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Conversion Calculator - The Running Calculator You Need To Really
Understand Your Running Abilities
this running calculator if you want to know how well you could do
in one race, based on the results of another race.
Just make sure you take in the information that is provided after this
calculator. It is important.
Background Behind the Race Conversion Calculator
A guy called Pete Riegel developed this calculator
in the seventies and refined it in the eighties.
Results of this running calculator are often surprisingly accurate.
This running calculator tells you how fast you can run in another race,
you put in the needed training.
By the way, the formula used by Riegel is the following:
T2 = T1 * (D2 / D1) 1.06
D1 = Distance previous race
D2 = Distance next race
T1 = Time run in previous race
T2 = Predicted time for next race
Just in case you needed to know... :)
How NOT to Use the Race Conversion
How you use this race conversion calculator is important. As said in
the previous paragraph, you need to still put in the required training.
You can get into trouble in a few ways with this calculator:
Relying on race experiences from too long ago
For optimal use of this calculator you will
want to use very recent race experiences. Ideal is when you are doing a
race 2-4 weeks before your goal race, then plug in the
results of the tune-up race to work out how fast you'd be able to do
your goal race. Don't use a race you have done ages ago, it will just
not be useful.
races that are too short
You may be preparing for a half marathon or marathon. I'd really advise
you to use a 10k or 15k as a tune-up race for the half marathon. And
use a half marathon as a tune-up race for the full marathon.
You really can't get away with a very fast two mile or 5k result and
use it as a gauge for your half marathon or marathon performance. Those
races are just too dissimilar in nature.
Not backing it up with the right
Don't expect to be able to run a marathon within three hours, just
because you can run a 10K in 38 minutes. The calculator merely tells
you it is within your ability to run this fast.
The right marathon training includes a lot of long, long runs and
mid-week runs of 90 minutes or more as well.
When you haven't done sufficient marathon training, you will feel the
consequences of that in between the 20 and 26.2 mile mark. Don't you
worry about that... :)
So, back it up with the right training.
How to Use the Race Conversion
A way to use this calculator is to work out how fast you'll have to
be able to run in shorter races in order to be able to achieve certain
goals in longer races.
E.g. suppose you'll want to be able to do
a half marathon in 90 minutes. Now, playing around with the above race
conversion calculator you'll find that a 10k in 40 - 40:30 minutes is
equivalent to a sub-90 half marathon.
So, a first goal may be to
crack 40 minutes in the 10k.
How I Use the Race Conversion Calculator
I like to do one or two tune-up races before a
Then I use
the race conversion calculator to provide an indication of how fast my
goal race will be.
to that I use a running
I do this to work out if
current running training pace is in line with the goal race pace.
to that I also ask myself the question whether my training
has been sufficient for the event.
Have I put in the right training?
I cheating myself into believing I am faster than I really am?
to that I do some goal
That way, I get a few different pieces of information together to
provide a better picture. Is the information al saying the same thing?
What can I learn from it all? All together, this should help you
determine a realistic (tough but doable) goal for your goal race.
The Importance of Your Running Base - The Common
Problem of Race Misalignment
In order to be able to actually achieve the calculated times in longer
base needs to be well developed. It
takes years to fully develop your base.
When looking at people's running performances, it is often clear that
their base is not fully developed. How?
Simple. When entering the times
of the shorter race, it turns out that the longer race was run "too
It is often even clearer when you have a few race results, say of a 5k,
10k and half marathon.
Your 5k result may be 20 minutes.
Your 10k result may be 43 minutes.
And your half marathon result may be 1hr 40 mins.
Based on your 5k, your 10k should be 41:40.
Based on your 5k, your half marathon should be just over 1 hr 32 mins.
Based on your 10k, your half marathon should be just under 1 hr 35 mins.
See what is happening? The 10k is too slow based on the 5k results. The
half marathon is too slow based on the 5k and the 10k. And the half
marathon based on the 10k is slower than the half marathon based on the
This is a very usual scenario. You may have the exact same issue. This
occurs because you haven't fully developed your base yet. Because of
that you get into
trouble over longer distances. The
stamina is simply not there to back the speed.
When your performances show this same kind of relation, the best remedy
is to do more base
Check out that link to learn more about
developing your base.
In summary, this is a really good
running calculator to use. But you need to be
careful when using it to predict how fast you will run.
Use the race conversion calculator
as a gauge of your abilities not necessarily as the goal time for your
Use some other bits of information and a bit of common sense and you'll
be able to work out the right pace for your next goal race.
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