. 

Sundays
Pros:

  • You can sleep in on Saturday which makes me feel a little more refreshed and energized by Sunday.
  • I keep my eating (and drinking) in order Saturday in prep for my long run Sunday.
  • Sundays are good for being lazy after a long run.
  • I only “refuel” for one day.

Cons:

  • Your whole weekend tends to revolve around the long run.
  • Your Saturday nights are prepping for Sunday long run.
  • Waking up early on Sunday, the last day of the weekend.

There are definitely pros and cons to each, and every once in a while I like to mix it up just to change up the schedule, but I think I really like my Sunday long runs.  I like getting myself recharged on Saturdays, I like keeping myself in control over the weekend, and I don’t mind that my social life revolves around running.  When there are more important things going on, the run gets switched, but for the most part, Sunday long runs work for me!

Are you a Saturday or Sunday long runner?  Or a whole other day altogether?  What are your pros and cons? 

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53 Responses to Saturday vs. Sunday

  1. Average A January 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    What!?! Refueling during both days is cited as a con?! ;)

    By choice, I’m a Sunday-morning long runner (Like you said, a full work week still makes Saturday morning a bit of a drag), but I can do it if I have other pre-existing weekend plans or if I’m running with a training group. On my own watch, I do a middle-distance run when I wake up on Saturday … sooo, yeah … usually around noon. :P Sunday morning is long run morning if I’m going at it alone. Works out well for me that way.

    Enjoy Hood to Coast tonight!! :)
    A

  2. Jessica January 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    Great post!

    I tend to like my long runs on Saturday because I spend Sunday doing a lot of catch up from laying around all day Saturday. I do switch my schedule around if I have plans on Saturday, but I find it’s more difficult to get my run in on Sunday.

  3. the dawn January 11, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    eeesh. running both days? not me! i do sundays. i cram my whole weekend into friday and saturday, then get my run done sunday (mornings preferably) and then i have the rest of the day to feel productive.

  4. Katie V. January 11, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    I usually do Sunday but it depends what I have going on that weekend. Actually, it is about 50/50. And if I miss a run during the week I often do two runs on the weekend (like this week!).

  5. Demi January 11, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    Generally a Sunday long run person because my kids always have activities on Saturdays…sometimes early! As long as we get them in, I guess!

  6. Carlee January 11, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    I was the same way; I started running my long runs on Saturdays but switched when my group started to meet on Sundays. Now I really like my routine. There are a few classes at the gym that I like to take on Saturdays and now I can do both! I know what you mean about the whole weekend feeling like it revolves around your run. However, if my Sunday is busy, I know I will just do my run on my own on Saturday instead. This gives me a little bit more freedom. It used to really bother me having to push my schedule foward because Saturday was too busy for a long run, but I really don’t mind doing the long run early. Minds are funny like that!

  7. Adrienne January 11, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    I run long on Sundays during marathon training because that is when my club goes. I also have found it beneficial for me to do a shorter (6 miler or so) run on Saturday as part of my training. That being said, I prefer to run on Saturdays long….. but since I prefer to run with my club more, I end up going on Sundays

  8. Marci January 11, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Good post! It’s a toss up between both for me, for many of the same pros and cons you listed. I think I like Sun long better so I can do other sports on Sat – trails runs, group cycle class etc, that aren’t as available on Sunday. I often go with whatever day I can run with a group, which is important for me for longer runs.

  9. Petra January 11, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    I used to ALWAYS run long on Sundays – Saturdays have been a real revelation to me! I love having the long run over with on the weekend.

  10. Christina January 11, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    I am doing mine on Sundays because that’s when the group is doing. And with it being winter, I needed the people to keep me accountable and company, even if it is for a few miles. After my Sunday run, I eat, shower and sleep until I am ready to be up again. It’s my day to be lazy.

    I like Saturday long run mainly because it is done and out of the way.

  11. Lee January 11, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    I like to do mine on Saturdays to get them out of the way. However, my husband doesn’t work on Friday nights and he does work on Saturday nights so sometimes we go out on Fridays and I have to do my long run on Sundays.

