18 Apr Go The Distance
Last week, I went for a run with one of my good friends. She also runs every morning, so I thought we would be a good match. Neither of us considers ourselves “runners,” meaning we don’t run competitively, but we both enjoy getting our feet moving and heart rate up in the morning.
According to Nancy, she runs for 30 minutes every morning. If you ask me, I’d tell you that I run 2 or 3 miles most mornings. It takes me about 30 minutes, but I don’t focus on the time. I focus on the end result: distance. You see, if my only goal was to run for 30 minutes, I might slack off a bit and take a leisurely pace. I might only run (or walk) one mile in that same time. I know myself, and I know I can’t leave that kind of wiggle room.
But I think I’m not the only one. When Nancy and I set out to run 3 miles together, I thought we would easily keep the same pace. But Nancy had trouble keeping up, so I had to slow it down. Nancy is an athletic person by nature, so I think if her goals were focused on distance instead of time, she would easily be lapping me around the track.
Here’s why I recommend focusing on distance over time with any exercise:
- It’s easier to fight fatigue. Picture this: you’re on mile 3.5 and feeling rather fatigued. If you’re counting minutes, it’s awfully tempting to slow down. And why not? You’ll still accomplish your goal of running for 30 minutes. If you’re counting distance, you have more incentive to speed up, so you can complete your mission and take a break.
- It gives you a sense of accomplishment. You could walk the dog for 30 minutes or you could spend 30 minutes on the Stairmaster, climbing 400 steps! Which one do you think will give you a better workout? So you see, saying I worked out for 30 minutes doesn’t really give a good picture of what I’ve done. But running 4 miles, cycling 8 miles or climbing 400 steps is an accomplishment to be proud of! But, don’t forget about walking your doggie…
- Creates an “in-it-to-win-it” attitude. Four Miles or Bust! You may have to drag yourself through the last half mile with the Rocky theme song playing in your head, but you’re on a mission. You’re going to power through this workout and come out on top.