Running for Distance Versus Time {20 Miles} + PRO Compression Giveaway

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Guys, I did it. I survived 20 miles! Woohoo! I actually ended up running longer than 3:00, but I just really wanted to hit that 20 mile mark, ya know? And, boy, it felt great when I did!

Fuel for run: GU + Nuun. I ate 3 out of the 4 GU (one every 45 minutes), and I stopped at my car 3 different times for water breaks (watermelon flavor).

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Temperature at the start of my run: 23 degrees F, but it warmed up to 31 by the time I finished. And it was sunny the entire time. Perfect day for a long run!

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Look how much of the snow has melted!

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Maybe it will be gone by race day? Wishful thinking?

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My pace started out around 10:00/mile and steadily got faster and faster as I trucked along. My RunKeeper app updates me every 5 minutes, and I was in the 9:40-9:50 range for the first 16 miles or so. Then, I sort of started to bonk out after that. Cardio-wise, I was fine, but my legs were so tired and kind of achy. My final few miles were around 9:55, which is still faster than I started out, so I was happy.

I finished 20 miles in 3:18 (9:54 pace), and I definitely had 6 more miles in me. I didn’t feel awesome, but I know I could have pushed through another hour or so of running. OMG, this marathon is SO SOON! 

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And, of course, I celebrated 20 miles with a red velvet cupcake (and a protein shake and hot bar)!

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PRO Compression

My friends at PRO Compression are hosting a sweet giveaway right now! Two winners will each receive a $150 shopping spree toward anything on their website.

Here’s how to enter (there are two ways): 1) Use the code CC15 for 40% off anything on PRO Compression or 2) enter for free on the homepage at There will be a popup that allows you to enter there for free immediately. The giveaway goes from today through March 26, 2015. Official and legal rules found here: Good luck!

Question of the Day

Would you rather run for distance or time?

Me: Of course, there are pros and cons of both, but I actually prefer running for distance. There’s just something so satisfying about achieving a certain distance versus completing a set amount of time. Even still, I really loved running for time during my training. It was definitely fun mixing it up, but I will probably run for distance in the future.



  1. You are doing awesome on your training! I must say that if I hadn’t followed my plan to a T for my half marathon (like not running 4 times a week) I would definitely not have finished it.
    I do prefer to run for distance. I’m trying to speed up my runs, but seems I start to get hurt if I run faster than my 10-10:30 minute mile pace. Someday I’ll get below 10!

  2. wow. my goal is to one day eventually run a marathon….no matter what time. lol. I definitely prefer to run distance! 🙂 i like those even round numbers.

  3. I use time and distance in my favor depending on the situation, like you did. Sometimes, we need to “trick our brain”, right? Like, it might sound more difficult to run one more mile than running 9 more minutes!

    I’m glad you had a great run! I have 14 this weekend and it will be the farthest I have ever ran and for the longest duration! Wish me luck!


  4. I actually started running for time after reading your Boston training. It helped with some runs but others I really wanted to go for distance. You are right there were pros and cons to both but it was nice to change things up every now and then.

  5. Distance! Always distance. I am intrigued about the time running though. I’ve never done that before, but maybe I should. It would help me improve my time management as I would be forced to stop by a certain time or perhaps I’d keep on running.

  6. I applaud you, I applaud you!!! Oh my goodness you did so well. I just read your post earlier this day and I can’t believe you did it already, it’s actually pretty inspiring. You ran 20 miles and I spent my time on the computer, haha. Goes to show I really have the to conquer a lot of fitness y stuff. I just got to have the will to do so.

  7. Yay! Congrats!

    I think I prefer running for distance bc time always makes me nervous and then the fun aspect gets lost for me. It’s always funny though if I set out to do a certain time and see I am close to whatever next distance, I will go to that or vice versa. Something about wanting to end on an even or whole thing.

