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Goal Times and Effort

Athlete Level Descriptions for B78 Powered Programs- Running

Advanced

Are you a seasoned runner with specific time goals for the event?  Do you have experience racing and regularly finish in the top 5-10% of the overall field?  Do you currently run more than four times per week?  Are you competitive in your age category or as an elite in running and/or triathlon events?  Are you signing up to race this event?  If the answer to most of these questions is yes then the advanced program is for you.

 

Intermediate

Are you a regular runner with some race experience?  Are you a regular runner without race experience but run frequently enough to know you will be able to handle the distance? Do you have a time goal that you would like to achieve but at the same time you just enjoy being out there? Do you run three times per week or more?  If you answered yes to most of these questions then the intermediate program is for you.

 

Beginner

Are you new to running?  Are you looking for a smart, effective way to build up the ability to run the distance you are signing up for? Will this be the first mass start running event you have participated in? Are you running with family members or for a charity team where time goals don’t really matter? Are you simply in it to finish it? If you answered yes to most or some of these questions then our beginner program is for you.

Athlete Level Descriptions for Centurion Cycling Events- Corral Numbers

Corral information taken directly from Centurion website- click here to learn more about Centurion Events

Corral No. 1: Racers

Have you finished a Centurion event in the top 5% of the overall field?  Do you average 22-25 miles per hour/35-40 kilometers per hour. Own a racing license? Train at least 10 hours a week? Think you can be competitive in your age category? Completely comfortable riding in a fast-moving group? Not planning on making leisurely aid-station stops? Registering to race — not just ride? If the answer to most of these questions if yes, then you belong in Corral No. 1.

 

Corral No. 2: Serious Enthusiasts

Cyclists choosing corral no. 2 should also have at least some race or fast-paced group riding experience, but perhaps not enough free time to be a fully dedicated amateur racer. That means you ride 8-10 hours a week, 18-21 miles per hour/29-34 kilometers per hour, and may be signing up because you want to race against your friends and fellow semi-serious cyclists.

 

Corral No. 3: Casual riders

This corral is for those that ride approx 3-6 hours a week, 14-17 miles per hour/23-28 kilometers per hour, are comfortable riding around others, and have completed a century, charity ride or maybe some triathlons. Now you’re ready to check out a slightly more competitive cycling atmosphere. Your Centurion plan is to ride reasonably hard all day, but you prefer to stay out of the front-of-the-race fray, and will probably enjoy at least one or two leisurely aid-station stops.

 

Corral No. 4: Beginners

As the title implies, this is for beginners and is a family-friendly zone. Choose Corral No. 4 if you average under 14 miles per hour/under 23 kilometers per hour, are new to riding in a group, and are signing up for Centurion to ride your first 50 or 100 miler. Also the perfect starting place for families or other groups whose main objective is to ride together and enjoy the challenge and scenery.

What are the steps involved in picking a marathon goal time?

  1. Use effort first- Depending on your level of fitness and experience you can typically run a marathon anywhere from 50-85% of maximum effort.  If you know your heart rate values then this becomes easier.  If you do not then you will need to develop a keen sense of how hard you can run and for how long.
  2. Match your effort to a pace range- Once you know the effort you can sustain for a marathon you can match that effort to a pace range.  A pace range is important because as you get fitter you will be able to go faster at the same effort level (whether you are using heart rate or perceived effort).  More experienced runners will typically know what pace they are aiming for and use this as there guide.  Inexperienced runners should start with effort first and match that to a goal time.

How do I measure effort?

