Training for a marathon is a lot like playing a game of “would you rather.”
Whether you’re training for a race in the middle of the summer or the cold depths of winter, all of your choices are bad—you just need to figure out which ones are less bad.
I get a kick out of it every time I get asked “you’re going to run in this? Which, with the mild heat wave we’ve been experiencing here in Boston, means approximately 90 degrees with 60+ humidity.
My answer is generally something like, “well it’s either that or six miles on the treadmill,” to which I get an equally perplexed and thoughtful look, as if the inquisitor can’t decide which one is best.
None of them. None of them are best.
These are the many “would you rather” choices I’ve been dealing with this training cycle, should any non-runners want to participate:
Would you rather… wake up at 5:30am on Saturday morning or sleep in and run when it’s already sunny and 90 degrees?
Would you rather… run six miles in a humid thunderstorm or run six miles on a treadmill?
Would you rather… run before work at 6am or run after work and skip plans with your friends?
The difficulty of training for a race is always the dedication it takes to complete your weekly mileage, especially when you’re faced with these decisions. It’s not a matter of “should I do this?” it becomes a question of “how should I do this?”
For me, I know what the answer is: I’d rather wake up at the crack of dawn, chance running during a thunderstorm or suck it up on a treadmill if it means avoiding the scorching hot sun.
What would you rather situation would you choose?