  12. Ana-Maria January 11, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    I run long on Saturdays. I like to get the long run out of the way and then have the entire weekend (I am done pretty early Sat morning) to relax. I do bike long on Sunday, but that is not as taxing as running. But, I think it is important to do what works for you, as long as the run gets done.

  13. Melissa January 11, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    Most of my long runs have been on Saturdays b/c I like to have it done with, plus I have a standing Sunday morning running “date” with a friend who sticks to shorter distances (3-4 miles). That being said, if work has been particularly draining and the thought of waking up at before sunrise on Saturday is too much mentally then I will switch to Sundays and either change plans with my running buddy or just build those miles on to the end of my run.

  14. AR January 11, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    You mentioned some things I hadn’t thought of!

    I tend to go with Sunday because if I end up wanting a non running day after a long run, I’d rather it be a work day. I feel too guilty if I don’t run at all on a Sunday! But stranger things have happened. Also, though its easier to schedule a Saturday race with a long run the next day than a long run with a race the next day.

  15. Morgan January 11, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    I’m a Saturday runner if I can help it, mostly because hills are Monday’s and my legs would hate me if I made them run hills the day after a long run. It’s also just easier for me to get it out of the way, plus I can usually get in a quick nap Saturdays to recharge for Saturday night and Sunday is then wide open to do whatever I want or nothing at all.

  16. Running 365 January 11, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    I never train as seriously or as well as you seem to so that gives me some flexibility! : )

    I’ve found that I can pull off a “medium-long” run (like 10 or 12 miles) on a Tuesday or Wednesday after I get home from work if I leave right after my students. (Of course that requires longer daylight hours than we have now and most folks have to stay at work until 5 instead of 3:30.)

    For long-long runs, I’ve switched back and forth between Saturday and Sunday- for all the reasons you listed. I just have one con and one pro to add to the Sunday list. Since I live in a small town in the Bible Belt, I feel a little judged when I’m running around town on a Sunday morning and encounter people going to early church. I kinda wish I had a shirt that says, “I go to First Pres. at 11:00.” But I do feel kinda badass showing up at church (I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to say that.) and casually replying “Oh, just getting in a 15 miler,” when someone from the choir asks what I was doing running around that morning.

    Of course, all of this is quite the fantasy for me right now because I have ran 15 miles since September, but I’m getting warmed back up!

    • Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef January 14, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      i feel that way too! my church is at 11 but i feel guilty when i see others going to church earlier while i’m out for a run :)

  17. Michelle Simmons January 11, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    I can’t imagine running long on a Saturday morning… I’m just a creature of habit (and a triathlete!) so Saturday mornings are for long bike rides. Sunday is the run day. :)

    • Aron January 12, 2011 at 8:57 am #

      Yes! I train with a lot of triathletes so they do their long runs Sunday too post bike rides. The short time I was cycling last summer I would do a ride on Saturday and long run Sunday. Didn’t last too long ;)

  18. Laura January 11, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    I love that you dedicated a whole post to this! It seems like it should be such a simple thing, but it’s not! I spend way too much time figuring out how to work my workouts in around all my timing criteria. I’ll spare you the details…long runs happen on Saturday unless something else gets in the way and forces me to move them to Sunday.

  19. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair January 11, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    I tend to do them on Sundays as well, mostly because I am tired from the work week on Fridays and the last thing I want to do is get ready for a long run the next morning. I also like to take one weekend day off from running and I’ve found taking Saturdays off works nicer for me BECAUSE I’m tired from the work week! But I will rearrange my schedule and do my long runs on Saturdays if I have something else going on!

  20. Stacie January 11, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

    I am all about the long run on Saturday. It is so nice having Sunday to recover after my long run. Plus, I can feel free to have a margarita at dinner Saturday night.

  21. abbi January 12, 2011 at 4:12 am #

    I prefer Sunday mornings. I like to run both Saturday and Sunday. I shorter run on Saturday followed by the long run on Sunday. Anytime I try to switch it around, it seems everything gets thrown out of whack. This allows me to just be lazy the rest of Sunday which I like!

