Run, stop, run, stop, run, repeat…

It’s annoying when I come to a street that I need to cross, see a car coming up, stop, wait for it to continue on, but the driver slows down because s/he sees me standing there on the corner to cross.  So, so annoying.  Why do driver’s do that?  I’m clearly standing there waiting to cross.  Then I find myself running a tad too fast for a long run once I cross the street because I’m fueled by annoyance.

traffic-lightThis happened several times on my 15 mile long run yesterday, plus several other lengthy red traffic lights.  Poor route planning on my part.  But, I noticed that for the most part this run felt better than last week’s long run.  Can I credit the traffic stops every few miles?  Probably.

Last week I did the lake loop where there are no traffic stops, it’s 13 continuous miles without having to stop.  I ended up stopping at mile 10 when I realized that, and felt a bit better after that.  My route yesterday had a traffic stop at mile 3, 3.25, 5, 6, 8, 8.25, 10 and 14.  There was a traffic light at mile 12, but I “lucked” out with a green light and didn’t have to stop, though I should have, because the last 3 miles were a battle.

I’m curious to know how other runners feel about traffic stops in a long run?  Do you purposely plan your route to avoid it as best as you can?  Do you not mind stopping every few miles?  Do you notice a difference on how you feel on runs with stops vs. runs with no stops?


13 thoughts on “Run, stop, run, stop, run, repeat…

  1. I hate stopping at traffic lights, especially when you’re feeling good, or trying to do speed work. But I will admit that they can provide a chance to catch your breath! Usually, I plan my route around getting to areas with fewer lights, or atleast with fewer cars so I can cross quickly. Im somewhat of an impatient person 🙂

  2. I try to plan routes without stops. the further I run the harder the stops are for me. When I lived in DC I would plan my run to end at a metro station so I didn’t have to run and stop every block to get back to my apartment.

  3. I don’t think a few short stops here and there hurt anything, and stopping for a few seconds can even help make you feel a little fresher when you start again. It’s usually not something I worry about too much. As you know, I’ve recently been more aware of the stops I take during a long run, but that’s probably more for the mental aspect of training for a long-distance race where I won’t be stopping at all. Sometimes when you’re running in the city you just can’t avoid it.

  4. Lots of recognition here (found your blog through twitter), whenever I approach a traffic light I watch the traffic long before actually reaching the stop light to see whether I can cross the street when there’s no cars passing and I can cross without stopping. If there’s lots of traffic I sometimes take last-second decision to change the route but if it is at the end of the run I quite often stay cathing my breath for a while.

    Traffic light stops are OK on a normal slow-distance run but for quality workouts I try to avoid them as much as I can because then I really dont wanna stop!

  5. Ooh! I so feel you on this one. I ran a little over 12 yesterday. The majority of it was pretty clear of lights (I live in DC, to it’s tough to totally avoid ’em), however the last mile we hit a bunch of red lights. When you’re already tired and have been running for 2 hours a red light is just not what I want to see.

  6. I plan my route around as few traffic lights as possible. But it happens! Mostly I just stand there looking annoyed watching the light as if willing it to change.

    Hasn’t worked yet. Sigh.

  7. Usually if we are at a light and it hasn’t changed when we need it to we’ll just turn the corner and run til we can cut across. Hate stopping! It’s not what you’re really suppose to do but uhh, we do it =)

  8. See, life in BFE and there are NO red lights only stop signs and those are much easier to navigate….except folks can’t drive and eat fried catfish too well down here so it does get scary sometimes!! I don’t think the short stops are going to hurt you…relax, stretch a glut, hammey, and/or quad while you wait…enjoy the process!!

  9. No stops when I run on the bike path (weekends). In my neighborhood routes, there are a few intersections where I might have to stop, but for most of them I can keep going until it’s safe to make a mad dash accross the street. :-0

  10. I love this topic because I have often wandered about this myself. I find stoplights annoying, but fully admit to appreciating a break at a red light from time-to-time. Do most people pause their Garmins at red lights or just let them run?

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