running for time or miles

Does anyone agree with running for time in training is more beneficial or running for mileage. I recently read that it's better to run for time but I have always ran for mileage. ( trainng or first half marathon) Just interested in others opinions x


  • Hi, it really depends on what your goal is. I have always tended to focus on mileage, but time would be equally as beneficial so long as you have a clear purpose for each run i.e run for 60mins with 5 x 400m pickups.
  • Honestly it depends on what competence level you are at and what result you expect from your half marathon.

    Just for example; if you were wanting to get say a 90 minute half marathon result, your training and times would surely benefit from a weekly diet averaging something like 6 hours at 7:30 pace with some quality speed workouts, than 9 hours at 9:30 pace. I'd rather see you averaging a decent/sensible 40 miles per week with quality than 75 miles at a pace so far removed from race pace.

    You could do 100 weekly miles at 10 min/mile pace or spend 15 hours on foot per week at this pace but never get close to a 90 min half marathon time. You do need a combination of miles and time on feet, but what builds competence in racing is practice at race pace and faster speed intervals.  

    The trick in training is to build your aerobic system with longer slower runs at a lower heart rate as well as improve your general speed/endurance though tough anaerobic training. Too many slow miles will be of benefit to your aerobic system, but without quality anaerobic won't get fast!

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