Runners who have run less than 15,000 km in their careers will run between 5 and 30 minutes slower than the prediction. The greatest difference will be for those who have done the least training and who run the slowest in the index race.
The index run is for a recent sea-level performance.
Runners who do neither hill nor speed training must add 10 and 15 minutes to their predicted times.
Any increase or decrease in weight since the index run was performed are corrected by adding 3 minutes for each pound gained or subtracting 3 minutes for each pound lost.
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This type of Exercises allows each athlete to tailor his or her training according to the time he or she wishes to run in a particular race. It also indicates the range of performances the athlete can expect, most critically the performances that are beyond the genetically determined limits for the athlete. By providing a realistic time prediction for a particular race, the Exercises will also ensure that the clever athlete does not overestimate his or her ability and therefore start running the race too fast, an error that always has dire consequences (see post 9).
Times longer than 10.59 are not included because the Comrades Marathon, for which this Exercises is constructed, has an 11.00 cut-off time. From “Predicting Your Comrades Performance” by J. Louw, 1989, Comrades Marathon Update (January), p. 12. Copyright 1989 by J. Louw. Adapted by permission additional sources of energy production for which oxygen is not needed, called oxygen-independent ATP production, which are not measured by V02max testing.
post 3 will discuss the nature of these biochemical pathways, which are very important during all short-term exercise lasting up to about 45 seconds. At present, the capacity of these oxygen-independent pathways for energy production are best measured in the field rather than in the laboratory. It makes little sense to devise a laboratory-based measure of sprinting ability when a time trial on a 100-m track will give the answers.
A final question that we need to ask is whether sprinting speed in running events lasting 2 to 4 minutes can predict running potential in endurance events. An affirmative answer is suggested by the observation, discussed in post 8, that the fastest middle-distance track runners are also the fastest marathon and ultramarathon runners, provided they have the appropriate body builds. Yet the fastest middle-distance runners are also the fastest over the sprint distances, as indicated by the quotes of Lydiard, Gilmour, and Pirie at the beginning of this post and by the findings of Krahenbuhl and Pangrazi (1983) in children. Noakes (1988b), Noakes et al. (1990b), and Scrimgeour et al. (1986) also found that the peak running speed that an athlete could achieve during a maximal treadmill test was the best predictor of performance in marathon and ultramarathon events, indicating a possible relationship between sprinting speed, which is a measure of the ability to produce energy by oxygen-independent pathways, and endurance capacity, which is believed to be a measure of the capacity for energy production by oxygen-dependent pathways. At present we have no easy scientific explanation for this apparent paradox.
We have discussed how muscles contract and how oxygen is transported from the atmospheric air to the mitochondria in the active muscle cells. This post will describe how the oxygen combines with various metabolic “fuels” in the mitochondria (in particular, breakdown products of carbohydrates and fats) to produce ATP, how those metabolic fuels are taken in from the diet, and how they are stored and then broken down to provide energy during exercise. We will pay particular attention to the effects of such factors as diet, exercise, and training on fuel storage and utilization during exercise and how depletion of one or more of these fuels might explain exhaustion during prolonged exercise.