Out and Back? Loop?

I was reading Miss Zippy's post about which paths runners prefer to tread, and the article she referenced.  (Over-generalization...) I thought it left out a couple of things.  And yes, I agree.  Variety.

To refresh:
Loop runs are a circular path.  Loops lend themselves nicely to the lakes.  I run a lot of circles around the lakes in winter because the paths are reliably plowed.  Some of my favorite training runs have been loops.  This one for example. 

Out and back runs involve going along a path to a certain point, and then running back.  I've done a lot of this kind of run on the trails and longer bike paths we have here.  The benefit of the out-and-back is that you can 'race yourself' on the way back, see if you can make the second half happen faster than the first half of the run.  Plus, on a six mile run, I'm all "oh, I made it 3 miles, let's go home" which makes the back half easier.

Point to Point runs are where you start at point A and finish the workout at point B.   Twin Cities Marathon is a point to point course.  They're not so popular for training runs because they require planning.   How are you going to get back to your car or back home when you're done?  These work best with a group of friends, where one person's car is at the start and another vehicle is at the finish, or if you live in a city with transit and can take the bus/rail home.

Track runs: Clearly the author has never met a Minnesotan forced onto the indoor track during the winter.  We're not sociable.  We're grumpy as hell.  It's cold and I can't run outside.  Why are you here?  Move.  Maybe not that bad, but certainly not running in circles as a first choice.

Missing from the list :
Lollipop runs are a combination of the out and back and loop.  See the map on this post..  Basically you run "out" to the lake, "the loop" around the lake, and then "back" home.   I do this so much because I usually have to run a mile or two to get to the lake/river/park that is serving as the main focus of the run.  The frequency with which I do lollipop runs explains my patience for both loop and out-and-back runs, and why I don't have a strong preference for one or the other.

Treadmill runsHow the eff did they leave off the treadmill?  You think "out and back" runners are control freaks.  Clearly you've never met a treadmill runner.  My hatred of the treadmill is pretty well documented.  I tolerate it only in small doses when it's too cold outside and the indoor track is over-run with small children.  But it is a great tool for learning about pacing and patience.  (That must be why I hate it.)

Trail runs: The article does mention trail runs but fails to acknowledge that most trail races are one or more loops.  Having just done a race with two loops of the same trail, there was no escape.  I assure you.  Imagine doing a 50K that involved four loops...

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