Running Math (Inside Megan’s Head)

Had a delightful Easter Eve Day 6-miler this morning. It was my farthest run since the Reedy 10k, and a definite step towards the half marathon goal. For some reason, my brain partitions distances in groups of five:

1-5 miles = small/low effort
6-10 miles = medium/”real running”
11-15 miles = large/long run/highly dedicated
16+ = extra large/impossible impossibilities

That’s just the way my brain works. And, I should probably add, the way it works as it applies to ME. I’m not saying that anyone who sticks to the 1-5 mile range is not a “real runner.” I forget the percentage, but it’s safe to say that many (most?) Americans fall into the “Gee, I couldn’t even run ONE mile” category, so pretty much anyone who runs AT ALL is already in a relatively elite group. All I’m saying is that for me, I know I’m getting more serious about my training when I cross into that second mileage level. The difference between 5 and 6 miles is subtle, and probably doesn’t mean a whole lot physiologically, but the act of choosing the longer distance over the shorter is no small feat. (Sidenote: Um…wow. I know, I just harped on running cliches in my last post, but that’s something different than running puns. Right?)

For me, I know that if I can run 6 miles then I can commit to 10. And if I can run 10 all by my lonesome, then I can run 13.1 with a crowd. Ahhhh, running math. Delicious.


One response

  1. Interesting pov, mostly I think of it in terms of time and effort. For example, I could go out for an hour but I can vary the intensity by adjusting speed and route. I don’t have “flat” but I have “flatter” and “hillier”. So by running faster or slower and choosing terrain. I can build different workouts. And then I have a bench mark route I run occasionially as fast as I can do, I know that my PR for that nasty little thing (sequential mc daniel monsters ) is 33 minutes 18 seconds even. I ran it last night in the reverse ( that is I did away with the monster hills first ) Took me 40 minutes but, WOW, was it ever good . Could I have done that faster last night? Absolutely! But I like the variety.

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