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# How do you figure out your max speed (Read 1633 times)

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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.

I can't imagine extending my 100M pace to 400M, much less 800M. You darn kids.

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

I can't imagine extending my 100M pace to 400M, much less 800M. You darn kids.

I agree the idea of extending/extrapolating from 100m to distance races is completely flawed, but what I think that poster was trying to say was this:

if you take your 100m speed, and if you could hold that pace for longer distances, that would determine your best (although out of this world) speed.  Take a 10 second 100m runner, which is a 40 second 400m (already breaks down), which is a 80 second 800m, or a 160 second 1600m. Let's just call it a 2:40 mile.  Now, if someone's best 100m is 20 seconds, you can be pretty darn sure they won't break 40 seconds in the 200, or 80 seconds in the 400, or 2:40 in the 800. That is, they aren't going to speed up as the distance increases.

I help coach my son's middle school distance runners. I know that if a kid can't run a 45 second 200m, there's no way he's going to run 90 second 400m, or a 3:00 800m, or a 6 min 1600m. He/she just doesn't have the leg speed for that... yet.

I've got a fever...

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.

Your original version didn't  work (you can't linearly scale up a 200m time to one mile because you run slower as distance increases), but this version makes sense because you're plugging a 200m time into a calculator, not a 200m time scaled out to one mile.

The problem with using a 200m time in a running calculator is that even if the calculator is fairly accurate (which yours appears to be, upon inspection -- I like comparison between different calculations), there's a whole lot of extrapolating going on with a 200m time as a basis.  Plus, the correlation between sprint times and distance times can vary a lot due to the whole fast-twitch/slow-twitch/aerobic/anaerobic thing. Distance events can predict other distance events more accurately and predictably than can sprints.

Goph, your personal example of a 2:25 marathon only seems plausible because humans have actually run faster than that.  But it's still an outlier.  Your mile and 5k times predict a 2:49 marathon or so for you, which is faster than your PR (3:03), but believable and attainable.

Now that we've gone way far afield, let's just point out that the best advice for our OP is to run more miles, race more distances, and not worry so much about predicting times.

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.

I've got a fever...

I agree the idea of extending/extrapolating from 100m to distance races is completely flawed, but what I think that poster was trying to say was this:

if you take your 100m speed, and if you could hold that pace for longer distances, that would determine your best (although out of this world) speed.  Take a 10 second 100m runner, which is a 40 second 400m (already breaks down), which is a 80 second 800m, or a 160 second 1600m. Let's just call it a 2:40 mile.  Now, if someone's best 100m is 20 seconds, you can be pretty darn sure they won't break 40 seconds in the 200, or 80 seconds in the 400, or 2:40 in the 800. That is, they aren't going to speed up as the distance increases.

I help coach my son's middle school distance runners. I know that if a kid can't run a 45 second 200m, there's no way he's going to run 90 second 400m, or a 3:00 800m, or a 6 min 1600m. He/she just doesn't have the leg speed for that... yet.

I can dig it.

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.

Thanks BoilerTom, looks like you understood what I was trying to describe, and Jeff understands now too.

I've seen 400+4 seconds and 400+8 thrown out as ballpark estimates for how fast a well trained person may be able to run the 800m and 1500/1600/mile respectively. Not sure if you can take that literally but it makes sense on some level because obviously if you can sprint 400m in at best 60 seconds there is just no way you will ever run sub 4.

Some of that of course varies depending upon your endurance vs speed and your best event as well. For example I believe I recall Spaniel saying there was no way he could break 60s for the 400m. He did however run under 31 for the 10K, which "predicts" around 4:18 for the mile, but given his 400m speed I'd be a little surprised if he ever ran quite that fast for the mile/equivalent 1500m.

They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that. "If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a Board and knock me down, because that means I didn't run hard enough" If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they'd starve to death. "Don't fear moving slowly forward...fear standing still."

Robin-Bay Area

Figuring out your max speed for a marathon is imprecise, of course, but here is a guideline based on my own training from the last 3 years. Take your pace from your fastest 1 hour time, and then add a minute. So if your fastest 1 hour time (and this has a limited shelf life- say from at the most a month ago) was a 8:00 min/mile pace, you should be able to run a 9:00 min/mile marathon.  This is based on the assumption that in that 1 hour, you ran the fastest you could. Good luck!

Figuring out your max speed for a marathon is imprecise, of course, but here is a guideline based on my own training from the last 3 years. Take your pace from your fastest 1 hour time, and then add a minute. So if your fastest 1 hour time (and this has a limited shelf life- say from at the most a month ago) was a 8:00 min/mile pace, you should be able to run a 9:00 min/mile marathon.  This is based on the assumption that in that 1 hour, you ran the fastest you could. Good luck!

If you're focused on the marathon and  very fit then I think your formula is way, way  too conservative.  Not a good rule of thumb at all.

Robin-Bay Area

works for me. please explain why it is not a good rule of thumb.

A Saucy Wench

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.

Exactly this.

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

works for me. please explain why it is not a good rule of thumb.

Probably a good rule of thumb for someone who runs your mileage, and whose 1 hour race pace is 8 min/mile, can't possibly be true for someone who runs a 10 miler in an hour, their Marathon pace is likely around 6:30-6:40. Newer runners will likely have a bigger difference between their 1 hour race pace and marathon pace.
Robin-Bay Area

Probably a good rule of thumb for someone who runs your mileage, and whose 1 hour race pace is 8 min/mile, can't possibly be true for someone who runs a 10 miler in an hour, their Marathon pace is likely around 6:30-6:40. Newer runners will likely have a bigger difference between their 1 hour race pace and marathon pace.
Robin-Bay Area

Agreed.

works for me. please explain why it is not a good rule of thumb.

It may work for YOU, sure.  You are simplifying the formula way too much.  % might work better.  Take, for example, any elite level marathon runners today.  They are capable of running a half marathon in 1:01-1:02.  That's about 4:42 per mile pace.  So you can probably be safe to assume he can run the "fastest hour" in about 4:40.  Add one minute to it and you'll get 5:40 per mile pace for a marathon.  In reality, most of those guy are running 2:06-2:08 marathon which actually is about 4:52 per mile pace; a HUGE difference from what your formula calls for--hence "very conservative".

Now, in YOUR case, for example, if you can run 8-minute mile pace for about an hour, that's about 12k in an hour; or 1:23 for 10-miler.  Take any "calculator" that's popular; be it McMillan or Daniels...  I took our own Running Wizard formula (developed by Dick Brown), which is based on calculated VO2Max, and I got 3:47 for the marathon, or 8:41 per mile pace.  My wife ran 1:21 for 10-miler and ran 3:47 for the marathon so that sounds right to me.  So your simplified formula is either too conservative or your marathon time is too weak.

Now take another look here.  I recently got to know this lady who had run 6:25 for the marathon.  If you plug that in, you'll get 5k in 40-minutes, or 12:55 per mile pace.  So she can probably run an hour at 13:00-13:10 pace.  Her marathon is 14:40 pace which is more than a minute slower than her hour's fastest time.

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