trail running

A new way of doing weekday runs

Remember that Monday trail run I had planned? Yea, it didn’t happen. I thought it would be fun to hit the trails since I had the day off of work. But after spending nearly five hours cleaning the house, I was feeling pretty worn out and my back was sore. So I decided to take a rest day (originally I had planned for Tuesday to be my rest day) and moved my trail run to yesterday.

trail running

Right after work I headed over to run on some trails in Radford (the next town over from us). I discovered that combining stairs with trails makes for a pretty tough climb, especially when the stairs have varying lengths and heights.

trail running

I decided to base this run, and most of my weekday runs, on time instead of distance. It’s hard to make a distance goal on trails when my pace varies so much. So for now I think my weekly runs will be based on time and my weekend runs will be based on distance. My time limit yesterday was based on how much time I had until sunset – about 30 minutes.

trail running
Bad picture of a really pretty sunset towards the end of my run.

On my way back, I discovered that stairs can be as difficult to run down as they are to run up. I had to react quickly on my way down, as some of them only took one step while others took two or three.

trail running
The last 1/4th of “The Grand Staircase” as the sign called it.

It was unseasonably warm yesterday (about 50 degrees!) so I got to run in shorts. It felt glorious, but my legs definitely showed how little they’ve been exposed to the sun lately. I’m so pale right now! At least I don’t have a shorts tan, I guess 🙂 There were still plenty of signs of winter on the trail, despite the warmer weather.

trail running

Lastly, I got to run through a tunnel at the beginning and end of my run. Running through tunnels is fun, especially when they have lights 🙂

running tunnel


Do you ever base your workouts on time instead of distance?

10 thoughts on “A new way of doing weekday runs”

  1. I know it’s a good idea to base runs on time at least occasionally, but I can’t do it! I just have to keep those miles nice and even 🙂
    Love running through tunnels,though! Looks like it was a fun run. I kind of like running stairs, too.

    1. It’s going to be a challenge for me, too. But I think having a focus on time during the week is going to help me get out there more. I don’t know how you like running stairs, but I hope I can say the same thing some day!

  2. I do all my treadmill runs based on time rather than miles. It’s so different than when I run outside – I’m much slower on the treadmill. So, I know that I can run 5 miles in about 45 minutes, so I do about 45 minutes on the treadmill and call it good. Interestingly, I burn the same amount of calories in that time whether it’s outside or in, even though the treadmill normally says I only ran 4 miles versus 5.

    1. That’s funny. I feel like I’m faster on the treadmill. Strange! I like how you do 45 minutes on the treadmill (which is normally 5 miles outside) and call it good. That sounds like a good plan to me!

  3. I love the tunnel picture! I run through tunnels a lot here, but they are mostly urban ones covering concrete bike paths. I am not sure I have come across one in the woods on a trail run. How fun!

    1. It’s a neat one! It goes under the road to connect one part of the park to the other. Some of the tunnels on that Platte River trail in Denver scared me, because there were homeless people in/under them and it was dusk and I was running by myself. I definitely overtaxed myself (because of not being used to the altitude) out of fear and wanting to get back to my hotel!

  4. I don’t usually base my workouts on time unless I have a specific time I need to finish my run by. Or, if I don’t have a Garmin I’ll run XX minutes out and back (like on vacation). Those steps look hard! I always find steps are tricky to run on because they’re never the right distance apart. One step or two? I guess it’s better than sliding up or down a long hill though.

    1. I feel like lately when I get out for a run during the week I always have a specific time I need to finish my run by – sunset! Steps are definitely better than some kind of crazy trail that goes straight up hill, but they are tricky!

  5. Your winter pale skin is still darker than my summer tan! 🙂

    I think it’s a great idea to do your weekday runs based on time , especially when you’re running outside during the winter’s shorter days.

    1. I think time-based runs are going to be the way to go for me until sunset gets later. It’s either that or get over my fear of running in the dark by myself. I’m still recovering from Ragnar, so that probably won’t happen anytime soon! (not really – I had a great time at Ragnar and it was great to step outside of my comfort zone. But I’m very much back in it now)

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