Running Minutes vs. Miles - Part 3

As a conclusion to our experiment of running minutes vs miles, here's what we both have to say about it. Amy's a fan of running by time, and Marci would rather run by miles. Here's why:

Marci's Run 5

I've been running listening to podcasts for the past few months, but when I switched to running by time I went back to listening to music thinking it'd be easier for me to get by with music than podcasts. Now that its been a few runs, I really miss listening to my podcasts. I'm curious how these runs would have felt had I listened to the podcasts instead of music - maybe they would have felt better? I'm not sure.

For this last run I decided to go the farthest I have in a while. It was tiring and a warm morning, but overall the run felt good and I'm happy I made it. I'm actually really glad I'm done running by time for now. I just like running by miles better and I feel like I've accomplished more when I base my run on miles versus time. Scroll down to read my Top 5 Reasons to Run By Miles!

Amy's Run 5

The last run was 60 minutes, so today I again set out to meet that goal. I wanted to be sure I could hit that time again and it wasn't a one-off. I started out and suddenly I was at my first 15 minutes! 15 more minutes and I'm halfway done! Well, the next 15 minutes seemed to drag on forever. 17 minutes, 20 minutes, 21 minutes - again, it felt like I'd never get to 30. But suddenly I did and it was there and gone. By 40 minutes I was feeling great, and knowing I only had 20 more to go I picked up the pace a bit. And the same thing happened when I had 10 minutes left. I don't know why, but running in 10 minute increments seems so much more doable to me than running another mile. I'm loving running by time and I'm pretty sure I'm just going to keep doing it when this experiment is over! Scroll down to read my Top 5 Reasons to Run By Minutes!

Top 5 Reasons To Run By Minutes

  1. Distracts Me From Mileage - I was having trouble hitting miles, running by time got me running longer and eventually helped me hit those longer distances.
  2. Boosts Confidence - When I run 5 minutes longer one day than the previous day, I feel great and proud of myself!
  3. Feels More Attainable - To me, running for 10 more minutes seems so much easier than running for 1 more mile. 
  4. Minutes Are Larger Numbers Than Miles - Yes, this is weird, but if I run for 30 minutes I feel like I've accomplished more than just running for 3 miles. 
  5. Change Is Good For Me - The change helped mix up my training and the new challenge gave me a reboot.

Top 5 Reasons To Run By Miles

  1. Miles Is A Better Goal For Me - I've already been running 8+ miles regularly, so my goal of adding on miles feels more normal than running by time.
  2. Easier To Focus On Miles Than Minutes - Since I am so used to running for miles over minutes I feel like I can just shut my brain off and go once I step out the door and hit play on my app.
  3. I Feel More Accomplished - I feel like I've accomplished more with miles than running for an hour.
  4. I Don't Have To Think How Far I'm Going To Go - Because I just go!
  5. I'm A Creature Of Habit - I started out running by miles and it was just too hard for me to change and run by minutes. And I LIKE running by miles!

In the end, do what works for you. It was great for me to try something new, and it didn't work out so well for Marci (but I'm glad she gave it a try!).

If you do want to give running by time a try, here are a few tips I'd recommend to get started:

  • Commit 100% - Run on a new path or on a treadmill so you only run by time and don't get distracted by mile points you already know.
  • Increase Slowly - 5 or 10 minutes at a time. Suddenly you'll be running 20 and 30 minutes longer than before.
  • It Takes Time - Running by minutes instead of by miles is like learning a new language or driving on the opposite side of the road - it takes time for your brain to make the switch.
  • Break It Up - Break up your run into 10 or 15 minute increments. Use those as markers instead of miles.