To achieve a goal, it needs to be realistic & achievable – and planning for a running race is no exception. How do you calculate a sensible finish time for say a marathon?
Well, the science bods have actually created some very good formulas, surprisingly accurate. Based on your current finish time for any race distance, they use a formula to predict your race time for other race distances, provided of course you put the work in.
The kind folk at Runners World have created a Race Time Calculator. All you have to do is fill in your finish time for a recent distance, press enter and bingo… you will have predicted race times for all the important race distances including 10k, 10 miles, Half Marathon and Marathon, based of course on you putting in 12 to 16 weeks of training!
Once you have calculated your predicted race time, you can then go on to calculate your target race pace and with that you can start creating a sensible, effective training plan (instead of just doing what feels right and hoping for the best!). Too many runners arrive at a race with no idea of what speed they should set off at and fall prey to just listening to their body.
The problem with that is, on race day you will have so much adrenaline rushing around your veins you are are almost bound to set off too fast and have no idea. No idea until you reach the half point mark and suddenly have no gas left in the tank!
There is very rarely any divine intervention on race day. Your body will perform as it has in training. It can only do what it has been prepared to do. In order to create an effective training plan with tailor made sessions, it is therefore very important to have a target race pace. “I just want to finish” is not a plan. How do you prepare your body for an unknown time or speed? How do you know if you are getting closer to achieving your goal if your only target is ‘to finish‘?
CoolRunning.com have already built a Target Race Pace Tool. To calculate your race pace, all you need to do is enter your Predicted Race Time, the Race Distance and bingo… your race pace will be calculated.
Race Day is not about hoping for the best. There are rarely any surprises, only bad ones if you arrive unprepared! It’s all about the preparation…