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How do you figure out your max speed (Read 1631 times)

Sharruns


    Hi! I have been running off and on since 2008. I have always been the type of runner who ran the "pace" that made me feel comfortable. I have been setting some pretty good PR's lately and I have started wondering how do I know what my max speed is? Over the last two months I have ran 2 half Marathons. The first in March I went from my old PR of 2:06 to a 1:57. Yesterday I broke my PR again and went from a 1:57 to a 1:51. I am currently training for a Marathon in July and plan to run it around a 9:30-10:00 pace. I am however very curious of what I am capable of?? Suggestions?

      That's the holy grail--the point of the whole project for most of us.  There is no simple answer.  You just keep racing, keep training, keep trying to go faster, keep trying to answer that question.  You may never answer it for certain but you'll probably surprise yourself a few times and learn a lot about yourself in the process.

      Runners run.

        This isn't meant to be critical, but based on your mileage in your log, you aren't running enough to use the 1/2M as a gauge to see if you're anywhere near your best. That race is pretty close to your weekly mileage.

         

        I'm  not sure there's anyway to really know if you've reached your limit. However, if you're in your mid 20's to mid 30s, and are seriously training (lots of miles and the right structure of distance/quality), there's a pretty good chance you're near your limit. Sure, there are some that still maintain their "best into the low 40s, but they're the exception. 

          Charts will say you can run sub 4 hours for the full but this is unlikely with your program.  You need more mid week running. Most of your miles are in long run. This gives you confidence to finish a marathon but not to run your best.. If you built your miles to 40 plus for a period of time, I feel pretty good in Fall you would be under 4 hours. For your first marathon, going out at 9:30 is reasonable. The full is another beast.  Get one under your belt, learn from it and try to beat it. Your first one will be a PR Smile

          Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!


          MoBramExam

            Don't train to run a time, train to race a distance.  You'll get your answer.

             




            Fat butt on couch

              Whatever your potential is, I can pretty much guarantee you would shock yourself.  Now all you have to do is 7-10 years of progressively higher volume and better workouts to find out.

               

              It at any time during my running career (prior to when I stopped setting PRs) you had told me where I would end up, I would have laughed and not believed you.  Right up until the last 6 months before the PRs ended.

              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

               

                Maximum speed for what distance?

                We certainly don't have enough information to answer the question, your log shows only 315 miles so far, are you a new runner or just started logging here recently?

                 

                I suppose for a young woman of average ability a 5k time of 22-23 minutes, half marathon around 1:40 and marathon around 3:40 would be reasonable. (Just taking a wild guess!)

                PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                    10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.

                 

                  Just an off-the-cuff thought- Go to a track, and sprint a 100 meter all out.  That's your max speed.  Multiply your time by 16.09, and you will have a pace in min/mile.

                  It is likely you will never ever run a race longer than 1/2 mile faster than that pace, no matter how hard and smart you train.

                   

                  The one exception I can think of- if you are currently extremely overweight.

                    On further thought, then take that pace from your 100 meter test, and call it your 1 mile race.  Plug it into a race time prediction calculator (there is one above under Resources-Calculators) and see what you get for predicted marathon times.    Say you ran that 100 meters in exactly 20 seconds.  Your pace was 5:21.  Your fastest possible marathon is 3:02.

                    I've run 200's in 32 sec, so that is a 4:17 mile.  Predicts a potential 2:25 marathon.  I just made this up out my $%&*#.  Maybe it works, maybe not.  I doubt I ever had a potential 2:25 marathon in my legs. 

                      On further thought, then take that pace from your 100 meter test, and call it your 1 mile race.  Plug it into a race time prediction calculator (there is one above under Resources-Calculators) and see what you get for predicted marathon times.    Say you ran that 100 meters in exactly 20 seconds.  Your pace was 5:21.  Your fastest possible marathon is 3:02.

                      I've run 200's in 32 sec, so that is a 4:17 mile.  Predicts a potential 2:25 marathon.  I just made this up out my $%&*#.  Maybe it works, maybe not.  I doubt I ever had a potential 2:25 marathon in my legs. 

                       So why would someone not be able to increase their sprinting speed?

                       

                      Especially someone who says they've always run comfortable pace for the last 4 years.

                       

                      Your suggestion might work for someone in very good muscular shape just coming to running from soccer, hockey, football, some sport like that, but people can be slow sprinters without being overweight.

                       

                      The key is train, and train hard. Then you can start to see things you might be capable of.

                       

                      Sharruns, take a year off of marathon racing, don't really concentrate on any half marathon races if you run them. Keep your long run about where you've had it, run more often and add in some fast running. Race a bunch of 5K's. They hurt, but getting faster in them will make you faster for half and full marathons.

                      2013 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away - FAIL.

                      2014 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away.

