Sunday, January 25, 2009


This week sucked because I missed my goal of 65 miles and only got 48.6 miles because I was sick and had to skip two days. I was able to step up the quality some and did get in a 12+ mile long run though. I experimented with the treadmill incline during speed workouts.

Monday: 8 mi (58:51) - this was a fartlek run where I alternated 1/4 on and 1/4 off. Instead of increasing the pace for the workout I increased the incline on the treadmill from 1% to 6-7%. That does not seem like it would be tough, but 8.2mph (7:24 pace) @ a 6% incline is equivalent to approximately 5:35 pace and 8.2mph @ a 7% incline is roughly 5:20 pace according to the chart below from Daniels' book. A 7% incline was too much for me at this point, but 6% incline was pretty good.

I found it a bit frustrating to use this chart since it did not always have the desired speeds (effective or actual) and I wanted to run a workout at either a set speed or incline and vary the incline or speed, respectively, to change the work load. In that light, I spent a little time trying to fit a curve to this data so that I can plug the incline and actual speed on the treadmill into the formula and get the effective pace. The formula I came up with is:

Effective Speed = Speed * (-6.6e-4*slope^2 + 8.81e-2*slope + 0.81)

For example, I ran my workout this week at 8.5mph and a 4% incline, so the formula would look like:

Effective Speed = 8.5mph * (-6.6e-4*4^2 + 8.81e-2*4 + 0.81) = 9.79mph

9.79mph is close to 6:08 pace. Comparing this to Daniels' chart above, we see an entry in the 8.5mph column with a 3.8% incline that equates to 6:11 pace. The formula works pretty well but I felt like I was working much harder than 6:08 pace in my workout. Last week I ran 4 miles at 5:55 pace w/ a 1% incline and it felt easier than this workout. To further test this, I lowered the incline to 1% and increased the speed to 10mph at several points in the workout and it felt much easier. However, the power meter on the treadmill (calories/hr) indicated that 10mph/1% was about 7% harder than 8.5mph/4% (1350 cal/hr vs 1260 cal/hr). I was not wearing my heart rate monitor this time but will next time to quantify the difference in terms of heart rate.

As a last note on this, I am not a programmer, but if I can figure out how I would like to generate an HTML calculator that accepts the actual speed and incline as inputs and returns the effective pace. Add it to the list of things to do. Here is one that I found that pretty much does what I want. It is also based off the Daniels' chart but I think his formula is messed up because the values that the calculator returns do not match the chart. Here is a start (I stole it from the earlier link) but I have to figure out how to tie in the formula.

Running Calculator
Pace (mm:ss):
Convert pace to
Calculate equivalent paces at other inclines for the given pace from the

I am not sure why there is the big space between the text and the calculator or why the entry blank is two columns tall. The calculator does not do anything when you enter "Go", so don't expect anything.

Update: I figured out a hack to get rid of the space but am not really happy with the method. I will have to work on this.

Tuesday: 8 mi (1:00:51) This was a really slow run just to get some rest before tomorrow's tempo run.

Wednesday: 9.2 () I ran a three mile warm up at an easy pace and then did 30 minutes at 8.5mph/4% incline. I had to back off to 8.4mph a couple times because it seemed too hard at times and I changed the speed/incline to 10mph/1% a couple times to see how that felt. It was a pretty difficult workout and felt much more difficult than a 6:08 pace workout, but the pace is not all that important. I really need to rest up from this. I did a two mile cool down at the end.

Thursday: 0 - I was pretty sick today and decided to get rest instead of push. I won't hit my mileage for the week.

Friday: 0 - Sick again so I did not run.

Saturday: 11 () - No time for this run, but I just had to get out and run. It was pretty darn cold, especially when running into the wind. I felt a bit of a chill because I am not 100% over my cold, but it felt good to get out.

Sunday: 12.4 () - No watch again today. This was my longest run in quite some time, but it felt really good.

Next week I am probably going to hit somewhere between this weeks goal of 65 miles and what I was originally planning for next week, 75ish miles.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


This week was a bit tough because of the weather - it was really cold (most mornings were below zero with the coldest being -14F) and we got almost a foot of snow. Since I am getting soft and less brazen in my old age I opted to run inside on the treadmill 4 or 5 times. On Wednesday I did my first steady-state run, although it was only 4 miles, and I did a quick run on Friday just to bring the average pace for the week down a bit. The other days were all pretty relaxed, starting out at 7:30-7:45 pace and working down to anywhere between 6:30-7:15 pace, depending on how I felt and the incline on the treadmill. Good week overall.

Monday: 8 mi (57:39) - easy
Tuesday: 8 mi (58:56) - easy
Wednesday: 9 mi (59:51) - 3 mile warm up, 4 mile steady-state/tempo run in 23:40 (averaged 5:55/mi) and 2 mile cool down. Felt pretty easy at this pace but I just wanted to feel good throughout the first one to build confidence going forward. The incline was at 1% for the entire run.
Thursday: 8 mi (58:28) - really easy to recover.
Friday: 8.5 mi (55:20) - Not blazing, but averaged about 6:30/mi and felt good.
Saturday: 8 mi (59:30)
Sunday: 8 mi (59:02)

If you noticed, I am wearing my watch again. I want to make sure I am going slow enough and am running much slower than I did last fall. I just want to make sure I stay injury free as I build mileage and I don't feel bad about the pace after reading Nate Jenkins' blog last year and seeing that he runs most of his mileage at 8:00 pace and has run 2:14 and change for the marathon. Given the time of the year up here in New England, it is appropriate that he has a discussion on treadmill training and the debate over incline on his blog.

Total for the week: 57.5mi
Should hit about 65 miles next week.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Keep on Truckin'

Week two out of the way and I am feeling pretty good. My knee does not bother me and I am not having the IT band issues that I had last fall (knock on wood). Starting to get back into the swing of things. I did a total of 48 miles on 6 days of running, so starting to get back to a moderately respectable level.

Monday: 8 mi
Tuesday: 8 mi - I did a little fartlek work on this run to get the legs moving.
Wednesday: 6 mi
Thursday: 0 mi
Friday: 9 mi
Saturday: 9 mi
Sunday: 8 mi

Planning to bump to 55-60 miles next week and will probably do my first tempo/steady-state run.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A New Year...

I have finally decided to stop being a sack and get back into training again. I have also decided to run through the meniscus tear and see how things go since I have no pain. I am only going to do weekly updates for a while since I am building from scratch right now.

I am not wearing a watch while running for a while.

Monday: 6mi
Tuesday: 6mi
Wednesday: 6mi
Thursday: 0mi
Friday: 8mi
Saturday: 8mi
Sunday: 6mi+

Weekly mileage = 40mi+
Not too bad for the first week. I will be adding between 5 and 10 miles per week on singles until I hit ~70mi/wk.