1

McMillan Calculator Question (Read 655 times)

    Hello, I know some of you use the McMillan calculator, because I've seen it discussed here. I have a question about it. Now that my times have started improving a little bit, I note that there are gaps in the pacings that it gives. For instance, for me an Easy run is 8:05-8:35 pace, but the stamina workouts start with Steady State pace at 7:12-7:24. My question is, what am I doing if I run a pace that is in the gap, 7:45 for instance? Is that just a waste of effort? How should I count/log those workouts? Am I just splitting hairs/worrying over nothing?
    Scout7


    CPT Curmudgeon

      I'd generally say you're worrying over nothing, for the most part. Of course, it could mean that you're training at too hard a pace, but that would depend on the point of the workout, too. I'm not as familiar with McMillian's training paces/zones/whatever you call 'em, but I think most of the time the Easy runs are supposed to be used as a recovery pace for after a race or hard workout. So if you're doing runs that are faster than that, I wouldn't worry too much about it.


      Kill

        Good question. I have a similar gap - wondered a bit about it and forgot about it until I saw your post. Regarding whether it's a waste of effort, I would say "no", but I'm no expert. For me, I log it based on what I was trying to achieve on the run. I.E. if I set out to do a tempo run and the pace ended up a little slow in the "no-man's" land, I would still count it as a tempo run. Maybe it didn't have the full benefit of a tempo run at "proper" speed, but it still had some effect (I hope).

        Passion is a rather frightening thing because if you have passion you don't know where it will take you.

         

        When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

          Your paces as calculated from McMillan will be a moving target for a while as you are getting fitter and learning how to race etc, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. A lot depends on teh goal of the workout. If you are doing a general aerobic run, there can be quite a range of paces that are effective and it's not a waste of effort if you run a bit faster than your easy range sometimes. You just want to makes sure that you have enough truly easy recovery runs in your schedule to recover adequately for the hard days. In terms of what you put in your log, I think this should be more a matter of percieved effort than exact pace. Some days you may go for a leisurely jog on a cool, dry day when you're well rested and it will wind up you averaged 7:30 pace. Another day you might be tired and/or it's hot and humid out, and you go out to do a tempo run and only end up running 7:30 pace but it feels a lot harder. I'd call log the first run as "Easy" and the second one as "Tempo" even though they were the same pace.

          Runners run.

            What I was always taught was that training in the space between your “zones” is not worth the effort. When you run in the in-between zone you are running to fast for your body to recover, but you’re not running fast enough to get the benefit from running faster. It is better to slow down to get a better recovery or run faster to get a better workout. Though, I do agree with Mikeymike that your zones can change day to day depending on a lot of different factors.

            Orion Goals: 5k 18:30 10K 38:00 Marathon 3:10

            RunOJRun.blogspot.com


            I've got a fever...

              When you run in the in-between zone you are running too fast for your body to recover, but you’re not running fast enough to get the benefit from running faster. It is better to slow down to get a better recovery or run faster to get a better workout.
              This falls in line with something one of my cross country coaches used to say -- "Medium miles = wasted miles." Don't know if it's true or not, but it has a good ring. He was a big proponent of easy days being easy and hard days being hard.

              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 I was always taught was that training in the space between your “zones” is not worth the effort.
                There's a very good book called the Cutting Edge Runner that explains this further and includes pacing charts with "grey" zones. While grey zones aren't entirely wasted - you do get some benefit from them - you could recover more by going slower or build stamina more by going faster. And I agree - Mikeymike basically nails it. Be sure to go easy on the easy days... If you do that, you'll generally be able to go hard enough on the hard days and if you can't once in a while, don't worry about it.

                Go to http://certainintelligence.blogspot.com for my blog.