ORN: 7.6 miles, R5/W1, 1:16:45, 10:11/mile; then 5.1 miles, R9/W1, 49:12, 9:34/mile
One sure-fire way to strike fear in the hearts of many people is to ask them to solve a story problem. You know the one from school beginning with “A train leaves Boston at 8:30, heading to New York at 45mph….” Scary, for many.
But not all.
Some of us more geek-oriented people actually LIKE story problems. When I saw one on a test, I always licked my chops, knowing I was going to get lots of credit. Apparently, my blogging buddy Wes has a similar bend. So, Wes and I collaborated on a public service project to solve a particular story problem for all our running pals.
The story problem goes like this. “So, I’m using a run/walk plan in a race. If I want to have a certain pace per mile and have a certain run/walk interval, just how fast do I have to run during my run segments?” You can hear the teeth gnashing over that one.
Wes and I worked through this issue and reduced all the variables to a simple spreadsheet, which we’ve posted on line. You can viewthe Run Walk Pace Calculator or you can download it here. It should allow you to enter your desired overall pace, your walk pace and then learn what your run pace should be. Further, we have two tabs on this spreadsheet. One is a general purpose calculator for the run pace. The other is a race-specific calculator. You’ll get slightly different answers from each one. If you want to know just WHY you’d get a different answer, I’d tell you but that, my friends would involve another story problem and you really don’t want another one anyway.
We’d appreciate it if you could try to open it, test drive it and let us know if it makes sense. It is, after all, a public service and we aim to serve.
I applied this today in my long run, two weeks now from Rocket City. Utilizing David’s example, I took a 7+ mile warm up at an easy pace, then reset my watches and attempted to run the last five miles at exactly the pattern I plan to use in the marathon. The calculator told me I needed to run at 9:22 with a 9/1 sequence to hit the 9:43 overall pace I want for a 4:15 marathon. Could I do that on legs still tired from sub 8 minute miles on Thursday and 7 more miles just before it? I was pleased that it worked. My mile splits for the last five were 9:36, 9:46, 9:33, 9:31 and 9:27. Given that my Garmin usually about 4-6 seconds slow per mile, those are just about right. Can I do that for 26?? Well, as they say, that’s why they play the game.
Enjoy the calculator. Enjoy the laugh at the geeks. Enjoy the cleaned up blog style here; I hope it reads a little cleaner for you now.
And, as always, persevere.