  1. Heart rate- If you know your maximum heart rate values or threshold values then it is easy to work backwards to determine an appropriate effort for different events or workouts.  See Table 1 to identify what effort you should be at for what type of event.
  2. Pace- If you know your goal pace and it fits within the appropriate effort range then go by pace (but remember that pace can be affected by wind and terrain so it is not always the best measure unless all other factors remain constant)
  3. Perceived (Scale 1-10)- Perceived effort can also be used to determine how fast you can go.  Some people have a much clearer understanding of how hard they can go for what distance.  There are some easy ways to gauge how hard you are going.  A simple measure out of ten is a good place to start.  For a marathon you can be anywhere from a 6-8.5 out of 10 depending on your level of experience and your level of fitness.  Remember also that the longer the event will take you the lower on the scale you should be in order to make it to the finish line.  Remember that in longer events a 6.5/10 in the first two hours will probably feel more like an 8/10 in the last two hours so pacing is very important.
  4. Perceived- At B78 we also use the terms “Easy, Medium, Hard, Really Hard” or “Slow, Medium Pace, Fast, Max Effort” to determine effort and for some people this is enough.  Easy would be a pace that you may start a warm up with, Medium would be the pace you would run a marathon at if you are just trying to finish and will take longer than four hours.  Hard is a pace you could sustain for 1-2 hours depending on your fitness and Really Hard is a pace you can sustain for several minutes at the end of which you are completely done!

Should I base my pace times on minutes per mile or minutes per kilometer?

This depends on two factors.  The first and probably most important factor is what the course you are doing will be marked in.  If it is marked every kilometer then it is a good idea to know how fast you should be running each kilometer.  If it is measured in miles then you should know how fast you are running each mile.  Sometimes marathons are marked every five kilometers in which case it is important t know these splits as well.

The second is what measure you are comfortable with.  If you are from the USA you may be more comfortable knowing your pace in miles and if you are from most other countries kilometers will be familiar to you.

What measures of effort does this program use?

At B78 we give parameters based on pace, heart rate and perceived effort.  If your program includes biking then we may also include wattage parameters, which is another very specific way to measure effort on a bike.

How do I know what effort I can sustain for a marathon?

The pace you can sustain for a marathon depends on several factors and covers a wide range depending on your ability.  The first is how quickly you can realistically do the marathon.  For world-class athletes that finish a marathon in just over two hours it is possible to be very close to their lactate threshold (or red line)(80-85% of maximum effort).  For athletes that take longer the effort level generally should be lower.  This is partly due to duration and partly due to the fitness level of the individual.  Highly trained individuals can sustain higher levels of intensity for longer periods of time.  It is a good idea to operate within a range and this is generally between 60-80% of maximum effort.  If you know your heart rate zones then it should be easy to match this effort with a heart rate range that is suitable for you.

I’ve only done a shorter running race, is there a way to predict what time I should try and run the marathon in?

There are several pace predictors that extrapolate your times across all distances based on the time you may have for one distance.  These predictors are only a guideline and must be used with a grain of salt.  Goal time predictors are not always perfect but they are a good place to start if you have a best time in another distance and want to guess what is reasonable for a marathon (or vice versa).  Use goal time predictor

Why should I have a time goal range?

It is always a good idea for longer endurance events to have a goal range.  It can be a tight range but a range non the less.  The primary reason is that you never know what kind of conditions may confront you on race day.  A strong head wind or a very hilly course for example can cause you to run slower than you may like.  The most important thing to consider in longer endurance events is the effort you can sustain for the duration of the event, not necessarily the pace.

What takes priority in measuring how hard I should be going (pace, heart rate, perceived effort or something else)?

Pace, heart rate and perceived effort are all important measures in determining how hard you can or should go and often it is important to use a combination of all three.  Heart rate and perceived effort are more important when external factors such as environmental or course conditions are highly variable.  Pace is more important if the course conditions are consistent and predictable.

How do I pick an appropriate goal time?

Your goal pace is very important to nail down early on in the program. It’s all about effort and the effort you can sustain for the desired distance. There are a few ways to get a rough idea of what you can do:

Are you an experienced runner?
Experienced runners will typically know what they can realistically aim for.

