By: Steve Sisson
I know that many of you will begin to consider me a very cruel man. A time trial is the one of the very first workouts of the program? The reason? So we can get a handle on where your fitness is RIGHT NOW. Why? So we can make sure that the times that you run for the workouts are appropriate for your current fitness. I am sure that some of you will be unhappy with your finish time; others of you will probably be surprised at how fast you run. Regardless of your feelings, I promise that this will be a very useful barometer for you throughout the training program.
So, what does my time for this 3200 meter run tell me? Well, first off, it is important to understand that the 2 mile distance is the optimal distance to test your fitness. This is because your body begins to go through some significant changes when you are running on the edge of your capacity for 1.5 miles. If you should run the time trial at a hard effort, in the final half mile you will probably feel that you very close to your limits. This feeling is your body working at its maximum level of oxygen consumption, which is when it begins to accumulate lactic acid. How well your body removes this by-product from the exercising muscles is a clear determinate of your current fitness. All this is “science speak” to say that the 2 mile time trial takes you closest to your limits, while still allowing you to run hard.
Just follow these steps:
Run your 3200 meters (2 miles/8 laps around the track) in the best time possible. I recommend that you start conservatively, & try to run faster as you progress. Starting too quickly is always the kiss of death for runners. We are trying to determine the best time you can run for this distance.
RELAX: Do not worry too much about this time trial. It is only a tool used to help you determine where you are in your fitness right now. You will only get faster as a result of this training program.
REMEMBER YOUR TIME!!!! We will not be able to remember everyone's time, so be sure you catch it. There will be a race clock at the finish line that will have your time. Once you have your time, login into your locker room at the top of the page is a link to the Rogue Calculator. Click the “2 mile” button & then input your 2 mile time trial time in the boxes below the table (be sure to put the minutes and seconds in the correct columns). Then, click "Calculate."
A graph will appear that shows you all kinds of times for a wide variety of distances & workout types. Take a look where your time places you in terms of a marathon time. This is an equivalent time to your time trail time. Of course, this is based on what you ran today, some of you in less than ideal conditions, which may not be a perfectly accurate time, but it allows us to begin planning our training schedule.
Print out your calculator page 2 times: once for yourself and again for your coach. Bring your page to the next workout for your coach.
Long Run Pace/Mile
Steady State Pace/Mile
Please keep these times available in your training log to reference in the future. As the training & your fitness progress, these times may become less relevant but they will certainly help us in the first workouts to set things such as Progressive Pace run times & to determine the right way to set up your race.