Posts Tagged ‘running

Setting Running Pace Goals

It’s no secret that I’m over winter.  And I am really hoping it’s over me (and the rest of the world) complaining about it and is going to go hibernate until December quite soon!  While I dream of warmer days, I’ve been working on my race schedule for 2014.  There have been a couple wrenches thrown in my wheels while planning so I’m not sure how many races I’ll get to this year, but I’m currently registered for 3, with the plans for 3 others.

This year I’ve been hearing a lot of newer runners chatting about signing up for races, or distances they haven’t run before, and how quickly they hope to finish them.  It seems like I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about pacing like this, “I ran a 5K in 26 minutes, so I should be able to run a 10K in 52 minutes.”  While I won’t deny there are certainly people who can maintain a 5K pace for 10K (or longer), that isn’t something I have experienced to be true myself, and I wondered if some of these people might not be expecting too much of themselves right out of the gate.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s awesome to have a stretch goal, but if you run a 5K in 30 minutes and your goal is to run a 1/2 marathon in 2 hours, well without a lot of speed work built into your training, you’re probably going to be disappointed, and I hate the idea of people being disappointed when they cross the finish line, especially if it’s one of their first races.


So I decided to do what bloggers do – write about it.  First I surveyed a bunch of runner friends to get their best race times in the 5K, 10K, HM and FM distances so I could determine how distance affects the average speed of a runner.  And because I’m surrounded by super awesome people, in less than 24 hours I had 18 sets of data, and was also told about the McMillan running calculator which helps you calculate running paces for difference distances.


So instead of calculating everything from scratch, I decided to use the McMillan calculator to calculate how fast it thought each runner I had collected data on would run a 10K, HM and FM based on their 5K personal best.  My aim here was to see how accurate the calculator is when dealing with an average runner since it didn’t make sense to calculate my own equations to do the same thing when this calculator exists.

When I calculated 10K distances based on the 5K results of my group of runners, the time it calculated was within 30 seconds of the actual finish time for 44% of the runners surveyed.  For the other 66% it calculated a time that was on average 3:20 minutes faster than their actual time.

When I calculated half marathon distance based on the 5K results, the time it calculated was within 1 minute of the actual finish time for 18% of the runners surveyed.  For the other 82% it had calculated a time that was on average 2:45 minutes faster than their actual time.

And finally, when I looked at full marathons, based on 5K pace results, the time the McMillan calculator calculated was within 1 minute of the actual finish time for 8% of the runners surveyed.  For the remaining 92% the calculated time was on average 33 minutes faster than their actual time.

I found these results super interesting because those are the types of results I would expect if you took your 5K time and simply doubled it for a 10K pace, or quadrupled it for a half, etc.  The McMillan calculator already has calculated in the expected decline in speed over time so without having done this little experiment I would have expected it to be pretty on average much closer to the actual race times.  It just goes to show that a lot of things happen out on a race course that a calculator just doesn’t take into consideration (bathroom breaks, injuries, etc.)

So the moral of this little running pace story is:

1) Taking your 5K time and assuming you can maintain that same pace for a longer distance race (without substantial speed work in between) is probably going to leave you disappointed on the other end of the finish line.

2) Using the McMillan calculator is a fantastic reference because it takes into consideration the reduction in speed experienced as the running distance becomes longer.  However, for the average person, it seems to still generate a pace that is faster than most people can maintain over that distance (I say most because there were people who actually ran their best times in all distances faster than the time generated by the calculator), so if you are using it to calculate a goal time for a race, it is a good idea to plan on that time as your stretch goal.

And the real moral of the story is, regardless of your finish time, if you complete a race (regardless of the distance) you should feel SO PROUD regardless of your finish time.  Running in a race is something only a small percentage of the population will ever do, so enjoy that moment when you cross that finish line!!


Special shoutout to my fellow FitFluential ambassadors that hooked me up with their personal best running times so I could write this post! Let me tell you, I am honoured to be surrounded by so many super speedy runners!

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2013 {Mostly} In Pictures & {Mostly} About Running

2013 was the year of running.  I consciously made an effort to run more this year because I knew my body needed the cross-training (my regular cardio = Zumba which = mostly lateral movement), and the only way I can make sure I run?  Sign up for lot and lot o’ races.  

Race #1 of the season: The bluenose 10K!  I’m not going to recap all of my races, just throwing in pictures from some of the more memorable ones!

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The wettest race goes to the Epic Canadian 10K.  I can’t remember ever being so wet in all my life!

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and then I got muddy,

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Dressed like a pirate in a tutu,

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and got wet again,

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then dressed up in another pirate tutu and collected more GOLD! Arrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

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I got covered in colour,

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met Jeanne Beker,

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and Bob Blumer,


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ran in the sun!! (That happens sometimes.  But usually only if Cathy is there ;) )

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Then went to California one weekend…

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hung outside in the dark early one morning,

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with over 30,000 other people,

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then froze to death,

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but collected one of these!

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and still managed to see some sights!





And then I ran once more, in the cold, with two of my fav buddies!!

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2013 was an interesting year.  I raised over $4000 for cancer research with Team in Training, I went to Toronto and San Francisco.  I got a new (and adorable) nephew, and became a certified Yoga instructor.  But no year is all good without bad, and we certainly had our share of bad again this year, mostly all health related between both myself and J, but overall I will look back at 2013 with good memories.  

This year has been a big year of transition for me in my work, going from teaching almost all cardio/Zumba classes, to now only teaching Zumba 2x/week in an effort to bring my body back into a happy place where I’m not dealing with overtraining issues.  That change was needed, but financially has been difficult.  To go from 17 classes/week to 12/week alone caused a big shift in my income, but to then have to cut back on the most popular type of class I teach has made even more of a change to the negative.  But on a positive, it’s very rare that I need to take a mid-day nap anymore (I use to need to do that 2-3x/week!), and I feel better physically and that’s the important thing.

What was your most memorable moment of 2013?  

One that sticks out for me (and maybe that’s because I just looked through all the pictures preparing for this post) is when I came to the top of the mega hill in San Fran and saw Amanda there screaming and cheering me on.  That was exactly what I needed in that moment!

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