COACH'S COLUMN OCTOBER 1996 INCLUDING ILLUSTRATION OF MARATHON CALCULATION

by Max Jones

first published in October 1996 Valley Striders News

What does "Family is 1st priority, Job 2nd, Running 3rd (or 7th)" actually mean for your marathon times? Consider four typical people: a 35 year old businessman; two not quite so busy 45 year olds; a retired lady with lots to do but without having to spend 8 hours a day in an office. With the "Top Ten Rules" - Coachís Column October 95 - as amended in July 96 C.C. for "tempo" runs - this is maybe how it works out:

 

M35

F45

M45

F65

you!

NUMBER OF OUTINGS PER WEEK

3

5

5

5

 

Miles per week, of which

         

Hills: e.g. 10 x 200m , 10% slope

1

1

1

1

 

Long Run (marathon pace + 25%)

15

15

15

12

 

Speed: 10k race pace (race or mile reps)

 

6

6

6

 

Steady: Marathon pace + 30secs/mile

10

10

10

6

 

Steady: Marathon pace + 30secs/mile

 

8

8

6

 

TOTAL MILEAGE

26

40

40

31

 

WEIGHT

20lb

over

 

10lb

over

   

Calculations of Expected Marathon Time:

         

(a) 2hrs + age in minutes

155

165

165

185

 

(b) women 10% slower

 

16

 

18

 

(c) mileage penalty = 55 - mileage

29

15

15

24

 

(d) weight penalty 1min per 1lb overwt.

20

 

10

   

SUB-TOTAL

204

196

190

227

 

(e) discount for hill session : 4%

-8

-8

-8

-9

 

(f) discount for speed session : 6%

 

-12

-11

-14

 

PREDICTED TIME - minutes

196

176

171

204

 
 

3h16

2h56

2h51

3h24

 

TO CONVERT TO OTHER DISTANCES

         

Half marathon : factor 0.48

94

84Ĺ

82

98

 

Ten miles : factor 0.356

70

62Ĺ

61

72Ĺ

 

10 Km : factor 0.217

42Ĺ

38ľ

37

44ľ

 

Fill in predictions for yourself using the rules above and the notes opposite.

 

If you like the answer, just get on with it. If you donít, then act now: next year youíll be a minute slower (unless youíre Peter Pan). The parameters are:

  1. Weekly Mileage: Every increase of 1 mile/week, averaged over 13 weeks - e.g. by an extra mile on the long run, or just by running a half marathon instead of a rest day - knocks a minute off the marathon time
  2. Quality: Each hill session or sustained speed session in the 13 weeks is worth between 0.3% and 0.6% i.e. 30secs to 1 minute off a 3 hour marathon.
  3. Weight: ĎStandardí weight is 2lb per inch of height minus 5lb for men or minus 15lb for women. Every pound over adds 2 secs per mile i.e. 1minute on to a marathon. But DO NOT EXPECT to run this off by increasing mileage. The numbers are quite clear and simple : itís fat you need to shed not protein (muscle) nor carbohydrate (which you need for running fast and, incidentally, youíll die without it because itís the only Ďfuelí the brain can use) : every pound of fat, at 9 kilocalories per gram, has an energy value of 4100kcals. A 140lb runner needs 100kcals to run a mile (at whatever pace); a 170lb runner needs 120kcals. So, if youíre running slowly enough to be using all fat and virtually no carbohydrate at all - 14 to 15 minute miles should be about the right pace - itíll take 41 miles extra for the 140lb person (only 34 miles extra for the 170lb person!) just to lose one pound. Worse, if your extra mileage is all speedwork, using 50% carbohydrate and 50% fat, itíll take twice that - 82 miles/68 miles - because the carbohydrate has to be replaced afterwards. Donít attempt to lose more than 2lbs per week, i.e. donít expect to see the scales showing any success for half a week at a time. Itís the one for the long haul is losing weight, so donít despair. Just think of the pounds as minutes rolling off your marathon times and grit your teeth. Literally!

 


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