Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Tips: Measuring Distance

How do most people measure the distance they run outside?

This is a new problem for me. I spent most of my early months running on my treadmill, and even once I started running outside, most of my workouts were measured in time, not distance. Now only my weekday runs are specific amounts of time; on the weekends I'm supposed to run a specific number of miles.

I do have a pedometer but it's not working for me. It's nothing too fancy, but you can enter the length of your stride in order to make the measurements more accurate. The problem is if I measure a walking stride, then it's not accurate when I run, and if I measure a running stride, it won't be accurate for my warm-up and walking breaks. And there is no way to toggle between the two.

My budget is very tight right now so I can't go out and buy some nifty new gadget (though I may put one on my birthday or Christmas wish list!). In the meantime, I don't know whether to stick to my treadmill to make sure I'm running the right distance, or run outside and just hope that I'm maintaining close to my indoor pace, and run what would be the right amount of time to cover the distance.

Or is there another inexpensive solution I'm just missing? I don't have access to a track (that I know of), and there is a nearby park with a path in it that I frequently run on...the loop is just under a mile, but there is a short detour around the end of the block so it's probably a little more than a mile now. I suppose I could just pretend it's a mile even...or is that just dumb?

If you run outside, please let me know how you measure your distance, and share any relevant tips! Thanks!


  1. mapmyrun.com! I love it! I am going to get one of those gps units you wear that monitor heart rate soon but I live on mapmyrun.com. You can even map out a certain distance before you go so you know how far you want to run... or just rambo it and measure it when you get home!


  2. mapmyrun is free and works ok. Nike+ is a step up from that in terms of accuracy. The best are Garmin gps watches. You can track your route, distance, pace, calories burned. You can even race yourself from previous runs.

  3. go to google earth and download at the top of the page are options use the one that looks like a ruler then zoom in your rout and use the path put in the mile option trace your rout it will tell u how far your going i use it

  4. Thank you so much for all the tips! I'll be using one of these websites to map out a run for this Sunday...I'll let you know how it goes!

  5. Nike+ fo sho. Still a cheap option if you have an iPod nano or iPod Touch.