Equinox Marathon Calculator

Well, it's a little early, but it's never too early to start preparing for the Equinox. As the flat summer races approach, one might wonder how those flatland races compare to Equinox performance. In short, they don't, at least not unless you do the requisite training (i.e. long runs and hills). That said, some rough correlations can be made, and I've mangled someone else's calculator to give you an idea! Read more to use it!


Equinox Calculator  

Use the Equinox Calculator to calculate target race times for the Equinox Marathon. It is currently only useful to project an Equinox time based on a flat race or training run time. I hope to put the math in for elevation gain so you can use hilly runs for projections, but for now that'll have to wait.

OK, so you have decided to run the Equinox, but what should your target time be?

Say you have just done the Midnight Sun Run (6.21 miles) in 43:30. Are you on-track for a 4 hour Equinox? Enter your distance and time, click on the button and voila! the Equinox calculator says yes, but only just: that translates into an Equinox time of 3:59:33.

I emphasize strongly that this "projection" only applies if you actually train for a marathon, and if you do enough hills to be prepared for the Equinox. The calculator can't account for breakdowns, which will occur if you haven't prepared properly. Usually that means your actual time will be 10 to 30 minutes slower than you would have thought based on the calculator (don't ask me how I know). Roughly speaking, about a third of runners should find their actual time within 2.5% of the projected time. My guess is that the other 2/3 either 1) had an out of character poor MSR performance, 2) didn't do enough marathon specific training or otherwise had a breakdown, or, less commonly, 3) trained extraordinarily well for the marathon. