Thursday, July 14, 2016

Crunching the Numbers!

My first ever Thinking out Loud post! 

Reading about Hanson’s training method, and several other plans, had me tossing ideas and numbers around a lot! I have to confess, some of these were shockers when I think about how I have trained and did daily runs over the years. Challenge yourself to do a mile or 5K test and really wrap your mind around what it says. It is interesting!

Use this other calculator from McMillan Running that helps you figure out paces for different work outs. 

I used this one from Runners World.

If your goal is to run a 2:10 half marathon - Check out the training paces 
Easy Run
11:22 per mile
Tempo Run
9:31 per mile
Maximum Oxygen
 8:36 per mile
Speed Form
7:58 per mile
Long Run
11:22 - 12:46 per mile
Yasso 800s
4:25 per 800 meters

The times really surprised me! Never. in. my. wildest. dreams. 
The tempo and maximum ox are right on with what I typically did, but up until recently, I had never done an easy run or long run in those pace ranges. I was pushing too hard. Go figure...

Just because I CAN, doesn't mean I SHOULD. Preaching to myself here! 

Runners World 1 mile test 

I basically used the Jeff Galloway Magic Mile strategy for this test. 
  • Warm up, run each quarter as evenly paced as you are able and push yourself, but not to the puking point. 

@ 9:37 (this was my most recent mile test, I ran at the end of five mile run)

My numbers look like this:

Easy Run - 12:46 per mile
Tempo Run - 10:44 per mile 
(in the heat, this feels like speed work)

Maximum Oxygen - 9:43 per mile

Speed Form - 9:01 per mile

Long Run - 12:46 - 14:18 per mile

Yasso 800s - 4:59 per 800 meters

Like I said I am getting closer to living in those pace ranges now, but seriously, I typically did my all runs in a range that was much tighter. I lived off perceived effort. What feels like effort in summer, always changes dramatically in winter for me. 

Jeff Galloway uses this formula to arrive at paces. It is all very interesting to take a look at! 
Oh, and Jeff (smart man) says expect to be slower when it is above 60 degrees. I don't know any lucky people who have even felt 60 degrees lately LOL but we should all expect to hit some snags in the heat, right.

Then calculate:

Add 33 seconds for your 5K pace

Multiply your magic mile by 1.15 for your 10K pace

Multiply your magic mile 1.2 for half marathon pace

Multiply your pace by 1.3 for marathon pace

The times really vary from from method to method, but are close. 

I just think it is interesting

I have been playing with pace calculators non-stop, for nerdy.

Have you crunched your numbers recently?

Do you like perceived effort or checking your pace?


  1. Wow!! No I have not but I sure do need to. Right now I'm on a vertical gain kick but soon I need to start looking at long runs and pacing for the fall and spring race season

    1. YES!! DO it and mediate on it - it is mind blowing. I have ran a lot of different runs and projected finish times through mine! It really has made me think the past few months .

  2. I hear ya! When switching to Hansons the easy pace ranges for me shocked the heck out of me. At first the paces felt so unnatural and I had a hard time running even splits. Then I spent a couple of weeks feeling well adjusted and awesome ... but now with this heat and dew point being so high I hardly ever feel great running even with slow paces. I really should think about training in the fall and running a winter marathon somewhere! haha

    I love playing with pace calculators too! I throw in times I'll never be able to achieve just to see what paces it would take to get there!

    1. Ha! I did that exact same thing- I am like four hour marathon LMAO....
      I can't even do a 2:10 half right now, but that is OKAY because i am chill about it now.
      It did feel very unnatural when I first tried to really slow down, like made me crazy, and now I love it! It just took an adjustment period.
      I always feel for you training in that weather - you are a superhero :)

  3. Hey, I am running in 60 degree weather (predawn in Colorado). Honestly I don't think I could even run w/ the sun hitting me or the temps that much higher. I haven't crunched my numbers but I know sometimes I try to slow down to have a really easy run and that is hard for me to do. It's like I run slow for the first mile, and I see my pace and I hate it and so I speed up. dumb but that is the truth.

