McMillan Pace Calculator "Easy" pace

16 messages
12/10/2012 at 13:03

On checking easy pace on McMillan pace calculator, does anyone find it is a bit confusing and actually quite dangerous?  According to my 5-10k race times, my easy pace is between 8:10m/m and 9:10m/m.  Now, I know, from being quite an experienced runner that to do all my easy runs nearer 8:10m/m would be a death wish (given that my HMRP is around 7:50m/m) BUT to some less experienced runners, on looking at that guide, they could think "right, this is the right pace, off I go on my 10 miler at 8:10m/m" and injure themselves.  I find the other paces for speed sessions pretty spot on, but really do question the easy pace guides.  I use a HRM to gauge my easy pace but I do know some runners who use McMillan as a guide for pace and have ended up injured. 

Edited: 12/10/2012 at 13:06
12/10/2012 at 15:43

Well, there's a hell of a difference between 8:10 and 9:10 pace.

Mine come out at 7:39 to 8:40 pace based on my 10k time. 7:39 would be too fast, but 8:40 feels very easy, and I do my "easy" shorter runs and my long runs well inside that pace, so I do fall within the range given.

12/10/2012 at 16:04

i find training paces a tricky thing to get my head around.

i ran a marathon in 2010 in 5hour 8mins, off v little training, as you'd perhaps expect. If I tried to run 26miles tomorrow, I suspect it would be something like that too.

Now if I enter that number into McMillan's "current time" box, presumably the training paces are calculated to reproduce the SAME target time, but obviously I want to go quicker, how do I calculate realistic training paces? It doesn't seem to recognise the "target time" box, as the training paces don't change when i enter somethign into that box.

How do you guys decide what's a realistic target and hence what are realistic training paces, given that you want to improve on your previous PB?

12/10/2012 at 16:08

just in case i'm not being very clear, my question is predicated on the assumption that to race at a given pace, you'll have needed to TRAIN at certain paces. But to be able to calculate the correct training paces you need to enter a realistic target race time. Seems a little circular.

12/10/2012 at 16:10

and if i use something like a 5k to gauge my marathon training paces, this can improve over a relatively short period. I could start a 16 week marathon training plan based on a 5k PB of 25 mins, but then a few weeks later run a 24min PB, in which case woudl I need to increase all my training paces accordingly, or do i take a "baseline" at the start of a marathon training program?

12/10/2012 at 16:28

whilst we're at it, where are all these people doing easy runs, or HADD style base building or whatever? Whenever I'm out doing a 11min/mile run I'm the slowest person on the pavement by a long way. Is everyone in my part of town just so much quicker than me that their easy pace means they're sprinting past me?

12/10/2012 at 16:29

p.s. HeOw, sorry for hijacking your post.

12/10/2012 at 16:33

The McMillian Calculator does say:

I always suggest that during your first workouts, just shoot for the slow end of the range. Training too fast, too soon is the quickest way to failure. As you do more and more workouts, you should find that the same effort level results in faster and faster times until you are running at the fast end of the range.

12/10/2012 at 16:56

HeOw, You're not the 1st person to spot that the McMillian "Easy pace" is a little bit on the fast side. For what it's worth I think I would only very rarely do an easy run as fast as even the slowest pace it suggests. But maybe that is betraying the fact I'm an unfit, lazy, toerag. 

AgentGinger, Got a strong coffee to hand? (You love these thread really ):

As you've correctly noticed picking a goal/ target race time is akin to an art-form or magic. The best way is probably through trial and error and experience.... or don't go around picking arbitrary target and just run and enjoy.

I would imagine using your 5k times to predict a marathon time is extremely risky, you want to use the longest distance you've raced before hand, not a distance your going to race every couple of weeks and likely to change quickly. Preferably a HM, hence why people often do HM in their marathon prep to judge what time they should be targeting.

Facing facts, most people do most of their running too fast to get the best aerobic conditioning from it. Do they care? Probably not. Does it matter? Probably not. I dare say most people who do their easy run at an easy pace or Hadd training are already quite experience and quite nippy.

Or it could just be where you live, try living somwhere other than Iten?

12/10/2012 at 17:05

ha, yeah, i'll move to Eastbourne or something

thanks for the link, i'll have a read when i've got more energy

12/10/2012 at 18:05
AG - you should base your training paces on current ability rather than Target and re-evaluate as your fitness improves.
12/10/2012 at 18:11
AgentGinger I do long runs at 11min/mile and must runs somewhere between 10-11 mm. I also find I seem to be the slowest person on the road! I do occasionally overtake but that tends to be on tempo runs. Anyway, way I look at it is that there may be people doing a similar pace, but it would take too long to catch up and pass them as our relative paces are fairly similar. Whereas someone doing 7 mm will easily pass me as they're taking about 2/3 of the time I am to run a mile.

As for training paces I run based on how I'm feeling. Mainly Lots of fairly easy paced runs. Paces generally fall in the Macmillan ranges for race times, even lsr
13/10/2012 at 14:27

All training runs should have a bottom and top end. That way you can adjust your training according to previous training runs, terrain, and weather and still have a productive run.That is all the Mac calculator is giving you.

You can use your 5k time to predict a 10k but not really your hm or marathon. I generally use my 5k times for day to day running as I like to train fast. I will though use 10k times if I want a bit of a rest but still train at a pace. If you have times for all distances you can have a very wide range which is good expecially for stamina and speed work.

15/10/2012 at 12:07

i've got a recent 5k time now, following my first parkrun at the weekend. I guess i can use that as a guide for the "quicker" paces in training, but I assume i'll still need to use my current (now old) PBs for 10k and HM and deduce the Mara pace from that, until the time when my pace increases and I can race these distances.

15/10/2012 at 12:08

i guess it's not out of the question that 16 weeks away from a marathon you might be running one particular "marathon" pace, and 4 weeks away from the race you'll be running a different "marathon pace" as you close in on what is an achieveable race pace through training

06/11/2013 at 11:03

I think Greg Mcmillan, somewhere on his site, says that his calculator/app takes your current best effort/race result as an input and calibrates the rest.

The workout paces are what he would recommend you use in a structured programme in order to opimise your chance of improving.


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