Jo Pavey on min­utes v miles and when to hit the gym

Runner's World (UK) - - In This Issue -

For most run­ners, a com­bi­na­tion of the two is likely to be best. Mea­sur­ing miles on some runs dur­ing a race buildup is use­ful to get a feel for the race dis­tance. This is par­tic­u­larly help­ful if you’re run­ning a half marathon or a marathon. It’s also good to time a set num­ber of miles on some of your quicker runs, and to set dis­tances dur­ing in­ter­val ses­sions. This al­lows you to mon­i­tor your progress and to gauge a re­al­is­tic race-day pace.

Run­ning for a set amount of min­utes also has ad­van­tages. It al­lows you to lis­ten to your body and not get caught up on pace. The pur­pose of a run can vary greatly – a tempo run, a steady or easy re­cov­ery run – and run­ning by min­utes with­out mea­sur­ing the miles al­lows you to run ac­cord­ing to how your body feels, which is a use­ful skill. Your routes may vary in ter­rain too, mak­ing it less rel­e­vant to com­pare miles/pace. Some run­ners may also fall into the trap of be­com­ing ob­sessed with achiev­ing their planned weekly mileage, which could eas­ily lead to in­jury or fa­tigue.

Ex­pe­ri­ence is also an im­por­tant fac­tor: If you’re an ex­pe­ri­enced run­ner, you’re more likely to have a bet­ter in-built sense of pace. This makes it eas­ier to ap­prox­i­mate how far you’re run­ning in a cer­tain amount of min­utes. Novice run­ners may feel more in con­trol with the knowl­edge of the miles they have run.

THE BAL­ANCE Some ses­sions are bet­ter judged by miles, oth­ers by time on the road. Feel free to mix it up.

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