Saturday, August 14, 2010

My best distance

According to most race calculators such as McMillan, Daniels, etc., my best distance is the 400 m and there is a sharp drop off as the distances increase especially from the 400-Mile and Mile-5K. According to that, I should be able to run a Mile in 4:57, a 5K in 17:09, 10K in 35:38, HM in 1:19 and a full in 2:47 based on a 61 second 400. I don't think so. Even based on my Mile, I should be about 18:30 for 5K, and under 39 for 10K. There's not too much of a drop off between my 10K and HM however but my full PR is still quite soft. These calculators are geared toward runners who train at 70-80 MPW, which represent a very small percentage race starters. If I trained at 80 MPW, could I run a sub-2:50 marathon? I highly doubt it.
I recently found another table from a book called "Self Coached Runner" with equivalent tables for everything between 100 m and 20K that seem much more reasonable. I have converted the 20K to the half marathon based on McMillan (HM is only 0.7 longer). Times are listed as follows with the following order: 400/Mile/5K/10K/HM. I'll leave out the full for now.
Level 1: 64.8/5:52/20:43/43:44/1:37:21
Level 2: 63.6/5:45/20:17/42:46/1:35:11
Level 3: 62.5/5:38/19:50/41:48/1:33:02
Level 4: 61.4/5:31/19:23/40:51/1:30:51/ FWIW, my 400= 26.7 at 200, I'm not that fast.
Level 5: 60.3/5:24/18:59/39:58/1:28:51
Level 6: 59.2/5:17/18:32/39:01/1:26:43
Level 7: 58.1/5:10/18:07/38:06/1:24:39
Based on this, the Mile is clearly my best distance. I suppose that makes sense. In high school, I was best at the 800 and I expect that in my late 30s-40s, I'll be best at the 5K-10K. It is interesting that in '09, my 10K and HM times were both just a tad better than Level 3. That said, I've since beaten that 10K time. Also, in my Baton Rouge half, I was in better condition and raced a course that was a bit easier than the Vulcan 10K.
Here's where they rank as of now:
Mile: 5:20= Level 5.43
400: 61.2= Level 4.22
5K: 19:27= Level 3.85
10K:41:28=Level 3.32
Half:1:32:57=Level 3.04
Of course, one race can change all of this. I'll be looking to improve my 5K next Saturday. I'm conceding nothing for my Fall racing season especially with the recent medical breakthrough but I will say that my odds of a BQ in Huntsville are long. That said, I fully expect to beat my current PR of 3:35. I will indeed shift to marathon mode when the weather cools but after this year, I have some choices to make as far as my training. I am just 5 seconds away from my goal in the Mile and 1.23 away in the 400. I figure that if I can break 60 in the 400, I can run a sub-5:15 Mile and vice versa. I AM SO CLOSE and the window of opportunity is closing. I'm probably at my peak in terms of 400-Mile ability if not slightly past it. If I can't run a 59.9 within the next 2 years, I don't see myself doing it after age 32. Marathoners often do not peak until age 35, at which time, I get an extra 5 minutes to BQ (assuming that the BAA does not adjust the standards). A 7:28 pace seems a bit more manageable than 7:17 for 26.2.
In 2011, I'm hitting the speed work hard and I won't quit on it until I run 59.9/5:14.9. If I can't do it by the end of 2012, it's not to be and I'll refocus on the BQ. The 5 extra minutes will kick in for the Fall 2014 racing season.

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