  8. Awesome job!

    I definitely prefer to run for distance. I agree it is more satisfying to have a number in your head and then see it come to be. Of course there are times when there is only a limited amount of time to workout, but I try to make the most of it and not get upset that I didn’t reach the mileage I would have on a less hectic day. There is satisfaction in knowing that you made the time and effort to be healthy and active too!

  9. Good job Tina! Long runs may not be all that fun while you are running, but the feeling after it is unbeatable! I run both, for time and distance. And a lot of times I prefer to leave my Garmin home altogether and just go. But that’s naturally not an option when training for a marathon.

  10. That cupcake looks amazing. I always like running for distance rather than time. I feel like I always have to keep my eye on the clock and it makes the run seem so much longer.
    Do you use ProCompression socks?

  11. Great job on completing your 20! isn’t that the best feeling?!? I am doing mine on Saturday and I always get “nervous” about it. I’m also running my first (and most likely only) Boston. I’ve been injured (hamstring) and missed several long runs and a few mid-week runs as well. This will be my only 20 for this training and my other runs feel soooooo hard. I’m nervous about it all, but, will hopefully be able to finish. I don’t care what my time is. Are you starting to taper now? I’ll be following along…. Congrats again!

    1. Ugh, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with injuries. I know how frustrating that is. Taper time is still two weeks away, but I can’t wait! 🙂

  12. I coach for distance… everyone I train seems to get more satisfaction knowing they can cover X amount of miles over running for X amount of time.

    LOVING these updates… pregnant with #1 and planning to run a marathon roughly 1 year post-partum, so it’s already helping get me in the right mindset!

  13. virtual high five! Those temperatures are killer (to me!). I’m definitely a distance goal person. Going to enter now!!

  14. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! That is amazing! I am a beginner and am just working on running a full 5K. I am currently just working on time and reducing my 5K time.

  15. I’ve never tried running for time, but I do like the idea of hitting certain mile markers. Especially during marathon training. I love saying I ran 20 miles or 22 miles that day. There’s just something so badass about it!

    GREAT job on your run! Way to push through!

  16. Nice job on your long run!! I can’t wait to get back in shape enough to run that long. I’m coming back from an injury. When I first start back to running, I just try and focus on time and not worry about distance. But once running doesn’t feel so hard, I’ll start to switch to miles. I don’t know why I like it that way, just do!

  17. Nice run!!! I am always torn on the time vs distance question. I am a slower runner so I can’t get much distance without A LOT of time invested. But seriously who has 4+ hours for a 20 mile training run?

    Before my marathon I had actually never run more than 14 miles because I just couldn’t find the time to train….not smart but I do the Galloway run walk and felt great after my marathon 🙂

  18. Great job! I hope I can get back to 20 miles someday. I usually am all about running for distance; I’m terrible with speed training and don’t do it as often as I should. But it is fun to beat a PR every now and then. 🙂

  19. This is an interesting question. I’m new to running (it’s been 8 months now – I started when baby was 10 months old). I’m mainly running 5K events and have done one 10K as well. I’m working my way up to a half marathon. I guess both are important for me as when it comes to the half marathon I will be running for distance, but when it comes to the 5Ks I’m working on improving my time 🙂

  20. In one of your training posts you mentioned sore knees and you posted a photo of ice packs on your knees. What brand are they? I’m shopping around. Thank you I appreciate it.

    1. One is a Paradice Pack. The other one is a random one that I found in our fridge. I think it came with a cooler we own! 😄 The Paradice Pack is pretty cool. There is a short review on CNC of it.

  21. That is an awesome time for 20 miles are you kidding me!? Good for you! If you could just run by and hook your arm onto mine on race day so that I keep going, that would be fab! 😛

    I’ve been nursing achilles tendonitis for the past 6 weeks 🙁 Such a bummer for the training of my first marathon but I did get a 17 miler in so I am feeling pretty good about that.

    I cannot believe we are lining up for the start in just 28 days!!

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