The Soggy Sock: Running by Distance vs. Time (Part 2)

Feb2nd 2023
Written by Christina Schultz

Recently, we discussed why measuring training in time can be very advantageous for the purpose of keeping efforts consistent. Now, we are going to discuss when I like to measure training in terms of distance.

Generally, I start thinking more in terms of distance when approaching a race or entering competition season.

This allows us to ensure full volume is achieved during the workout to prepare for the race more specifically. It is particularly useful when time goals are involved.

An example of this may be 6x800m at 5k pace. 

This may also be programmed in order to allow the athlete to spend the correct volume of running at a race pace- not necessarily race effort. 

No matter the effort required, the athlete will complete the goal distance at the goal pace. This teaches how to maintain pace despite energy levels, conditions, and terrain- and recover to continue to keep that pace.

Technically, if done correctly, this can be done with time at a specific effort but breaking it down into distance-based intervals allows the athlete to conceptualize how far they are into a race and practice race strategy for each stage. While time-based tracking is my go-to for athletes, there is a time and place for distance-based work when nearing the peak of training

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About the Author: Christina Schultz

Christina Schultz graduated with a degree in exercise science from Florida Atlantic University. She was a captain for the cross country and track teams at the University. She went on to earn a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine. While at St. Augustine, she was a head high school cross country coach and distance track coach at a local high school. During this time she became a certified strength and conditioning specialist in order to enhance her abilities to treat athletes and improve their performance.

Christina moved from Jacksonville, FL to Greenville, SC with her dog Rosie to help keep our community active. She continues to run in her spare time and is enjoying exploring the city and hiking.

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