                      Sharruns


                        Thanks for all the responses. I have been running since 2008. I am new to using "Running Ahead" to track my miles so it appears that I have been running for a short amount of time. I travel a lot for work and was kinda scared to write a running plan that had 4 days a week devoted to running. I am going to tweek my running plan and add another day in. I figure if I can make it happen then good if not it will still be ok. I signed up for a 5k in 3 weeks and hope to see what I can do. Going to do some speed work at my hopeful "race pace." We will see. I really enjoy running and training. Sky's the limit! Big grin

                          Thanks for all the responses. I have been running since 2008. I am new to using "Running Ahead" to track my miles so it appears that I have been running for a short amount of time. I travel a lot for work and was kinda scared to write a running plan that had 4 days a week devoted to running. I am going to tweek my running plan and add another day in. I figure if I can make it happen then good if not it will still be ok. I signed up for a 5k in 3 weeks and hope to see what I can do. Going to do some speed work at my hopeful "race pace." We will see. I really enjoy running and training. Sky's the limit! Big grin

                           You don't need to not run because you can't plan on how much time you'll have that day. Get up, go out for 3-5 miles before breakfast from your hotel when you're on the road. Don't plan it, just go for a run because you can sneak in some time.

                           

                          How fast you can go isn't a 3 week proposition. Taking advantage of the fitness you gained training for your last half is fine, but you need to consistently maintain some decent mileage with some fast running of some kind (even if just strides) almost every week.

                          2013 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away - FAIL.

                          2014 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away.


                          I've got a fever...

                            On further thought, then take that pace from your 100 meter test, and call it your 1 mile race.  Plug it into a race time prediction calculator (there is one above under Resources-Calculators) and see what you get for predicted marathon times.    Say you ran that 100 meters in exactly 20 seconds.  Your pace was 5:21.  Your fastest possible marathon is 3:02.

                            I've run 200's in 32 sec, so that is a 4:17 mile.  Predicts a potential 2:25 marathon.  I just made this up out my $%&*#.  Maybe it works, maybe not.  I doubt I ever had a potential 2:25 marathon in my legs. 

                            Yeah, this makes zero sense.  You're scaling up a 100m or 200m time to a mile time, and plugging that into a running calculator.  Obviously, no one can sustain their best 100m/200m pace for one mile, so the mile time you're plugging into a running calculator is completely bogus.

                             

                            Example:  Usain Bolt ran 19.19 in the 200m.  That extends out to a 2:34 mile time (about 1:10 faster than the mile world record).  If I plug a 2:34 mile into McMillan's Running Calculator, his predicted marathon time is 1:26:41 (almost 40 minutes faster than the current world record).

                             

                            Plug an actual all-out mile time into a running calculator, and the numbers start to come back to earth.

                            On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                              what we are capabale of at the moment, capabale of in 8 weeks of added training, and capable of at our extreme limit are different things.

                               

                              my guess is that if Bill Gates offered Sharruns a million dollars for every minute under 1:35 for a half marathon, then it would be quite possible for Sharruns to get in the low 1:30's in 2 years of training. 

                              In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

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                                GoBlue-  I know it makes zero sense scientifically, but please look at it without so much skepticism.

                                 

                                How can you accurately predict how fast you can possibly get in a distance race at some point in the future by long-term training is an impossible question to answer.  I was trying to suggest a semi-plausible way to figure out how fast one could ever get. I started with what you know- how fast can you sprint right now?  This gives at least some information about how fast you can get your body going.  Sure, you can train to sprint faster, and you may improve that time by a few seconds.   But unless youre very overweight, your sprinting speed is pretty much limited to where you are at right now.   I can sprint a 100 in about 15-16 seconds right now.  I can train hard and maybe get to 13.  My point is that I will likely never be able to run a mile at the same pace I can sprint 100 meters right now, even with loads of training.  I might as well call that my maximum EVER mile-pace (albiet a bogus one-agreed).  Take that number and plug it into a running calculator, and it gives a completely unreachable marathon pace.  My personal example seemed semi-plausible- 2:25.     Your discrediting example of Usain Bolt is an outlier.  I am giving this suggestion to someone who isn't well-trained and in perfect shape.   

                                 

                                Your follow-up suggestion of running an all-out mile is a good one.  But it doesn't predict your "maximum" at some point years in the future after super focused training.  It predicts how fast you could run a marathon after a season's long training cycle.

                                 

                                How about make this much simpler for the original poster. 

                                 

                                Go to a track, run 100 meters as fast as you can.  (please warmup properly first)

                                Go here:  www.runningforfitness.org/calc/racepaces/rp

                                Select 200 meters, and enter your time x 2.  You will get a list of race distances and predicted times from 200m to 200Km. 

                                Modified to remove above- its not what I was trying to describe, and gives slower times.

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