Running the Math

Running has it’s own kind of math.

runner math
I’m pretty sure that 6 x mile workout feels a whole heck of a lot more than ‘only’ six. There has to be some kind of undocumented numerical gap between 2 and 3, 3 and 4, and for SURE between 4 and 5. I’d say that it’s 4.25 or 4.5, but it feels way longer than something a decimal point could quantify.

But then there is something fishy going on with numbers when it comes to cookies, cupcakes and Pop-Tarts. 6 x Pop-Tart goes down in the blitz of an eye…so there is no WAY the number six is consistent here…

How about 6 x minute of foam rolling? Your eyes start to bulge at around minute 1.37 as your IT Band cries for mercy. Has anyone ever start to feel almost nauseous working out the knots of that little bugger?

And what about running that darn 600 that comes at lap 2.5 of a 1600? That third lap there is where the mind can kill you, if you start to dawdle, day-dream (maybe day-nightmare??) a bit and lost focus. The bell can act as a little alarm clock but by then it may be too late, so let’s all agree that next time we catch ourselves dawdling we’ll break those laps into halvesies and wake-up an extra 200 meters early. Hey, it could save your race.
cake runner
Runners, there is the mathematical madness that are the speed intervals. If you blast out 8 x 200 meters, you get all excited if you run some super fast splits, you’re firing on all pistons. By the end you’re jacked, thinking, “Hey, I’m turning into a kicker!” Then you start doing the math and think, “Wait a minute, that was only a total of 2 miles?!!?”

One tempo mile for sure as heck is not the same number when it is one mile of a warm-up mile. One mile of an ‘easy’ run the day after a that tempo workout for sure is not the same number as one mile of an easy run two days after a hard workout.

Sixteen miles of a long run. What does that equate to in hours? Is that runner hours or ‘normal’ people hours, because running hours have an odd way of elapsing at a different rate than in any other point of the day. Sometimes they seem to speed by, other times they crawl.

The chasm between the seconds is opened up infinitely more when you’re in the drive for the finish line. When tenths of a second, (Flipping TENTHS!!) could separate ecstasy from crushing disappointment.
eat pop tarts
Oh well, I’ve given up on you, Math, you’ve let me down. Not that I liked you all that much anyways, so us runners are going to play by our own rules…

6 x mile = 60 x Pop-Tart.
Hey…have you checked out the September Miles Madness Competition going on?? Talk about numbers…are you going to be donating your month’s miles to Team Cait?! Check out the growing roster and email me if you’d like to join. Then, keep a record of all the miles you run and each Friday email me your totals for that week and then Ashely and I will do the math and give you guys updates each weekend!

1) How about this math people? In this logic, tell me what you think 6 x mile equals for you?

2) Are you a big math person, do you like playing with numbers?
Actually, nerd alert, I’m not going to lie I was pretty good at math in school. Super nerd alert: there may or may not be a rumor going around that I was in the Square Rooters Club in high school. 😉

3) What say you, how would you more accurately quantify: 1 mile of a tempo : 1 mile easy run : 1 mile long run : 1 mile worth of 200’s?
1 tempo mile = 3 easy run miles = 2 long run miles = 0.67 miles of 200’s
PS- this could be my most confusing question to date…those who answer get 3.8755 bonus point

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22 thoughts on “Running the Math

  1. Enjoyed this article. Was thinking the same things during my long run this morning. The quality in the quantity changes everything. Timing, intensity, and all sorts of variables determine the meaning behind the miles.

  2. 6 miles is crazy long for me, still. My longest run so far has been 10, I can’t imagine doing 6 mile repeats. Even today with my interval workout, it just totaled 4 miles. But I do body pump and yoga to stay in shape with running too. I’m not a pop tart fan but if you replace the pop tart with frozen yogurt or iced coffee I’m down for it!

    • volume and all that is unique to the person, and in the end it comes down to effort and what’s right for YOU, missy! 🙂 way to kick butt on that interval workout…and i think it’s okay if we swap ur fro-yo with pop tarts…hehe.

  3. Holy crap that’s a lot of maths. My brain hurts! They definitely don’t stack up. And 6 miles has to be worth at least 6 large slices of mud cake.

    I’m going to leave the maths to the square rooter. I have 11 miles for you this week so far 🙂

  4. I am terrible at math in my head so, no, but why does the last 0.1 of a 5k, 0.2 of a 10k, so on and so forth seem SO MUCH LONGER than any other time you have run that distance?!

    I like question 3, but would need some time to think on it!

  5. Miles are miles to me…except easy miles, those are fun frolics! I don’t do enough speed work to disassociate 🙂
    Have you had the Confetti Cake Pop Tarts??…ohhh my gosh, so darn good!

    • pssh, u be quite, cuz u are darn speedy! 🙂 omg…i have NOT tried those ones, for shame i kno, but it’s mostly because i am slightly afraid that if i cheated on my s’more or chocolate fudge varieties they’d call Cheaters on my runner butt. 😉

      • You must get them, I promise they will jump into your rotation!…Poptarts are okay, most are kind of dry to me (maybe I don’t get the right flavors?!), but the Confetti Cake ones are the best ever, and on a whole new level!!!
        And…are you running CIM?! I wasn’t sure if you were implying that in your comment?!! 🙂

        • i have noticed that the newer flavors are much doughier and moist than the ‘older’ classic flavors. speaking of, have u tried the cookie dough ones?!?! holy flipping awesomeness.
          oh, no…sorry to confuse u, i’m not running CIM but it is literally RIGHT near where i live. i went out last year to cheer for some friends. 🙂

  6. Oh yeah – super nerd alert here as well! I was in our inter-school maths competition team too…
    I love the prose of this article: ‘the chasm between the seconds’, and all the other illustrations of runner time. For myself, I find that once I reach the midpoint of a workout I can cope with whatever comes after. Each mile is one mile less, and yet, the happiness is tinged with a little sadness as I realise that each mile is one mile less.
    Each mile of my 6 x miles is equal to peanut butter on crackers, or sharp vintage cheddar on crackers, or a square of Lindt chocolate, or a cookie…oh, cookies…

    • YES…nerd power unite!! 🙂 u describing ur thought process about hitting the middle of the workout is the EXACT same thing i go through, from the onset i really only think about how close i am to the middle, then after that it’s the countdown. but not going to lie, if it’s intervals i’m not really all that sorry to be one miles/interval less there. 😉 hehe.

      PS- u and the … on the food u think of, haha, so what i’m thinking!! let’s all leave it at …

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