IS IT BETTER TO RUN FOR TIME OR DISTANCE?
You have to know what you’re training for — endurance, personal record, healthy lifestyle — and how much time you’re willing to dedicate to training. Got your goal? Great!
Now you have to decide how you’re going to measure your success. You have two options: time or distance. Neither is better than the other, it’s all a matter of what will push you further toward your goal.
Great for first-time runners or those conquering a new distance (think: going from 5K to 10K), distance training is the simplest starting point. If your goal distance is 5K or you’re gearing up for a 10K, map out a route in your neighborhood (or you can go the treadmill route). Now try running that route. If you find yourself struggling mid-run, use the run/walk method. This gives your body short breaks to ease the run. Over time you’ll notice that you’re running more and walking less.
Choose time-based training if you’re trying to finish a race in a certain amount of time or you’re aiming for a new personal record. The key here is to not burn yourself out too fast by rushing for a 60-minute run when you normally do 20 minutes. Start off with your current maximum running time and run a little bit longer each time you train. The time added can be as little as five minutes. It’s up to you. Feeling gassed? Decrease the amount of time you add each run. It’s better to progress slowly. A burnt out runner is less likely to make it to race day.Kerry Greer, EXOS
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