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 measuring runs by distance vs duration
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

measuring runs by distance vs duration Posted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 10:37 am 

I've read some articles that suggest long-distance runners should focus more on the duration of their training runs than on the actual distance. I'm not sure what the reasoning behind that advice is, though. Is it simply to alleviate the self-pressure that can often come when worrying about your pace? I'd be interested to hear if anyone trains this way, and if they think it helps. It sure would make things simpler, and you could also run wherever you wanted without needing to measure the route distance.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: measuring runs by distance vs duration Posted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 1:12 pm 

I've tried going by time on both of my last two runs, and I think I like it! I just ran off in a random direction for XX minutes, then came home. How fast did I run... I'm not sure exactly. It feels like a great way to relieve some pressure and help address the monotony that can set in when you're in the middle of a heavy training program.

Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: measuring runs by distance vs duration Posted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:26 pm 

Interesting thought. I run timed trail runs since there's no logical way to clock exact distances on trails. It does alleviate the distance stress (how many times have you thought: "What?! 6 MORE miles?"). It's much easier to deal with, "Okay, 42 more minutes to go." I'm sure there's some psychological reason as to why, but I'm too exhausted from my 1 hour and 10 minutes trail run to give it more thought.

BGibbsLMT

Southington, CT
Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 68

Re: measuring runs by distance vs duration Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 9:11 pm 

Rustyboy wrote:
Interesting thought. I run timed trail runs since there's no logical way to clock exact distances on trails..


Nike triax distance meter or the footsense FS-1 are both pretty accurate for measuring distance on trails. I usually use both time and distance to gauge progress.


Runner58


Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 30

Re: measuring runs by distance vs duration Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 10:04 am 

I think time is the more scientific approach. If you read reviews of the research, they focus on triggering certain adaptions. This is done by stressing the body at certain levels of intensity for certain amounts of time. But I am old fashioned and can't help but think in miles and intensity. Obviously, the three are related and with my 201 I get all three.

OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: measuring runs by distance vs duration Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 12:53 pm 

For the most part I'm too anal about how many miles I put in over the course of a week to take this approach. I don't have any way to enter just time into my PC training log. Of course I could estimate, but I like really knowing!

aquastang

Marshalltown, IA
Joined: 12 Jun 2005
Posts: 2

Re: measuring runs by distance vs duration Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 3:57 pm 

I coach girls CC and boys track. We do our runs both ways. However, we like to start our younger and inexperienced runners primarily on timed runs. These runners have little knowledge of pace and we want them to simply focus more on their mechanics than on pace anyway. As their fitness level and mechanics improve, they get to see that they are making it out farther on a particular route than when they started. This really keeps them motivated.

Also, Jack Daniels points out that less talented runners will take longer to complete the miles than will the top athletes, thus taking more of a toll on the body. Of course, you can take care of this problem by keeping the miles down. I guess it depends on your level of experience and what you are training for.

Our athletes really like the timed runs, especially for MP pace and T pace. Our long run each week is almost always by miles.

We've been fortunate enough to have athletes that have that "clock" in their head and stay on pace during timed runs, so I simply divide their pace into the total time ot the run to get mileage. Additionally, they all return at about the same time and everyone feels like they did their part. A great team builder! Maybe not applicable to the individual runner, but if you have a training group you might give it a try.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: measuring runs by distance vs duration Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:22 pm 

I find that I really depend on a measured course so that I can get accurate splits and thus know my pace. I evaluate my workouts on how I felt for a particular pace on a specific course. My log allows me to enter a rating (1-10) for Effort. My standard measures for my runs are: Recovery 6-7, Easy 8, Temp/Interval 9, Race 10. This forces me to think about my runs afterwards and do a self-evaluation. I sometimes find myself rating a recovery run with an effort level higher than normal and realize that I ran harder than I should have, and thus may not be giving my body enough rest. On the other hand, If I can see a particular pace is starting to feel more comfortable then I know I'm ready to push a little faster the next time I run that workout.

I ended up doing some long duration runs as part of my preparation for the Vermont City Marathon last April and May. I chose to run on several sections of a canal path (Deleware/Raritan in NJ) that I hadn't run on before. I was surprised to find that none of these sections had any of the old cement mile markers like I was used to along other parts of the canal path. I had to try to guage my pace and then run for duration. I then chose to run my last long run on a section of the canal path I knew was measured and found that my pace was much faster than I had figured for my other long runs. One of those other long runs was supposed to be 22 miles (based upon an estimated pace), and it turns out that it was more like 23.5 miles. So I ended up running much father than I wanted to go (which may explain why I was much more sore after that run than I expected).


Last edited by mfox on Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:06 pm; edited 1 time in total


Bricks
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Chicago
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: measuring runs by distance vs duration Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:54 pm 

yeah, i'm waaaaay to anal to do that, not to mention i rarely run the same time on the way out as the way in, so that would drive me crazy too...

Jsphsl4204


Joined: 22 May 2005
Posts: 22

Re: measuring runs by distance vs duration Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:31 pm 

I'm with the rest of you, you really wouldn't catch me doing that, rather it works or not... And besides, with the way that I personally thing, even if I did have six miles left, and I told myself that, my secondhand thought would be that I had 42 minutes left, and, it would nullify any other thought I would have...

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