Monday, July 13, 2009

"Equivalent Performance"

Is anyone else obsessed with McMillan's Running Calculator? I've been known to analyze the numbers, fantasizing about achieving the half and full marathon times that McMillan claims I could. Of course I realize that these are only estimates and depend on several factors, but I'd like to think there's some truth to the formula.

Anyone who has been paying attention will realize that my 5 and 10K times do not reflect my longer distance races. I'm working on it!

Naturally, I plugged in my latest 5K time less than 24 hours after the race. Let's see what McMillan had to say.





Who can ignore that (BQ!!!) 3:40 marathon? I don't remotely think it's a possibility any time in the near future, but it feels good to think that maybe, if I really worked for it, I could be capable of that.

So, what are your thoughts on "equivalent performance?"

33 comments:

Mel-2nd Chances said...

It's definitely interesting, I'm sure you have it in you, with all the PR's you've been getting and your strong, speedy running, your possibilities are endless ;)

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

obsessed, me? why yes. my post today is all about paces from mcmillan. of course mine are a lot slower than yours...

it seems to be right on for me, predicted my 5K, 10K, and HM all line up to what it predicts for me

Melanie Tait (Mel Tries to Run) said...

Marlene - love the calculator. I'm sure it will take too much work time away today :).

You can totally do a 3.40 - look! The evidence is there on the website!

We had a sports psych session last night and she said the key to achieving your athletic goals is to believe and imagine yourself doing them. I'm sure that's not new, but it helps to be reminded.

ShirleyPerly said...

I'm actually the opposite, my shorter distance race times do not match what I can do at longer distances. But that's because I don't really train for short stuff so it makes sense.

BTW, check out Daniel's calculator:
http://www.runworks.com/calculator.html

It gives equivalent performances for different weather conditions, hills, altitude -- even more fun :-)

Jamie said...

My shorter race best times don't match my 1/2 or full race times. Although I am kind of all over the place with my race times. It is nice to think that a BQ is a possiblity though!

Runner Leana said...

Marlene, you've been knocking out PRs like nobody's business, why wouldn't a BQ be a possibility? I definitely think you could.

My 10K and half marathon times are close, but I haven't been able to hit the marathon goal that McMillan says I can.

ShutUpandRun said...

Wow this calculator scares me; I don't want to lose confidence, but even with my PR of 23:41 at my 5K it only shows me doing a 3:50:50 at the marathon. That means I miss my BQ by :50. Yikes!!!

Marci said...

First off, ofcourse you can BQ!!

I think the pace calculators are a gauge, and I've read they are more accurate the closer to your target distance they are. I obsess over my 30K time, that said, there are not many 30K races!

RunningLaur said...

I've read a lot that McMillian tends to be slower on the short runs and faster on the longer runs - however, you are putting in your half time, which is fairly closely related to a full time.

I don't know that the chart saying you can do it means that you can do it, but with your heart and determination, I definitely think you can hit this if you really set it as a goal!

lindsay said...

oh man i love the pace/race time calculators. :) mine did the same thing to me for a couple years - kept telling me i was capable of a bq! took me a little while but i got there; i don't doubt you could too!

Zorbs said...

I find the pace calculators give me training paces that are REALLY slow for the long run. Both McMillan and RW Smart Coach say my long run should be at a 7:00+/km pace...if I did my long runs that slow, I'd be out there all day Saturday!

But of course...I can't help thinking, if I follow those paces, would I actually hit my marathon goal times?

joyRuN said...

I love/hate McMillan - but same thing - I can't help but keep plugging all sorts of race times in there to see what if...

According to McMillan, I can hit a sub-2 HM based on my last 5k. Judging on how I felt on my last 5-miler just trying to run that HM pace, I'm not so sure.

Mark said...

I beleive the chart is fairly accurate. With equivalent training for each distance required. The way you train I'm sure you can and will BQ someday:)!

D10 said...