Predicting Your Time
If you have already competed in some running events then you can use a prediction calculator to measure how fast you can theoretically run other distances. Remember this is just a guideline and is based on your maximum efforts for the distances you enter. http://www.marathonguide.com/FitnessCalcs/predictcalc.cfm

Understanding Effort
Endurance events are all about the effort you can sustain for various lengths of time. The longer the event, the lower the intensity you can sustain. The shorter the event the higher the intensity you can sustain.

If you are inexperienced or in the category of “want to finish” versus “want to race” then it’s better to be at the lower end of the effort spectrum. Very good runners can stay close to their threshold for 60-120 minutes depending on their level (about 75-85% of maximum effort). Less experienced runners need to be down around 60-65% of maximum effort especially considering the length of time increases for someone who is slower. The longer the event takes you the lower your effort needs to be in order to sustain it.

Racing

Athlete Level Descriptions for B78 Powered Programs- Running

Advanced

Are you a seasoned runner with specific time goals for the event?  Do you have experience racing and regularly finish in the top 5-10% of the overall field?  Do you currently run more than four times per week?  Are you competitive in your age category or as an elite in running and/or triathlon events?  Are you signing up to race this event?  If the answer to most of these questions is yes then the advanced program is for you.

 

Intermediate

Are you a regular runner with some race experience?  Are you a regular runner without race experience but run frequently enough to know you will be able to handle the distance? Do you have a time goal that you would like to achieve but at the same time you just enjoy being out there? Do you run three times per week or more?  If you answered yes to most of these questions then the intermediate program is for you.

 

Beginner

Are you new to running?  Are you looking for a smart, effective way to build up the ability to run the distance you are signing up for? Will this be the first mass start running event you have participated in? Are you running with family members or for a charity team where time goals don’t really matter? Are you simply in it to finish it? If you answered yes to most or some of these questions then our beginner program is for you.

Athlete Level Descriptions for Centurion Cycling Events- Corral Numbers

Corral information taken directly from Centurion website- click here to learn more about Centurion Events

Corral No. 1: Racers

Have you finished a Centurion event in the top 5% of the overall field?  Do you average 22-25 miles per hour/35-40 kilometers per hour. Own a racing license? Train at least 10 hours a week? Think you can be competitive in your age category? Completely comfortable riding in a fast-moving group? Not planning on making leisurely aid-station stops? Registering to race — not just ride? If the answer to most of these questions if yes, then you belong in Corral No. 1.

 

Corral No. 2: Serious Enthusiasts

Cyclists choosing corral no. 2 should also have at least some race or fast-paced group riding experience, but perhaps not enough free time to be a fully dedicated amateur racer. That means you ride 8-10 hours a week, 18-21 miles per hour/29-34 kilometers per hour, and may be signing up because you want to race against your friends and fellow semi-serious cyclists.

 

Corral No. 3: Casual riders

This corral is for those that ride approx 3-6 hours a week, 14-17 miles per hour/23-28 kilometers per hour, are comfortable riding around others, and have completed a century, charity ride or maybe some triathlons. Now you’re ready to check out a slightly more competitive cycling atmosphere. Your Centurion plan is to ride reasonably hard all day, but you prefer to stay out of the front-of-the-race fray, and will probably enjoy at least one or two leisurely aid-station stops.

 

Corral No. 4: Beginners

As the title implies, this is for beginners and is a family-friendly zone. Choose Corral No. 4 if you average under 14 miles per hour/under 23 kilometers per hour, are new to riding in a group, and are signing up for Centurion to ride your first 50 or 100 miler. Also the perfect starting place for families or other groups whose main objective is to ride together and enjoy the challenge and scenery.

What takes priority in measuring how hard I should be going (pace, heart rate, perceived effort or something else)?

Pace, heart rate and perceived effort are all important measures in determining how hard you can or should go and often it is important to use a combination of all three.  Heart rate and perceived effort are more important when external factors such as environmental or course conditions are highly variable.  Pace is more important if the course conditions are consistent and predictable.

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