Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yasso 800's + McMillan Running Calculator + 15K PR = Twilight Zone Theme Song!!!

I had a bit of a Eureka moment this morning while running around the track getting my speed workout in. A few week's ago I did a 6 x (800 hard, 400 easy) set on the track. Basically I came up two 800's shy of completing a Yasso 800 workout, which can determine a possible marathon time by taking the average of your 800's. My average came out to be 3:22, aka, a possible 3:22 marathon time. Riiiiiiiight! I laughed it off! (I have never ran a marathon. Heck, I have never ran more than 15.5 miles!)

Well after my 15K PR this past Sunday, I entered my time into the trusty McMillan Running Calculator to see calculated times for other distances.

A 1:06:04 15K yields this chart:

3:20:05 Marathon?!?!?!? Wait a sec, did the almost-Yasso 800 workout actually speak some truth?!??!?!

So I took a 3:22:00 marathon and plugged it into the calculator. It spit back:

1:06:42 for the 15K time. Holy @*#&@* Batman!

For those of you experienced Marathon runners, how trusty have your times been with the McMillan Running calculator? Have you ever used Yasso 800's to determine a Marathon time and how close was it?

Which brings me to my next point. The NYC Marathon in November. I have a gauranteed entry and basically paid almost $200 last year to NOT run it. I'd hate to lose my entry and I'd also hate to pay another almost $200 to NOT run it again.

So I have decided TO run it! Regardless of what the McMillan charts say above, I have no goals for this race yet (As in a time to shoot for: I will know more in the weeks and days leading up to the race). This race is still a LONG ways away and I first have to power through an Ironman first. I talked with my coach and brought up the concern of "will I be recovered in time for another build for this marathon in November?" He responded with "Yes and Yes."

I have till April 19th to pay more $$$ and officially re-enter.

THIS is my INNER FIRE for the day!


  1. If that chart is correct, you be 5 seconds off the old BQ qualifying time, I think its now 5:05 off the new one. 5 seconds, I can see an easy kick to make it, 5 mins is another story

  2. wow jon! Boston, here you come! onyour first marathon! yay! hahhaha

    i have tried it before and it wasnt as accurate. mine predicted a time of 4:34 for a marathon and i ran it in 4:54. granted, i was injured. so maybe my time would have been closer to 4:34 if my knee was not hurting. so maybe there is some truth to it.
    cant wait to see how u do!

  3. You listed $$ as being the issue of running or not running. I'm guessing that like me you have other factors in the mix as well.

    I think it would be fun to take some of my fitness after my A Race (a 70.3 in August) and go after some PR's in some local sprint tris and some running events in the fall. That could conflict with putting together my best marathon time tho'. I would still run the marathon, but not race it. (apologies to all the runners that just read that and are upset that I'm taking up a slot)

    On the other hand, I may decide that I may never be this fit again and I should use that fitness to post up a good marathon time. (which would be a PR since it would be my first as well).

    Either way, the NYC marathon looks like too good of a party to pass up. I'm signed up! Now to get there without injuries...

    (Sorry for writing a blog post in your comments!)

  4. I am forever an underachiever per McMillan and other calculators when it comes to the Marathon.... Just my .02 YMMV

  5. I have a huge opinion on this. Yes the calculator worked wonderfully for me. It told me that I could run a minute faster for a half marathon than I did and I didn't pace myself properly for that race... BUT, this calculator ONLY WORKS if you train properly. Essentially it is saying that your potential is to hit these times.

    The better your PR is at a longer distance yielded more accurate results for me as well.

    So I have used it, James is the one that told me about it. I have had accurate success with it as well. Again, everything comes down to race day though and if the stars align and you don't get a sick stomach, cramp, stuck in a giant mass of people and can't run your pace ;)

  6. My McMillan calculations are close, but off my a few minutes. If I enter my best 25K time (1:55), I get a predicted marathon time of 3:21. With my best half marathon time (1:34), I get 3:20. My actual marathon PR is 3:26 which was after both my 1/2 and 25k PRs.

    Maybe I'll have to do some Yasso's and see how that compares.

    As for NYC, SIGN UP! By November, a marathon is going to be like a walk in the park.

  7. I have no personal experience with the calculator. My friend that has been running marathons for 20 years said this to me when I asked him about it last year.

    "If you calculate your marathon time using a value from a 13.1 or shorter race. Then you actually finish 26.2 on the time given. You have found your distance".
    Meaning you are definitely a long distance runner.

  8. i would trust mcmillian with my life.

    and woooot! i'm still not sure if I want to bite the bullet and sign up for NYC but I'm close!

  9. I've never used mcmillan, so thanks for the introduction. Man, I'd be stoked to be running that fast. Way to go!

  10. Calculator is useful for me up to the HM. After that I find it not nearly as accurate. Usually the time is too aggressive by 5 minutes or so.

    Dont use yasso
    I find the same thing with daniels VDOT predications for the marathon.

  11. You are aso freaking fast!!

    Sign up for that marathon man!! COME ON!!! YEAH

  12. We r in the same boat ..... All times have me between a 315-320 marathon, but I've never ran one? Based on how i feel during my long runs I bet that is pretty close though. I will be nowhere near a 320 for ironman. That is for certain.

  13. The best gauge for a marathon time is your last marathon. Nevertheless, I have used the McMillan and VDOT calculators and, provide you have the done the work and have the endurance, then theoretically you should be able to perform at the distances. Last year when I BQ’d I used all of the paces that it spit out and nailed them. It predicted my marathon time of 3:08 spot on.

    I also did the Yasso’s and was able to work up to 10 reps. I did them 3:00 – 3:05. They were hard but they did provide a mental boost.

    For a 3 hour marathon, McMillan wants me to run a 1:25:21 while VDOT wants a 1:26:20

    VDOT -

  14. I have several marathoner friends and they all swear by Yassos!

  15. I've never used this - but sounds like it's been pretty accurate. Sign up for that race!

  16. it spit back your exact time almost?!! crazy

    I wish that thing worked for me seems Id have better than my current PR:)

    Congrats on the sign up (sounds like you pulled the trigger?) that was my first 26.2 and its totally awesome. especially for you since you are there, combined with the timing of it in November. Great choice, I'm excited for you to do a stand alone marathon, I think you will bust it out.


  17. I have toyed around with the calculators... mainly this one ( I plugged in a 5k and 10mile race that I completed a couple months (1 and 4 respectively) before my most recent marathon. I ended up beating my calculated marathon time by a 2 minutes AND I lost it in the last couple miles.

    I think they are great to give you an idea what you're capable of if you have no idea...but you know you can put down a 3:20. You're the one out pounding the miles week in and week out - Nothing knows your body better than you do.

  18. I've done yasso's to know about what pace to train at, never really as a marathon predictor though.

    You sound less-than-thrilled about NYC? It's in nov, plenty of time to get ready for a sweet PR :) (i like it better than boston personally)

  19. I used McMillan Running calculator for my 5k to predict my half marathon - and if my knee hadn't blown up around mile 9, I would have been almost exactly spot on.

  20. I love the McMillan calculator! Last year it was pretty spot on with all of my races!


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