Time-based or distance-based?

Hey guys

I am starting a half marathon training plan on monday, but I am unsure which to use. I have downloaded two training plans, one of them is time-based, and one is distance based. I followed a distance-based plan to run a 10k a week or so ago.

So for a half marathon I was wondering, which will be more beneficial, or is it just personal preference?

I'd love to hear your experiences with both and which you recommend!



  • Is a half marathon measured in ''time'' or ''distance''?image

  • kaffeegkaffeeg ✭✭✭

    I'm doing a combination of the two!  I've been training for london marathon and was doing all mileage based.  Then got an injury and the lack of miles was scary, so changed to a time based one instead. 

    I now run for the allocated time (up to 3 hours 15) and then after measure out how many miles it was.  Sometimes that's helpful (i've run so much further than I thought I would and it was easy), sometimes it's been disheartening (I've run for so much longer but not covered as many miles and put in just as much effort).

    I think it is personal choice and people can be very passionate about it.  I also think it is about how technical you get with your running (i.e. are you a garmin freak/pace aware/heart rate aware etc).

    Go with what feels good for you. 

  • Personally, if it's your first one I'd go for distance - you need to know that you can finish.
  • kaffeegkaffeeg ✭✭✭

    ah - But if you are running for around 2 hours, you know you can do it, whatever the distance you've covered.

     The distance may be more than a half marathon depending on how fast you are, or short a couple + miles depending if you are slower.

  • The reason training plans are often quoted in time rather than distance is because of the varying abilities / fitness of the people using them.

    For example, a tempo run is 20 mins of running at your threshold pace. To a new runner starting out, that could be 1.5 miles, to a faster runner it could be 4 miles.

    The key is to look at the intent of the workout and decide what fits your current fitness, as you improve the distances will increase but the time should stay fairly even.
  • Thanks for your replies!

    I've decided to stick with the distance one. That way I know I will cover enough miles to finish the event!

    I'm running a half marathon in July and another the end of November, so I may try the time plan for my second one, just to see how it goes, but I'll decide on that when the time comes!
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