To split or not to split

So, after not being able to run for a few months, I am now gently easing myself back in. But here is the thing – it is so demoralising when you consider the amount of effort that was put in to the training in the lead up to injury. I was cautious and thoughtful with my training so was completely rocked by not being able to walk, let alone run. I have not had to start from scratch but many will know how tough it is! Anyway, enough of the self-pity – what am I going to do to start getting the miles under my belt again and start focusing on moving forward and not backward?

So, a few days ago I put on my motivated face, got my legs out (yes, it was sunny then!) and donned my trainers. I headed out with my 2 dogs looking at getting about 4-5 miles under my belt – unfortunately, the dogs did not have the same idea and after stopping and starting constantly for poo and sniff breaks – I managed a total mileage of about 1.5 miles before arriving back home!

Then I got to thinking, does it really matter if I have to split my run into 2 sessions in a day? I have seen multiple schools of thought on this – both for and against split runs and I appreciate the rationale behind each of them – but this is usually in preparation for long runs:

FOR split runs

The body is placed under less stress when the run is split between an extended period of time

More mileage may be completed on a given day when splitting the distance into two runs

Running on tired legs may provide beneficial physiological changes and improve overall performance

AGAINST split runs

A split run is not necessarily conducive to replicating a long run

Longer runs are required to be sure of and put into practice nutritional needs for race day

For races mental preparation is necessary and a near or full distance long run will highlight barriers

My aim is to do a marathon this year but at this stage whether this is achievable I do not know. What I do know is that I am going to work my hardest to get back my running fitness and start pounding the roads again! So, for me personally, at present, I believe that it could be quite a good idea to split some of my runs as I increase my mileage again. I based this on the fact I am not running long distances yet! (due to injury) plus, I do not have a fixed training plan in place presently, therefore, I have very little to lose. I am simply trying to get back out there after recovering from my calf injury.

Let’s see what happens ……the picture was taken along the estuary, Embankment, Plymouth, Devon.

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