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.

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