Saturday: the new Sunday

“I pity the fool who does his long run on a Sunday morning!”

You remember how I raved about my Sunday morning long runs? How they were wonderful and marvellous and an essential part of my week?

Well, scratch that. Lately I’ve been doing my Sunday morning runs on Saturdays.

It started a couple of weeks ago. Snow was forecast one Sunday, so I was forced to bring my long run forward a day. Now, I figured that my usual long run route would be busy with shoppers and dog walkers and the unfortunate French teenagers who have school on a Saturday morning. (Ha!)

But if anything my route was quieter. Turns out that most runners and cyclists hit my local forest roads on a Sunday morning; on that Saturday the place was almost deserted. What’s more, without the Sunday morning outdoor food markets there were less people on the streets too.

So, I’ve continued with long runs on Saturday morning. This means that I can now have a lie-in on Sundays and catch up on my sleep, then have a short trot that evening.

For previous marathons I would do speed training on Saturday mornings. Last summer, ahead of the Dublin Marathon that October, I set my alarm for 7:00 a.m. on Saturdays and the track, then also on Sundays for the long run. I never had a lie-in.

When you’re a kid, Saturday mornings are synonymous with fun – you spring out of bed to watch TV. This was certainly the case in our house – waking up all energetic as our mother had to get up too and make us breakfast, like a little Christmas morning every week. (That must have been fun for my parents.) I get a Proustian rush back to those days whenever I hear the theme from ‘Batman’, which was still being shown on Irish TV in the 1980s. It’s probably one of my favourite things.

Sunday mornings meant going to Mass, and that was summed up by this mournful Irish air that was the signature tune for a radio show my parents would have on before we left the house.

If Saturday mornings are fun and Sunday mornings are obligation, then perhaps my long runs have found the new home they deserve. To celebrate, here’s my quintessential Saturday morning music:

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