QT: In Running, is Good Enough Ever Good Enough?

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I was listening to the Red Weather Christians podcast recently, and the topic of the episode was about whether or not good enough is ever really good enough.

As the discussion played out, I think the answer ultimately ended up being situation-dependent.

Sometimes, good enough is fine.

Other times? Not so much.

And that got me thinking about running, and different areas where good enough is ok and others where it’s simply not.

What is Good Enough?

Just so we are on the same page, let’s define what I’m talking about when I say good enough.

Basically, I’m talking about the bare minimum.

So the question becomes, in running, are there ever times when just doing the minimum suffices?

When Good Enough is Enough

Where in your running might you be ok with doing the minimum and moving on?

Distance/Volume:

If I had a dollar for every time someone commented on my workout distance, noting that I stopped at 5.99 instead of 6.00 miles, I might just be able to go on a hell of a vacation.

I get a chuckle every single time.

I feel like if the goal is to run for 5-6 miles, and I get back to my front door when my watch says 5.99 miles, that’s good enough.

Training Plan:

Let me let you in on a little secret about putting together a good training plan, it’s more art than science.

When you’re preparing for your next race, please don’t waste too much time or energy trying to put together the perfect mileage progression.

As long as you’re building your fitness gradually and you end up in a place where you feel confident heading into your race, that’s good enough.

When You Need to Dial It In

Yes, there are times when good enough ticks the box.

But what about a couple of examples where the bare minimum doesn’t get the job done?

Wrist-Based Heart Rate:

You had to know this was coming.

Look, I’m not saying that heart rate training is the only way to train.

I might not even be saying that it’s the best way to train.

But if you’re going to commit to heart rate training, using the optical sensor on your watch to keep tabs on your heart rate simply doesn’t cut it.

Hard Workouts:

When it comes to a hard workout, don’t waste your time by half-assing it.

I don’t care what the workout is, hard efforts are supposed to be hard!

So if I’m looking at the graph of your workout on Strava and can’t clearly see at a glance where you were getting after it, then your workout was probably not good enough.

It is Mostly Up to You

When it comes down to it, most aspects of running (and life) aren’t exactly black and white.

In some areas? What is good enough for me won’t be good enough for you.

And vice versa.

So the key, near as I can tell, is being honest with yourself.

If you’re going through the motions? It doesn’t matter what we are talking about, it’s probably not enough.

If you’re being honest with yourself, you know when good enough is enough.

And, perhaps more importantly, you also know when it’s not.


Sometimes, good enough is more than enough. Other times, it's not. #runchat Share on X

What Areas of Running are You Satisfied with Good Enough?

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