Sunday, December 03, 2006

The definitive running pace calculator

Steve J mentioned the McMillan pace calculator, so I plugged my recent 10K time into that. Here's what it came up with. And I don't even have to write it all out!

Those sound a lot better! 9:33 to 9:55 miles for my "speedwork" give me a lot more latitude, and I might even be able do a repeat. One, maybe.

Those sub-5:00 marathon predictions really kill me, though. My PR from 9 marathons is a LONG LONG way from that (5:52). I'm pretty far from running that 2:21 half marathon, too (PR 2:36). My running endurance sucks! Oh well, the only thing to be done about it is practice, practice, practice until I get it right!

I'll stick with these targets for my runs for a while. That means long runs all have to be 12:52 min/mile or faster, do you hear me!? And tempo runs below 11:05 min/mile, because that's what I'm capable of. Even though it feels much more comfy and familiar to be plodding along much much more slowly.


TriFeist said...

Go Nancy!! What a great calculator.

Of course, it predicts a 4:38 marathon for me which is a little beyond what my mind can handle right now.

Habeela said...

This is an awesome calculator! Thanks for the info.

Steve J said...


I noticed that the further you are away from the run, the more optimistic or pessimistic the calculator is. I have a feeling the algorithim for this is not really that complex, but it's good enough for a ballpark as you say.

Using my 5k time in the calculator extrapolated to a much faster HM time than I ran for my race, but the paces were pretty good for the training runs. The quicker pace (Tempo, steady-state) was challenging, but getting a ballpark # did help me from going WAY too fast during intervals (weakness for me).

Another commom problem are folks who run their easy/long runs too hard (thankfully I don't have that problem, ha ha)

Jonathon said...

Whoa. I just read this and was bowled over. I only started running a week ago. I like it. I'm not dead.

But I had no idea it could get this serious. Calculators???

You people mean business.

21st Century Mom said...

McMillan doesn't account for tanking in the 2nd half of the race. According to his calculator I should have finished my last marathon in 5:13 only I didn't. I finished in 5:36 or something like that. His target training paces are good stuff, thouhgh. Sometimes faster feels better once you are done. You just have to get through the workout :-)

runr53 said...

Excellent calculator! But I do believe some misssed the second part of the info on that page, ie if you want to run those times you have to do the work previous to get there. I know thats what has always tripped me up in the past. Run Good!

WADDLER26.2 said...

Great calculator! I ran mine and the targets are interesting. I'm going to try to stick to them and see what happens in my marathon training.

tarheeltri said...

very cool

Iron Pol said...

My gut instinct is that the targets shown are doable given specific work.

Given my PR 10K time of 44:54, it puts me out there for a 3:30 marathon. Without a great deal of speedwork, I ran my 3:55 marathon PR 3 months after the 10K.

That was nearly 60 minutes better than my previous PR. It's doable.

Cliff said...

This is a really good calculator. I find it very useful as well.

Did you try plugging in a 1/2 marathon time (or even one from a HIM)? I think that will give u a better reading.

Jeremy said...

McMillan is a pretty cool calculator. My 1/2 marathon time from September gives me an estimated marathon time that's only 2 minutes off of what I ran a few weeks ago. I agree that a shorter distance extrapolated out to say a marathon distance can throw things off a bit.

jeanne said...

It's good for speedwork times...but its predictions can be goofy. yeah, i should have finished in 5:13 or something according to mcmillan. it all depends on what race you plug in: if you plug in your fastest/best race, well then you're gonna get a fast marathon time.

still, i was addicted to that thing when training!