Thursday, June 2, 2011

Do You Run By Time Or Distance?

Lately I've been considering measuring my runs by time instead of distance. I don't want to become a slave to the Garmin where I'm so focused on distance and pace that I forget I'm supposed to be having fun.

But....I think the OCD part of me might go NUTS not being able to keep track of my mileage.

Have you ever faced this dilemma? Do you run by time or distance, and why?


  1. I am going on a family reunion camping in July in the middle of marathon training and I don't own a garmin. My runs are mapped via stuff like mapmyrun and on the car odometer. So during that week in July while I am on vacation I will be running all my runs on time instead of distance.

    But here's the kicker since I have never owned a garmin and am actually really honed into my body and my pace I can actually crank out a 5mile run on just time and be pretty accurate.

    If you have gotten to the point the only way you know your pace and your time and distance is because of your garmin it's time to hide the garmin until you actually can run by feel and know your pace once more.

    I run approximately 50 minutes most days and I run 5 miles my variance is normally only 48-52 so within 4 minutes every single day. You are much better off being able to gauge your pace without a garmin in the long run. I can do the same 5k pace around 8mm the same way I can do my easy every day pace of 10mm because I have never run with a garmin and ran without any kind of watch for a year and half.

  2. Funny, my thoughts were similar to Patrick's .... I pretty much know how far I have gone by the time, as well.

    For many years I never thought much about my distance, only measured time.

    Now I usually run a pre-planned route that I make on mapmyrun ... or I will go back and map the run to find the distance AFTER I have run it.

  3. Ahhh I definitely experience this dilemma all the time. I tell myself I am just going to go run for 40 minutes or something and decide I do not care how far I run...I just want to get in 40 minutes of cardio and a good run. Then I find myself always looking at my garmin trying to get "more" miles in during that amount of time. Frustrating. Lately I have been getting annoyed with my garmin. The battery life is suddenly terrible and I have been looking at it way too much. I know right now I usually always run by distance. But I think it would be a nice break every once in a while to run by time...I think I would tune into what is going on around me more and just be more engaged in the run...rather than my watch or whatever else I have that is distracting me. I hope that after the marathon I will give this a try. It sounds refreshing.

  4. I am a garmin addict. I love to know my pace, my distance, my time...... I am trying to force myself to not let my times ruin the fun of running though. I DO think it's fun to try to train more and push harder to try to improve my pace and distances. I just have to make sure that the times I don't succeed in improving....I'm still having fun anyway.

  5. I think you're on to something and it's this thing that I think people are starting to talk about a lot! The Garmin really gets this hold of you, it's like your measurement of success at times. It's started to bug me! My last 5K that I ran the weekend before last I ran without it.

    I know the distances on my routes now so am thinking of just wearing a regular watch. That Garmin cannot make my legs run any faster. I do know my lungs and how my body feels. Think I might try this out in my next half marathon!

  6. I run by distance. I do this because I want the length of my run to be up to me (and by length I mean TIME). I can go fast and have a short run, or take it easy and take longer. I suppose you could do this with time, too.

    Am I digging myself into a hole here?

    Who am I kidding? How great I am is in relation to the number of miles I run. Right? :)

  7. I always run by distance now but I definitely know that feeling of being a slave to the Garmin. I know the mileage on most of my routes so I do have the option of running them Garminless and not knowing my pace but still knowing my distance. Not sure I like to run if I don't know how far I've gone. I want the credit-ha!!

  8. I run by distance, but have thought about doing at least one or two runs per week by time. hmmm, I think I would go nuts not knowing my distance.