How the McMillan Running Calculator is Working for Me


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I'm two weeks into my Hal Higdon-based speed work training program and I just came across The McMillan Running Calculator, which I think will greatly help me measure my workouts more effectively.
Like most pace calculators, McMillan asks that you enter the time from a previous race and it will predict your time for other racing distances. However, unlike other running calculators, you are also provided with a wealth of information about how you should be training.  He covers everything from your pace on long runs to your speed workouts (there are even variations for long distance and middle distance runners).  This information is quite helpful for novice runners like myself who aren't quite sure what to do with Hal Higdon's more general advice on pacing during runs.
An added advantage of McMillan's Calculator is that now I can plug in my desired time for a future race (ie. the 3:10 I need to qualify for the Boston Marathon and see what I should be running in other races).  The Hal Higdon plan calls for me to run 3 races: 5K, 8K and 10K over the course of the next 12 weeks.  I also plan to run The Soaring Wings Half Marathon in October.  According to McMillan a Boston Qualifier should be able to run the following times for those races:
5K: 19:29
8K: 32:07
10K: 1:07:50
1/2 Marathon: 1:30:05

Looking at those times right now, I feel a little crazy for thinking I can do this. At the same time, I have a plan in place that is helping me increase my speed.  Ultimately, the goal is to simply become a better runner.  If I miss my goal in December I will still have plenty of time to qualify for the 2012 Boston Marathon.
After reading this you may be wondering why I'm not switching over to McMillan's training program.  Honestly I think it is superficial reasons for sticking with Higdon:

1. I have read his books and used his plan for my first marathon.
2. A good friend in town used Higdon's plan and qualified for Boston last year.

While those may not be the greatest reasons ever, they are mine.

I'd love to hear your input:

1.What training plans have you used in the past/ or are using now?
2. Have there been any plans that you have been unhappy with or any that have really stood out as excellent?


David said...

Good luck. You can do it. Try "Run Less, Run Faster" as a training guide. It helped me qualify for Boston 2011.

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