My times never match up with my marathon times either. I know a big reason why is my past poor nutrition during marathons. I am really working on it though.

J said...

With the way you are training I am sure you can bring your marathon time down to the BQ! If you put your mind to it i am sure you could do it!

Lacey Nicole said...

i think these times are super helpful ballpark goals. i know for me keeping what i definitely should be able to do in my head helps me not make things too big of a "white whale" because i will get there eventually with training, hard work and a little luck :)

Vickie said...

I got hung up on that for a long time too and it only ended up making me feel discouraged and that I somehow didn't measure up, that I was a slacker. While it may be a possibility to reach those numbers, what is it going to take to actually get there? That's not always explained and sometimes not possible to achieve based on life circumstances. Just keep doing what you're doing and I'm sure you will hit some of those numbers eventually.

Jess said...

I think you could BQ! You've been getting faster and faster!

B.o.B. said...

i think you can do it. i think those predictors are pretty dead on. of course, race conditions are always a factor, but based on times alone i don't see why you couldn't bq.

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

I LOVE to obsess about the calculator too....but in my Marathon I quickly realized that two halfs don't make a full.. In other words, yes I am capable, but unless I can maximize my training for each distance I may not EVER reach the full potential that the calculator says I can. It is a GREAT goal and AMAZING to see those numbers.. With the right training plan and time it will happen. BQ for all :)

Irish Cream said...

Ok, I am OBSESSED with these equivalent race time calculators--far more than I should be, really. I think I am naturally better at the shorter distances (5K and 10K) than half-marathon and marathon--because let's be honest, I haven't come close to my McMillan time at either distance yet. At the same time, though, I have also run a lot more shorter races than I have marathons, so maybe it will just take many more attempts and lots of training to get to that predicted time? Who knows. All I know is that I have a serious love/hate relationship with that silly calculator!

That being said, even if you don't BQ at your next marathon, I think with your work ethic and dedication, you will definitely make it happen someday ;)

Denise said...

I've never done that but I know my coach crunches all sorts of numbers. You can totally get that BQ...you just won your age group, speedy!

The Happy Runner said...

I'm obsessed with just about everything so, yeah, I'm often on the Macmillan site!

YOU can do it -- I can SO see you getting a BQ!!!!!!

RunToFinish said...

yeah.. I used to use those and then realized they never seemed to work for me personally.. I think I to spastic!

N.D. said...

It looks like you are super speedy! I think you can definitely get under 4 in a marathon and a possible BQ. I'm not sure how I feel the times transfer over, my times are similar to yours, but I haven't run a fully in shape marathon yet to compare!

Mama said...

My times are pretty accurate up through the HM, but supposedly I could run a marathon much faster than I did. I didn't do any speedwork before my marathon and did a pretty decent amount before my two sub-2 halves, so that may explain the big discrepancy.

I think you could definitely BQ if you keep up the work you've been doing!

MCM Mama

I Run for Fun said...

I have the exact same problem...marathon pace does not come anywhere close to what McMillan says. Though it is fun to dream! Sigh!

EndorphinBuzz said...

I guess the thinking is that if you kept going with the same strength this is how fast you would finish. I tend to think that people that can pull a 3:40 marathon could probably pull a 1h30 half marathon if they really try hard and burn all that energy at once but that's not very scientific.

Marky Mark said...

Those tables didn't work for me--I was meant to run a 4:10 marathon but did more like 4:45, although quite comfortably.

The Tri Runner said...

Every time I do one of those it says that I should have a super fast marathon but of the four marathons I've ran I'm nowhere close to what it projects. But you’re right it is nice to know what you could do.

Lily on the Road said...

Give your head a shake, OF COURSE YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Love the calculator, you always teach me so much...thanks.

; )

Jenn said...

Woah. Never seen this before! How cool!! It could make me into a crazy person!!

Laura said...

I've been hoping that calculator works...I've never run a full but it sure gives confidence in achieving new goals. The way you train, I bet you could qualify for Boston.