  22. Kristy @ RunTheLongRoad January 12, 2011 at 4:15 am #

    In the summers, I do my long run on Fridays (I have a flexible work schedule). In the winters, it’s Saturday all the way (unless I have a conflict). The reason I like Saturday is the first 3 pros you listed. And beer tastes that much better on Saturday night :)

    If I wait until Sunday, I think about it all weekend.

  23. tntcoachken January 12, 2011 at 5:41 am #

    Wow, a Saturday like a normal person???? As I’ve gotten older, Friday isn’t as demanding so it’s no big deal to get to bed early.

  24. Bethany January 12, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    I have no preference when i do my long runs, i just do them on whichever day works best. Ryan on the other hand, prefers to do them on Saturdays. He gets kinda crabby/stressed if we have to do the long run on Sunday, so i guess to keep him happy i like Saturdays, but otherwise either one is fine for me. When we run trails with our friends we always run Sunday mornings. Sometimes i like to run a semi long run the day before my long run in wich case i’ll do the long run Sunday. I have a question for you so i’m going to shoot you an email, hope you don’t mind. Thanks -B

  25. Jeni @ stepping out January 12, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    I am definitely a Saturday long run person. Sundays I reserve for church, both attending and serving. While I don’t have anything against running on Sundays, I simply don’t have time. I also enjoy my one last “sleep in” morning. (by that I mean 7:20 :D)

    Also, I love your blog redesign! I’ve been reading on google reader so this is the first time I’ve seen it. I’m kind of developing a huge crush on this font too. What is it?

    • Aron January 12, 2011 at 8:58 am #

      Hmmm not sure, I will have to look :) thanks!!

  26. Joanne January 12, 2011 at 7:20 am #

    Your comparisons are so true. I used to run on Sunday just because there was less traffic on the roads and the mornings seems a lot quieter in general. But now I’m a Saturday runner for the very “pros” you listed. Sunday is a designated “family” day where hubby, the dog and I go for a long walk. Then if we want to ski or swim, that’s on tap for Sunday.

  27. Laura January 12, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    My group runs on Sundays and they are a big part of my motivation. I also have spin and Satan’s bootcamp on Saturday morning so no way am I running then!
    That being said if I have any flexibility with work, I will do the odd Friday long run – I actually wish I could do this more as I love a Friday long run.

  28. Shutupandrun January 12, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    It’s a tough call, but usually Saturday to get it out of the way. That way I can sleep in and read the paper with my coffee for like 5 hours on Sunday and not feel guilty.

  29. J January 12, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    It is such a tough choice! Both sides have such good arguments! I tend to do my longer runs on Saturday, but I think I may switch to Sundays. In the winter with the snow, flexibility is key if I want to run outside. My running group offers long runs on Saturday so that may also dictate when I run!

  30. Marlene January 12, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    I’m a long-time Sunday long-run runner. There are times that I wish I could “get it over with” on Saturday, but I also like having that day to recover from the work week and get myself organized and prepared – especially when the runs get REALLY long!

    I also have a bad habit of ovder-doing it on the “refueling” when my long run is done early in the weekend too. And lazy Sunday afternoons are the best everrrrrrrr!

  31. Jaime January 12, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    I run long mostly on Saturday’s … but sometimes if I want to be social on a Friday night, I’ll run long on Sunday so that I have a little more balance in my life.

    When I am in marathon training, I always run long on Saturday, though. I have a great group of friends to train with and everyone runs on Saturday – so, it only makes sense to have training partners for the long run (at least for me)!

  32. Emily January 12, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    I’m a run whenever I have people to run with kind of girl. I think I like Sundays better though, so if the run wipes me out, it doesn’t ruin the rest of my weekend. I also loveee post-long run brunch, which is just so much better on a sunday.

