I don’t pay much attention to how long it takes me run my routes. I know, vaguely, that when I head out for my 5- or 6-milers, that I’ll be back in less than 50 minutes, assuming I don’t need to take any pit stops and the lights are on my side. When I’m not in training, I’m all about the distance. But I’m tempted to switch things up during the winter time, just a little bit. I’m tempted to see if I can cover a greater distance in the same number of minutes. This is my thinking: it will help me improve my “easy” pace. It will help me stay in decent shape over the winter. It will give me the illusion of getting home more quickly on those cold days, even though I’m still staying out for the same amount of time.
Okay, so maybe it’s all just mind games, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea.
But also, I am often a little bit surprised by how little time I actually spend out on the road, running. When I tell people I run 5 or 6 miles, they seem to think that is a huge time commitment on my part. Like I’m spending hours out there. I don’t. I spend about 45 minutes. If you run 2 or 3 miles, chances are it takes you 30 minutes, give or take. On Wednesdays you could watch “The Middle” at 8:00, head out for a 30-minute run during “Suburgatory,” and be back for “Modern Family” at 9:00. See, super quick.
With that in mind, and this might be more of a challenge than a tip, but rather than keeping track of your mileage this winter, keep track of the time it takes you to run your normal route. And see if you can increase the distance you cover during the time you normally spend running. If you’re a 30-minute kind of person, see if you can cover 3.5 miles instead of 3 in 30 minutes by the time the leaves are back on the trees.
It’s just a thought. Take it or leave it.