    1. Oh my gosh, I am so jealous!! I didn't realize it was still that cool at dawn for you - I roll over and see 73 or 74 on ceiling clock and want to go back to sleep LOL We tend to have higher humidity in the morning here, but I can't do evening running very easily.
      I have always done the exact same thing with easy miles lol Now i resist the urge to look when my watch beeps and just stay steady. It has been a journey trying to really grasp "easy running"

    2. Yes, it was exactly 60 degrees today! When I start out I am actually just a bit chilled but QUICKLY warm up. I think I just need to not look at my darn watch. Life was sure easier when I ran with a regular watch and only ran by time -- I basically never knew my exact pace unless it was on the treadmill!

    3. Ha! Things have changed - I use the hike the trails and just add the mike based on the trail sign. Sometimes I would note start and stop times lol but nothing close to the numbers, heart charts now lol it's been about 74 degrees at 5 am here - I would love a dose of 60. Trying to get myself motivated for my morning run now.

  4. I do like checking my pace.. but always depressed when I see it :) haha

  5. Oh, I've looked at a lot of those things. The calculator thingies tend to be dead on for me up through a 10k -- somewhere between that & a half I fall off greatly. Apparently my endurance needs work.

    Although I also think a lot depends on conditions. I know I slow down greatly when it's warm, especially when I haven't had a chance to acclimate (like my last half, when it was a sudden heatwave in May).

    I've never tried the magic mile. The track at the school near us is open in the summer, but other than that, it's kind of hard to do.

    But I'm pretty good at not pushing all the time. I don't watch my watch for easy runs, but I have to for tempos and speedwork -- although there's also a lot of writing about why perceived effort is good . . .

    The friend I run with a lot? We do our long runs together. She's usually dragging. And she almost always finishes ahead of me. It drives me bonkers, I must admit!

    1. All runners aren't the same - sprinters, long distance people, usually have different strengths in their muscles so some of it we really can't totally control. That eas in one of the running books I recently read.
      I have always been a huge fan of perceived effort but my easy days were never in the ranges I see and who knows maybe it would have helped me, maybe not but I am feeling more natural with all this now do I plan to keep pushing until the feet say no.
      I use to like to do a mile test before to see what I could bang out, however I always did them in winter!
      Doing this one was hard because I tend to get light headed in heat.
      Weather conditions will always be huge for me - I don't see that changing - so we have to work with what we have.
      You may feel you need work but you always finish!

  6. I really like the McMillan calculator. It's interesting because my 5k time would indicate a much faster marathon time than what I have done, so I usually take stuff like that into consideration. I think when it comes to easy/recovery runs they can never be TOO slow!

    1. I guess marathons are hard to predict so many factors go into that long of a race.
      I agree :) I am all about no such thing as too slow now :) it's really hard to get used to at first!

  7. If it makes you feel better, probably the biggest challenge I have with my coaching clients is getting them to "find their gears" and not run everything too hard. I used to be the same way. I used to live and (almost) die by that McMillan Pace Calculator. It's the first indication I ever got that a BQ was in my wheelhouse.

    1. I can easily see that being a very big challenge. I probably couldn't have found different gears the first year I ran - I was a mess. I would get tunnel vision and have to go!
      BQ would be extremely motivating :)

  8. oh wow! that is very intense research you have here!

    My garmin "predicts" my races, but they are way off!

    1. It's fun to play around but yep, it doesn't always go the way you predict!

  9. I started with the Hanson program for my last marathon training cycle and it really hit me that my 'easy' wasn't easy enough. I ended up having to do the easy runs on the treadmill until I got use to the pace. The program worked really well a for me. I enjoyed it, saw results, and found the combination of workouts to be challenging enough to keep me interested.

    1. Oh that is awesome EB - you always have such strong runs! I had a time the first few weeks and now I love it. It's good you found what works ;)

  10. Oh yeah, not much feels easy lately with our humidity!

    1. Well that is the case here too LOL but it feels better, how's that:)

  11. I always think my long runs are too slow, but chances are they're a little too fast! I just have such a hard time believing that slowing down so much will really make me faster for races!

    1. I am with you there!! I am not sure I would confident about it making me faster!!
      Of course these days my journey is different, and I am enjoying going "easy" but a year ago, I would have freaked LOL

  12. I have been trying to add in some faster runs, just to get some variety. My watch doesn't have pace readings, I need to download everything to the computer to check that out. So I don't do it often. I know, not good if I want to improve, but that's life !

    1. I do know before i ran Richmond, my speed work really made an impact! I was doing all my runs pretty slow because it was so hot and then race day weather was perfect, but it helped me to find what pace felt sustainable and PR that day! It is important :)


I love hearing from you ❤