    • Aron January 12, 2011 at 8:58 am #

      Isn’t brunch the reason we run long? ;)

  33. Jamie in Arkansas January 12, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    I’ve done both and I’m good either way. Hey – it’s a long run and a privilege to just be out there at all, right? But for now, my long runs are on Saturdays because my hubby fishes tournaments and has to get up super early anyway. We sleep in on Sundays and enjoy being together the whole day. Cheesy, I know. And after 19 years of marriage too!!! :)

  34. Runeatrepeat January 12, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    Ooooh. I have thought and thought about this a ton.
    When I first stared running I did my long runs on Sundays. But, when I met Ben I started doing long runs on Saturday so we could take off and enjoy the weekend. Now I can’t imagine it any other way. Getting the long run out of the way helps me enjoy the weekend without a long run looming over my head. Plus, on the weekends we are home, Sunday is the only day we wake up together. It’s become a tradition to take a walk and eat breakfast :)

  35. Kelly January 12, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    For me it really depends on the weekend and what we have going on. You definitely touched on the pros and cons of each. I have those same dilemmas every week.

  36. Carrie January 12, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    For my first and only marathon so far – I trained on Saturdays. I liked it partly because the race I was training for was on a Saturday, and because it was a really great way to start my weekend!

    Now that I’m about to start training for my second marathon (Big Sur!), I’m going to be training on Sundays because I’m going to train with a group this time! The pro here being that I’m hoping to make running friends. :)

    • Aron January 12, 2011 at 8:59 am #

      Big Sur!!!!!! We will have to arrange a meet up!

  37. Holly January 12, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    I run long on Saturdays (mornings) so that we can go to church on Sunday mornings. I’m also usually wiped out after the work week so I’m not up for much on Friday nights and don’t feel like I’m missing out by not “doing something big” that night. I’m happy with my homemade pizza and early bedtime :)

    When I was training for my 1/2 Ironman, I did run on Sundays because I cycled long on Saturdays- it made for a very long weekend (and super early Sunday morning), but it was worth it! :)

  38. Nelly January 12, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    I’d say I’m more of a Saturday long run runner, just to get the run out of the way. That way I can recover on Sunday too if I need it. Sometimes I noticed that my body would be really out of it, so it was nice to have Sunday to recover too.

  39. Jess January 12, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    The long run pretty much seems consume the weekend either way, which is one reason I don’t like marathons.

  40. Matt @ The Kitchen of a Runner January 12, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    I prefer Saturday to get it over with. Sundays are my lazy days ;)

  41. Lauren January 12, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    So I just realized your new posts haven’t been showing up in my reader! :( I don’t know if I I should’ve updated my feed when you updated your blog….? Anyway, that’s fixed now.

    I have always been a Sunday long run person, for all of the reasons you’ve mentioned. But also because I really like having one day of the workweek as my rest day. It’s nice to not have to worry about getting a run done in the dark after work one day of the week. And I don’t mind running both days of the weekend.

  42. Becky January 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    I love the points you bring up here. I am a Saturday runner. I am usually tired on Friday nights, so it’s the perfect excuse to go to bed early. I love having the rest of the weekend to do other things. Saturday night is usually my date night with my boyfriend, so we can enjoy a nice night without me rushing home to bed or worrying about what I can eat. I take Sundays off most of the time and I love it. On the other hand, when I have buddies to run with, a Sunday runs fits in perfectly!

  43. lindsay January 12, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    i kinda play it by ear… if i sleep too late saturday i always have sunday to fall back on. if i’m out running saturday and “not feeling it”, i can push it to sunday. when i was training for goofy i’d do long runs both days! although the saturday runs were never really *that* long i guess.

  44. Christine January 12, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    I prefer Saturday long runs, because it is out of the way (I only run once on the weekend) and I can enjoy the rest of the weekend and eat and drink as much as I want. I’m a better eater on weekdays since I’m forced to eat what I bring to work :)

  45. Naomi January 13, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    i’m a saturday person. i’m usually too mentally drained to do anything on friday evenings so its a good time for me to rest up and get ready for a long run on sat. then i can go out on saturday night and take all of sunday to recover from both!

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