Sunday, May 19, 2013

Distance or Time?

Hey hey hey!  How's your Sunday?
Today I have some questions for all you runners (or anyone that would like to chime in!)
This morning I ran 5 miles or about 45 minutes... I did the first 1.5 miles with Jax at a 10 minute pace and then dropped that cutie off to go back to sleep (which he promptly did), and then I continued on by myself for another 3.5 miles at a 8:22 pace.  I was going to run just 3 miles with Jax, but he slows me down a bit and I really wanted to see how my body was feeling running at my own pace, so I took him on my warm-up. 
Here he is refusing to look at the camera pre-run this morning...such attitude ;)
My first question is do you run for miles or time?
When I really got into running 4 years ago, I ran for time.  The book I had bought on marathon training was all about the minutes of running - not about the miles.  At the time I didn't know any other way of running so that's the method I followed.  I'd take my watch and go out for a 26 minute run like my plan stated and thought nothing of how far I had actually gone which is mind boggling to me now because I've become so attached to the miles.  When I started to connect with other runners, through my experience I saw that most (at least the runners I encountered) ran based on miles...  The only time I go more for time is when treadmill running, but even then I often focus on miles.
My second question is what do you eat before running?
This morning I had a banana and a glass of water.  After the first 1.5 miles, I had a cliff gel and some more water.  I'll often eat a bowl of oatmeal if it's a longer run.  Sometimes even a bowl of rice krispies, but that hasn't been great fuel in the past.

My third question is do you stretch before and/or after running?
I need to work on this.  I rarely stretch before running.  Basically just a good morning stretch because I'm normally just crawling out of bed before my runs.  I used to stretch a lot after running, but lately I've completely abandoned stretching.  I guess my only reasoning is laziness or I just haven't gotten in the routine.  In all honestly though, I'm not really sure when I should be stretching.  Please share your thoughts :)
And my last question is do you generally start your runs slower than you finish?
I had a 45 second difference between my first mile and last mile today.  I was with Jax in the beginning so that makes a bigger difference, but even so, between mile 2 and 5 was a 30 second difference in mile times. 
Those are my questions!  I love hearing from other runners because I'm always learning more... Thanks for any of your responses to 1, 2, or all of my questions. 
Hope your weekend finishes wonderfully!


  1. I typically run for distance, not time. Sometimes I will see I'm close to a time and keep going, or sometimes I know I only have so much time so I make it work!

    Before running.. hmm if it is in the morning, typically I don't eat anything, or a banana if so.

    Stretching before running isn't good. You shouldn't stretch muscles until they are warmed up. I typically don't stretch ever.. it's terrible and it's something I need to work on! I did stretch after my run this morning and feel tons better! I would say stretch after, though!

    I have a feeling my runs are typically faster then slower. In races I strive for the slower then faster because I tend to start out too fast with the adrenaline!

    Hope that helps! :)

    1. I've been trying to stretch more lately! Thanks for your comments!!

  2. Let's see:
    -I run for distance, but that's because I need round numbers in my life. :) I actually find that breaking things down runs by time makes them easier to mentally handle though.
    -If I have over an hour before a run, I usually eat a toaster waffle or a poptart. Otherwise I forgo the food.
    -I stretch both - a little before and more afterwards. If I'm super tight, I will stretch after the first mile of a run when your muscles are more limber.
    -And yes, I always try to "warm-up" the first bit, then pick it up from there.
    Sounds like a fun run with you and the pooch though! He's so cute!

    1. Thanks so much for your comments! I know you're an awesome runner! :)

  3. I started running about 4 years ago too and I started running based on time. About a year in, it changed to kilometers though and has been that way ever since. Although, sometimes I only want to go for a half hour run... but it's the same as 5km for me really.
    I prefer running in the mornings so I will just have a piece of fruit (like a banana or half an orange or something) and maybe a few nuts. I normally don't have a gel unless I run 10km+ and only do 1/2 gel for every 10km. If I run in the afternoon, I tend to have half a larabar an hour or so before I go.
    Love your socks btw =) And I so wish I had a furry companion to run with!

    1. Thank you! Gotta have fun socks! Thanks for your comments! =)

  4. ?1.) Depends ~ if I'm on a treadmill, I run for time. If I am outside I run for miles.

    ?2.) A Banana or half a larabar

    ?3.) I stretch a little before and a lot after

    ?4.) I do start off slower than when I finish. Maybe I just need to find my "groove." :)

  5. I totally was like you - I USED to go for time instead of distance which is so silly. I remember I would run for an hour, but it was at an extremely slow(er) pace, so really not as effective as how I run now! I'm ALL about the miles now!

    I NEED to get better at stretching too. When I used to stretch (ugh, like 2 years ago), I was much more flexible, so I want to improve on both again. Great post!

    1. Thanks char! I used to be more flexible too... I'm trying to stretch more after running!

  6. I run for distance and normally have a pace goal depending on what I have planned for the rest of the week.

    I normally end up running faster than I meant to (I'm still slow!)

    Depending on how far I run I either fuel or don't. Less than five miles I don't worry about eating anything. More than five miles I eat a small snack. More than 7 miles I eat a GU at mile six or I get sick.

    I stretch afterwards. I've heard twenty million rumors on when you should stretch. Sometimes my stretching looks more like laying on the floor.

    I pretty much always finish faster than I start. I like to start slow as a warm up then finish strong (I hate not being able to finish my daily goal)

    Lots of questions lots of answers! Especially from running nerds like me!

  7. I'm not a runner at all, but I feel ya on the stretching. I know I should do it, but I always seem to be slacking on it. Now I make sure I give myself enough time to stretch before and after workouts.