Marathon Training and Discussions

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Marathon Race Time Predictor Comparisons (Read 1333 times)

    I found this article comparing race time predictors and thought I'd add a few others. It is interesting to see the wide range of predictions-almost 20 minutes from fastest to slowest.

     

    All predictions are based upon a hypothetical 45 minute 10k.

     

    Runworks 3:27
    Runner's World UK 3:27
    Marathon Guide 3:29
    Running Times 3:31
    Hal Higdon (5x10k) 3:45
    McMillan 3:31
    Pfitzinger (4.76x10k) 3:34
    Jack Daniels (45:16 10k) 3:28

     

    The author (who only reviewed the first five above) prefers Hal Higdon's prediction. I suspect (though I don't have any basis for this) Jack Daniel's aggressive prediction is based on the fact that those reading his books are advanced runners.

     

    I'd be interested to hear how others' experiences compare. I'm training for my first, so I can't comment specifically on the marathon times. I do find that any race predictor I've used in the past as overestimated my ability in longer races.

    Race Plans

    New Year's Race Los Angeles, January 3, 2015


    day after day sameness

      In my opinion, using a 10K may be too short to give a good prediction for less than experienced marathoners or someone very well trained for longer distances.  Also, most of the predictors have been shown to be optimistic due to not being agressive enough in their predicted drop-off at the marathon distance, but better in the shorter distances.

       

      The calculators assume you're fully trained for the distance - that you have all the base training and endurance training to run a marathon. If you actually are in that kind of shape, the estimate can be very good. If you aren't, its completely meaningless. If you really want to use McMillan, use a 10 mile run or better yet, a half marathon race time. And even then, if you aren't trained for the distance, the result may not mean much.

      Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

        more predictions - the age graded thing will presumably change with age and sex...


        A Saucy Wench

          I would say on your mileage base, probably all of them are a bit aggressive as calculators.  Hals is less aggressive because his training programs tend to be less aggressive.

           

          When I was running consistently 40-50 mpw for close to a year is when McMillan fell in line for me. 

          I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

           

          "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

            Intresting as this is also my 10K PR.  Predictors are kinda weird though.  I tend to put more confidence in how my current cycle is going than a predictor.  But still motivating to look at. Wink

            2013 Goals:  Stay healthy and Sub 3:30.  PR HM, 10K, 5K...etc....lose 5 lbs, get Michelle Obama arms. 

              Intresting as this is also my 10K PR.  Predictors are kinda weird though.  I tend to put more confidence in how my current cycle is going than a predictor.  But still motivating to look at. Wink

               

              Also ... the predictors are not necessarily suggesting what you could run for distance X today give a particular time for distance Y. They're more indicating what you should do if you did some appropriate training. Nobody imagines that a 20min 5k runner who doesn't do any proper endurance training can go out and run a 3:10 marathon tomorrow.


              HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                 

                When I was running consistently 40-50 mpw for close to a year is when McMillan fell in line for me. 

                 

                And by contrast McMillan always predicts too fast times for me for longer distances, even though I've been running more than 50mpw for over a year.

                 

                I can't say whether that means I don't train as well (e.g. with as good distance-specific focus) as Ennay, or if it reflects some physical difference (I'm not as good at distance, or I'm not as mentally strong), or just unexplained individual variation.

                It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                  And by contrast McMillan always predicts too fast times for me for longer distances, even though I've been running more than 50mpw for over a year.

                   

                  I can't say whether that means I don't train as well (e.g. with as good distance-specific focus) as Ennay, or if it reflects some physical difference (I'm not as good at distance, or I'm not as mentally strong), or just unexplained individual variation.

                   

                  I too find that most of the calculators predict things too fast for marathons based on my times for shorter distances.  Which is kind of strange since most of my training is supposedly marathon training. Maybe I need to get used to running slightly longer long training runs to help with the last few km of marathons - I dunno.

                   

                  I had a theory that being a bit heavier that I should be explained this. But having lost a few kilos this year I've brought my 5k time down 30 seconds since last year, so now the predicted marathon time from the 5k time looks hard.


                  Marquess of Utopia

                    It really depends on so many factors. I find them useful if you are highly trained and don't specialize in one event. I know a few guys that focus only on the marathon that a calculator would way under predict their preformance.