The McMillan Running Calculator
|September 18, 2011||Posted by Emily under Uncategorized|
Have you ever finished a 5k with a new PR under your belt and thought to yourself: “If I just cut 1 minute off my 5k time, how much time could I slash from my marathon?”
If you’re anything like me, your answer to this questions would be: every single time.
Enter: The McMillan Running Calculator.
The McMillan Running Calculator was created by Greg McMillan after he grew increasingly discouraged by the inaccuracies of other running pace predictors. While I cannot speak to the science behind his approach, I can attest to the fact that his little invention has been a bit of a training bible for me during my running career.
The way it works is you plug a time and distance into the calculator and it spits out your predicted race times in every distance imaginable.
I use this in two ways.
First, (and most frequently), I input my goal marathon time and see where it thinks I should be for every shorter race distance.
As you know, if you’ve been reading my blog for more than a day, this is currently a 3:19.59
After the distance is selected and the time is entered, you hit calculate, sit back and watch the magic happen.
Now I know that the next time I race a 100m, I should aim for a 17.4.
Or, in more useful news, my half marathon time should be around a 1:34.49.
While I know this may not be rooted in exact running science, I used it as a reference point while I was trying to hit my first Boston Qualifying time at the Chicago Marathon and it proved itself to be an accurate and useful tool as I raced shorter distances leading up to my BQ marathon. If nothing else, it gave me the confidence I needed to believe that the BQ was within my reach.
I will often spend race day mornings sitting at my computer, inputting various times to try and help me form a goal for my performance. Yeah, I’m not obsessive at all…
The other way I use this running calculator is to take current PRs and see where it predicts me for other distances.
Obviously, the moment I got home from yesterday’s 8k, I immediately consulted my good friend McMillan to check out his analysis of my new PR.
Turns out, dear old Greg believes that based on my 32:57 8k race, a sub 3:20 marathon is well within my reach.
And no, I don’t think I’ll be running a 3:14 in Philly but it does give me faith that my sub 3:20 goal is going down.
The other benefit of the McMillan Running Calculator, is that it gives you some guidance as to what your training pace should be for various runs (tempo, track, recovery, long) based on your current PRs or your goal time, depending on which you’ve got plugged in.
I use this less frequently since there are so many other guides to training paces out there but I do consult it as another way to gauge if I’m on track for my goals.
Do you ever use a running pace predictor? Do you guy into them? How is this kind of a tool most useful to you?