Back in December I came across this great article from Women’s Running. I come across a lot of great articles during the week and this is what feeds my Friday Finds posts, but this time I thought it would be more fun to devote an entire post to this one find.
In the season of games (surely it wasn’t just me who dug out the Monopoly board for the annual family competition on Christmas Day?) this particular article is based around the popular party game “Would You Rather…” and poses a number of running-based dilemmas to choose between. Having read the article, I thought it might be quite good fun to play, so in this post I’m going to give my answers (and rationale behind them) and invite you to play along too…
Would You Rather…
1. Run with someone chatty or silent?
I think I’m going to choose someone chatty. I don’t often run with others, but if I do it would be for a long, slow run so it would be nice to have a bit of a catch up. Even if I didn’t end up saying much, just listening to someone else can help to keep you going and give you something to focus on in tougher moments.
2. Run with no socks or no sports bra?
No contest. Apparently when a woman runs a marathon her unsupported boobs cover close to 5k in the amount they move! There’s no way I’d run without my sports bra (and if I did I wouldn’t get too far!) so I’m going to have to choose running without socks. It might invite a blister or sore spot, but overall I’d find that far preferable to lots of uncomfortable bouncing around!
3. Run a mile naked or in a snow suit?
Another easy one. I don’t think you could pay me enough to run naked, so I’m going with the snow suit. It might not be the most comfortable run ever (and rather toasty!) but it’s only a mile and despite looking a bit odd it would spare my blushes and maybe even provide some bonus warm weather training!
4. Run in the freezing cold or sweltering heat?
Ooh, a bit harder now. I love the the warm weather and have had some great experiences of running in Florida, but overall I think I perform better in cooler temperatures so I’m going to choose the freezing cold. When it comes to running kit, it’s much easier to keep adding layers to stay warm than to find ways to keep cool once your kit is at the bare minimum, plus you get to look forward to The Greatest Shower Of Your Life when you get back!
5. Run with an empty stomach or a full bladder?
Neither is ideal, but I cope much better with feeling hungry than I do with needing the loo. I might start fantasising that my water bottle is filled with hot soup, but it would be much easier to keep on going with the promise of food later than to be constantly looking for a loo or debating a quick pitstop behind a bush!
6. Run a hilly 5k or a flat marathon?
Hmmm. I do love to run marathons but I think I’m going to choose the hilly 5k as despite the added challenge, it would be over much more quickly. Because of the terrain where I train, I’m used to hills and find overly flat courses a bit boring. I like changes in elevation and if there’s a hill to climb, there’s also an excellent chance of a corresponding downhill section afterwards 🙂
7. Run without music or without a GPS watch?
Strava or it doesn’t count! While I know it’s great to leave the GPS at home sometimes and just run for the sheer enjoyment, I do like to record what I’ve done. Often I start my watch then largely ignore it other than to check in with my mileage from time to time, so I don’t feel I’m an absolute slave to the watch. When it comes to music, I tend to save it for parkrun or races (where allowed), preferring these days to listen to podcasts while I run, but I can just as easily go without and simply enjoy the scenery and some time with my own thoughts. So if I have to lose one, it would be the music.
8. Run the New York City or Boston marathon?
A very American-based question here. I know for many runners Boston is the Holy Grail of marathons and I would love to have the chance to do it one day, but if it has to be one or the other then I’m going to pick New York for that chance to run over the Verrazano Bridge and see every borough of The Big Apple. It’s a bucket list item for me to run in Central Park too, so that would help me to check this off my list.
9. Run as much as you want on the treadmill or only once a week outside?
Ugh, the “dreadmill”. I try to steer clear of there as much as I can. Yes, it serves a purpose for returning post-injury or if it’s dangerous to run outside, but fortunately the winters in Scotland are not as harsh as the winters some of my American friends endure, so it’s rare for me to be unable to get outside. For the sheer joy of running in the great outdoors, I would make the sacrifice of only getting to run once a week.
10. Run a beer mile or a colour run?
Ooh, intriguing. I’ve never done either, but I think the beer mile might have the edge here. I’m not sure I would enjoy all that coloured stuff getting fired at me all the time, and despite the very real danger of throwing up, there’s something kind of intriguing about the beer mile and every time I hear about it, I wonder how I would get on…
11. Run on a trail or on the road?
I’ve always been a road runner and love to meander around the country roads on a sunny day. That said, I’ve recently been enjoying some trail runs, so that complicates my choice. I think I’m going to stick with the road though, as for me it offers the opportunity of running where it’s busy when I need to or heading out of town for some time alone. I do love the trails, but remain reluctant to run there by myself, whereas there are plenty of places I feel safe enough to run alone when I stick to the roads.
12. Run in shoes that are too big or too small?
I’ve run in shoes that are a bit too small and it was NOT a pleasant experience so I’m going to pick running in shoes that are too big. My feet might slip around a bit, but at least I could use the laces and/or extra pairs of socks to improve the fit. Sadly nothing could be done about the too small shoes other than cut the ends off to make a novel pair of “running sandals” lol!
13. Eat a slice of pizza mid-race or drink a milkshake?
Neither of these sound like overly good ideas as they would be sloshing around my stomach for the remainder of the run. That said, I know those in the ultra running community tend to eat more “proper” food when they run, so maybe the slice of pizza would be ok so long as the next part of the run was fairly slow. I’m not a milkshake fan at the best of times, so I’m going to choose the pizza.
14. Run in the rain or snow?
I live in Scotland so probably get more than my fair share of chances to run in the rain! Actually, once you’re out there the rain can be quite nice, but for me running in the snow would be a real novelty and I have great memories of Steve and I heading off in the snow during the Great Thundersnow Adventure of 2010, so in the name of variety, I’m going to pick running in the snow.
15. Run alone or with a big group for the rest of your life?
Alone. Most of the time I train by myself so this wouldn’t be overly different to what I do anyway. It’s nice to run with others, but I like to do my own thing.
16. Run the same outdoor route every single day or run on a treadmill every single day?
See question 9 for my thoughts on the “dreadmill”. Constantly repeating the same route is not exactly ideal as you’re repeating the same stresses on your body over and over, which can lead to injury (I also wouldn’t recommend this approach in the winter/dark as it creates a pattern that can leave you vulnerable) but there’s NO WAY I would want to run on the treadmill every single day, so would much rather cover the same outdoor route if that was the only way to get outside.
17. Have a personal chef or a running coach?
At the moment I’m lucky enough to have a built-in running coach in the form of my husband, however I’ve probably been running long enough now that I could cobble together some kind of passable running plan myself if I had to so that I could have a personal chef. I love my food and all the running tends to make me hungry, but finding time to prepare healthy meals can be tough. It would be great to have someone take care of that for me so I could come in to the perfect meal after every training session.
18. Get free running shoes or free race registrations for life?
SHOES! Always the shoes! I rotate my shoes and have different pairs for different runs (if I run three times a week then I will need three different types of shoe. Heck, I ran three times on New Year’s Day and wore a different pair of shoes for each run!) so I’m bound to spend more on shoes during the course of a year than I spend on race registrations. Actually, I think I might be a bit of a running shoe addict…
19. Do only gentle yoga or intense boot camp classes for cross training?
Intense exercise has its place, but too much of it can have a negative impact on performance and, for me, lead to injury. It has to be the yoga for this one as I’m really loving my yoga classes. Yoga makes me feel flexible, strong and relaxed. Ideal cross training if you ask me!
20. Run in your favourite outfit every day but only wash it once a week or run in clean clothes that you hate every day?
Smell pretty ripe or look an absolute state? I have to say, I just don’t think I could cope with wearing clothes I hated every single day, so I think I’d have to go with only washing my favourite kit once a week (don’t judge me!). Those who take part in multi-day events or long adventures can’t exactly change their clothes every day or their backpacks would be enormous, so it’s not like it would be that unusual. I’d probably just give it a spray of perfume or something to take the edge off. Besides, even the clean kit would be smelly before the run was over!
Now I’d love to know your answers (and not just to check if anyone else would join me in sticking with the smelly, unwashed kit!). Either pop your answers in the comments below, or turn this into a link up by writing your own post and linking back to me. If you do write your own, add your link in the comments as well. Have fun!