Thursday, April 24, 2014

Distance Versus Time

In chatting with my trusty travel buddy, Tara (who really should start blogging again because she's hilarious), I was reminded that when we trained for the NYC Marathon in 2012, our coach taught us that maybe we should focus on time rather than miles when training.

You can't?! How am I supposed to let the world know I'm awesome?

Most marathon training plans consist of running certain miles on certain days, with long runs of increasing distance until you reach about 20 miles and then a taper. The problem is that if you are a slow runner, that means numerous runs over three hours. Apparently, once you've been running for 3 to 3.5 hours, you're no longer helping or training your body, but actually doing damage with excessive wear and tear.

Answer: Both. Simultaneously.

Before we left for NYC in 2012 for the marathon that would ultimately get canceled, I had done one long run of 16 miles and one 18. Even though it took me 4 hours to do 18 miles, I still felt that I needed to hit that distance to not be completely freaked out about the idea of being able to finish.

Marathon training doesn't officially start for me until June, but I'm trying to wrap my head around exactly how I want to approach it for this year. Mind you, I have already completed one full as part of Goofy, so I'm not a marathon virgin, but I'm curious as to how others approach their training plans.

I'm all ears to the pearls of wisdom anyone wishes to share! Also, cross training? Any advice there?



  1. The 2nd time around for marathon training, I incorporated the Jeff Galloway plan (re-organizing it, so I only went up to 20 miles) for experienced runners- you increased miles every other week, which worked out perfect for me. I wasn't miserably tired for the entire training, only every other week ;)

    That's a good point about the time vs miles. I never thought about it that way. It makes sense, but sometimes you just need to mentally know you can do it.

    Yoga was essential and as much as you're not going to want to, recovery runs are awesome.
    (also, tart cherry juice helped with the soreness)

    1. I had tart cherry juice at an expo once and it was so delicious. Hmmmm, I wonder where I get some....

      Yoga, yoga, yoga. Not a fan. But maybe I should just grit my teeth and do it.

  2. I remember my first 18 miler, we started at 9pm!! Then we had a couple 20s and a 22 all in the dead heat of summer. It was sucking the life out of me and taking us all day it felt. So I can totally see choosing time over distance looking back on it all!

    1. As an added bonus of fun- we get to do all these long runs in the middle of AZ summer, which is, well, horrid.

  3. I just have to say i'm loving your graphics. Kinda goes along the lines of "if it's not on facebook, did it really happen" haha. I'm doing Goofy in 2015 and and will be doing the gallowy method. I kinda did that for my half too!

  4. I never thought of the time vs miles but that is interesting about how being out there longer than 3 / 3.5 hours does more harm than good. I've never done a marathon, but I know I do much better when I'm doing yoga regularly. But if you find good cross training, let me know!


Thanks for reading!