Keeping track of time and distance

If you are a stats nut like I am, how do you keep track of your time and distance if you only know one while running? Here is what I do, but I would like to hear suggestions of how others deal with this situation.

Obviously, if you have a GPS watch, then this is not a problem. Maybe if my blogging for dough works out well, I can put one of those on my wish list.

This morning I went running and just wandered around a neighborhood I kind of know. I did not pay a lot of attention to where I was running, I just ran. Then I got to one point in the run and saw a little path into the bushes. I decided to follow that. Afterwards, I wandered through some streets and found a whole new road that has been built since last Saturday morning. This road cuts through a field that had not even previously had a path on it.

I came home and fired up Google Earth. This is how I normally figure out my running distances. But since I don’t really know where I ran during the first part of the run and the second half contained paths and roads that don’t show up in the images, I have to take a guess on my exact distance.

I do know what my time was however. The way I figure my distance from here is that I can guess with Google Earth and get me close to a number. To check it out to see if I am close I go to my running log and grab my average running pace for this year. Though I ran slower this morning than I would on a 3 mile route, I know I was about the same pace as I keep for a normal long run.

This will serve me well when I am in California in 2 weeks. I will be able to run and just keep track of my time. Google Earth does not work on my notebook. I may have access to the web and could figure out the distances by mapping it out on one of the many mapping sites. But since I won’t really know the roads, that may be more difficult. I will be doing well to go out for an hour run and be able to find my way back.

On short runs in California, I will plug in my average pace. On long runs I will put in my average pace. Though the shorter runs will be faster than the average and the longer runs will be slower, it should all average out. (Hmm, maybe that is why it is called an average.) I will use the average from this year since it is a bit faster than my average pace from last year.

If, for some reason, I know the distance and not the time, I could work in the opposite direction.

What do you do? Do you even keep records on every run? I keep track of distance, time, temp, weight and shoes. I also jot down any significant notes from the run.

2 thoughts on “Keeping track of time and distance”

  1. I typically use gmap-pedometer.com if I am on a new run. Sometimes, I will just time a section of what I run that I can either map in the future, or a distance that I know to calculate an estimated pace. I then take that pace and figure out a distance that seems reasonable and go with that. I don’t beat myself up for accuracy… it’s not rocket science.

    I keep track of all my runs, typically location (route), mileage and shoes at the minimum.

  2. Gmap Pedometer does not have street level info for my area. But I hear it is a great site for getting maps.

    I try to assure myself that over the long run (pun intended) the numbers will average out to about right. I sometimes get too focused on the details.

    I try to vary my runs so much, that I don’t really have any set routes except my 5K route that I always keep handy for just running when I know I only have 30 minutes. Other than that, I usually just run for the time I have available or until I get tired of running. Then I calculate everything out when I get home. My speed workouts are at a track. I really don’t keep track of exact mileage on those. I just track my warm up and cool down. Then the speed repeats are not enough distance over the course of the week to change the numbers much.

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