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Predicting your race finishing time

You’ve just run the race, crossed the finish line and are feeling a great sense of accomplishment. Above all you feel fit, and believe the run was a good improvement on previous efforts. It would’ve have been nice to have your racing splits available during the run. I guess in all the rushing around you’ve left your watch somewhere at home. Not to worry the results will be out in a few days and you’ll see how things went then. Tuesday comes and you search through the paper, only to find a DNF next to your name. When you make it home you jump online and find a similar DNF. You’re chip must have fallen off or maybe you’ve missed the finishing shoot. Your proud of finishing and the accomplishment is great but part of you was in it to compete

Running Pace Predictor

Although we enjoy running in nature and the freedom of the road, a large part of the journey is pushing your limits. The running pace predictor is a tool that does as the name suggests, it can predict your finishing times based on previous distances run. The running pace predictor has been designed using the PB’s and race records of differing events over a range of fitness levels. The predictor assumes equality of performance across each distance. For example if you’re training specifically for a marathon and are completing next to no speed work, entering the times you can manage for a short distance will slightly under predict your marathon time. Similarly if you’re a specialist 3,000m specialist and have yet to begin longer distance training than most likely it will overestimate your ability in the marathon. Despite this a large degree of accuracy exist across a range of fitness levels and distances. Be careful not to use the calculator to predict extreme distances beyond the marathon or sprint based distances below 1500m, as this is beyond the mathematically boundaries set

What can the Running Pace Predictor tell you?

There are some interesting features on this tool for training and general interest. The tool has a percentage VO2 max function. This informs you at what percentage of your VO2 max you would have run for a given time. Elite athletes can maintain V02 max pace for a 3000 meter event whilst the marathon is performed closer to 80% of their VO2 max. For a moderate level runner you might be performing the marathon at 70% VO2 max

A helpful little function is the energy expenditure function. The calculator will tell you the energy consumption or calories burnt for different distances. Just ensure you enter the correct body weight and the results will be very close to actually laboratory measures. For a 82kg stomper like myself the energy expenditure for running a marathon is 15,623Kj’s. This is around 130-150% of my recommended daily energy intake. No wonder you leave a serious dent in the food budget in those days post marathon.

VO2 max and VO2 max Norms

VO2 max is a word thrown around the dinner table a lot amongst the running community. VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen the body can utilize in 1 minute. For runners it is expressed in relative terms and measured in Milliliters of oxygen used Per Kilogram of body weight per minute (ml’s/kg/min) The running pace predictor tool can give you a relatively accurate prediction for your VO2 max for any distance beyond 8 minutes run. Why 8 minutes, as mentioned the 3000 meters for the elite is performed at VO2 max and this event is in the vicinity of 8 minutes, shorter events begin to derive larger amounts of energy from anaerobic metabolism, this means energy production that isn’t aerobic. The result is an over predicted VO2 max. I say the calculator is a relatively accurate predictor because running economy plays a role in the equation and this is why predicting VO2max without direct laboratory measures is difficult. Despite this economy doesn’t vary by much more than 10% either side of the norm. So a moderately accurate prediction can be made. This difference in economy will also place a possible 10% error on the above energy expenditure equations. The predictor includes a graphical comparison of your predicted VO2 max against population averages. Whilst it’s not important to reach the levels seen by elite endurance athletes a higher VO2 max is beneficial for long term health

So if you’re looking to predict you’re finish time in a longer event of to just learn some information about your training, try the Running Pace Predictor

Running Pace Chart

The following chart can be used along with the calculator to assess your appropriate cardiovascular training program. The chart can be used to calculate an approximate VO2 max based on previous running times. These equations assume an average running economy and can slightly underpredict the VO2 of a runner with an poor running economy or injury

Would you like to improve you running? Try Personal Training Eastern Suburbs, We can tailor you a program to minimize injuries and improve your running performance.

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