How to Gauge your Running Distance

26 Jul

I was out Sunday night with my new running partner (who kicked my butt!), and I told her of a 10-km I usually follow.

By the time we were nearing the end of our route, she looked down at her Garmin watch and discovered we were only at 9.27 km. Hmm…I overestimated.

It got me thinking about how to best gauge your distance covered. The options I brainstormed range from high tech to old school. Thankfully, I fall in the middle.

Here they are:

1. Garmin

My parents gave me a Garmin for Christmas a few years back, and I was thrilled. And then I put it on. And then my wrist dropped to the ground. It reminds me of Penny’s watch from Inspector Gadget.

'Brain?! Are you there Brain?!'

Sidenote: I used to hide behind our couch as a kid with a watch and a book in hand, pretending I was Penny. Loved her.

The Garmin is a boxy contraption, but you do get used to it. It tells you your pace per kilometre, distance covered and can help you pace yourself really well. But for me, I am constantly looking at it, obsessing about numbers. It doesn’t allow me to listen to my body and it easily distracts me. I do love it when running partners have it on, as I can switch off but still know my distance and time in the end.

2. Online Mapping

Shuffle to the computer after your run and you can discover the distance you covered. Online mapping websites, such as, allow you to track your route and learn its distance. You can also check out local routes others have already made and downloaded to the site. When travelling in Melbourne, Australia, I checked out, and discovered an amazing route near my hotel!

Map My Run

When it comes to mapping my run, this is my favourite way to go, as I can plan out my runs, or return home from a run and see my results. Except often I underestimated. (Hello?! 9.27 km?!)

3. Car

Run your route. Stretch. Get in your car. Drive your route. This is such an old school method, but it’s no fail for the most part.

'Hop In!'

The only downfall is if you go a little off road, you can’t exactly drive across a soccer field. Or can you?

Today’s Question: How do you Gauge your Running Distance?

6 Responses to “How to Gauge your Running Distance”

  1. kristinesimpson July 26, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    For small every day training, I am a huge fan of!

    For bigger races, such as the Ottawa Race Weekend, I look up the root and run parts of it. The root they give you marks 20kms, 30kms and 40kms.

  2. Madeline July 26, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    I think you know what my answer is ……………… the old get in my car and drive my route trick! And yes, one can drive across a soccer field.

  3. Anne July 27, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    My trusty “little” Garmin. HA! Though I do often use Mapmyrun to have an idea of where I am headed BEFORE I go out to run… if I am back too close to my house before I’m done, the temptation is too great to cut it short!

  4. Stephanie Gray July 27, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    I lurve mapmyrun. I have a nice little 8K route that I mapped out and I know where each kilometre landmark is, so it helps me pace myself. I also check my watch to see if I am ahead or behind where I want to be for each K.

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