Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

Calculation

Posted by Trixter on March 29, 2006


I began using Jim Fixx's The Running Program two days ago, and am following the 30-step training program that ends with me running 3 continuous miles every day. This should get me in shape to run a 5K with my wife in about a month; the actual progam takes twice that amount of time, but I feel confident I could at least finish a 5K.

Step 1 two days ago was "Walk 1 to 1.5 miles." No problem. Done.

Step 2 yesterday was "Walk 1 to 1.5 miles." Again, piece of cake.

Step 3 tomorrow is "Walk half a mile. Run 110 yards. Walk. Run 110 yards. Walk. Run 110 yards. Walk. Run 110 yards. Walk." Uh…

Nothing like a computer program to make you feel like an idiot! You see, I don't have a numbered running track to use; I'm just cruising the neighboorhood. The only way I know that I'm walking 1.5 miles is because I measured it previously with my car's trip odometer. So how to do this properly if all I have is a stopwatch? A "comfortable" running pace for me in my current state of health is 5 miles an hour, which is 12 minutes a mile. A mile is 1760 yards, so I can run 1760 yards in 720 seconds, or (1760/720)=(110/X) so, solving for X, it should take me 45 seconds to run 110 yards. So let's substitute and read it again:

"Walk half a mile. Run for 45 seconds. Walk. Run for 45 seconds. Walk. Run for 45 seconds. Walk. Run for 45 seconds. Walk."

That's a little better, but how long/far should I "Walk"? Half a mile is 880 yards; combined with the running segments it is a total distance of 1320 yards. That's not a full mile, so to stretch it out I need to come up with another 440 yards four more times… aha, they must really mean "Run 110 yards, then walk 110 yards. Repeat 3 more times." Now why couldn't they have just written that?

My walking pace is 3 miles an hour, so walking 110 yards (I'll spare you the calculation) would take me 75 seconds. So, I'm all set as long as I have a stopwatch. Now, where's that stopwatch…!

All this from a program that was supposed to be making running easier.

(All kidding aside, it really is a great program.)

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