Since I've been resting, I have been reflecting on my training log dreaming about running again. Haha, seriously I have been looking at the data and for a while there I was running according to time instead of distance.
Most all training schedules are in miles, not time. There are a few exceptions, like Jeff Galloway, though. I just transitioned my training over to the Team in Training plan, which is in miles. But is one way better than the other, or is it just personal preference?
Looking at my log, I seemed to enjoy the runs more not having to focus on a distance. When 4 miles is on the schedule, for example, I know I push myself to get that 4 miles done. Some days, that may not be what I need.
When 40 minutes is on the schedule, I find I don't concentrate on pace that much but just enjoy the run more. One day 40 minutes could mean 4.25 miles and another day it could mean 3.8 miles. Time allows my body to run based on how it is performing that day.
Performance, by using a set time, might be a better indicator of improvement. Perhaps a more natural indicator, instead of mentally always pushing my body to get the miles done quickly and on with life.
When I kept to the time during the week and the longer distances on the weekends I noticed also no injuries. As a fairly new runner, I am dealing with my second injury now. Both injuries were a result of speed.
After all this analysis and review, I'm not nearly ready to work on speed. I have found training during the week for time will help me meet my goals in a way that is more natural for my body and abilities. So, when I am back to training, time running during the week, and distance on weekends.
As far as races go, I need to slowly and steadily build up my base to accomplish my goals. If a PR happens, great, but I'm racing this year for fun, to get the distances down and the cool bling.
Do you train using time or distance goals?