Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Those pesky result predictors

I wish I hadn't looked. But I always do, when I get a PR. I checked the Race Result Predictors at using my most recent 5K and 10K times to calculate what I theoretically *should* be running at longer distances. If I had any endurance, that is.

My 5K time of 30:26 predicts these times for longer distances:
5M 0:50:14
10K 1:03:44
10M 1:45:13
Half Marathon 2:21:20
Marathon 4:56:01

Hmm, even for my 10K time, I'm nearly a minute slower.

My 10K time of 1:04:31 predicts these times for other distances:
5K 0:30:48
5M 0:50:51
10M 1:46:30
Half Marathon 2:23:03
Marathon 4:59:38

I'm a long way from going sub-5:00 in a marathon, and it certainly won't be in my next one in January, when I'll have done a half marathon and a 5K the previous day.

But perhaps this tells me that my half marathon PR of 2:38:38 is a "soft" one, that is due for an improvement. We'll see this Saturday when I run the Gar Williams Half in Alexandria, Virginia. The weather report looks promising (40*F and sunny), but the course is rather hilly. It's an informal club race, and I'll be at the back of a pack of fast runners - the last time they ran it the slowest finish time was 2:29! So perhaps I'll be able to push myself more than usual.

I know better than to count on such things, though - PRs are gifts from the race gods and only happen when you least expect it.


Mica said...

Does anyone actually run the same pace for both a marathon and a 5k? I thought the paces were supposed to be different since you can go all out in a 5k in a way that you can't on the marathon.

nancytoby said...

NO! Of course marathons are much slower. I'm not sure exactly what their algorithm is, but they calculate a slower pace for longer distances. Just not enough slower for me!! I'm still doing a lot of walking at half marathon distance and above.

TriFeist said...

Those pace estimators make me suspicious. There is such a difference between a 5K run 'till I puke my guts out race and 26.2 miles of mental games.

But, I couldn't resist. It says I can go 2:40 in a half marathon. We'll see.

jeanne said...

Hey Nancy, thanks for your vote of confidence!!
Oh, I so know that walking is not failure. I know it, but I don't know it, ya know? I just wanted to run this one. But so what, you all talked me into it, i'll run it until I need to walk, right? Hmm, I need a strategy. I LOVED the marathon strategy bcs it was totally predictable: the watch beeped, you walked, it beeped again, you ran! I don't know how to translate that to a 10k where I'm trying to run. Any help?!?

(And yeah, my mother doesn't even know what the Internet is!)

and just so this long ramble isn't totally offpoint: you are waaay fast!

tri-mama said...

Good luck with the half! Those pace calculators are for machines-not humans. machines don't get blisters, don't have to stop at the port a potty, don't pause to say hi to friends and family, don't slow for hills or wind etc.

William said...

The calculator is pretty close for me!

They are just numbers. Relative to the speed of the earth, it's all very similar. 4 hours, 2 hours, time is relative too.

TxSkatemom said...

those pace estimators don't take into account that you forgot to change shoes two weeks prior so your feet die at mile 18, or that you didn't eat breakfast, or that you stopped at every mile marker to hug a Marine! :) According to those calculators, I should finish in 4:45. Not. Going. to. Happen.

Mister P. said...

I did a 5k on thanksgiving, and a 10-mile training run on Sunday. I typed in my 5k time and it gave me a 10 mile prediction 10 minutes slower than what I ran. Had it been an actual race, my 10 miles probably would have been much better (adreneline and all) so maybe it's not half bad.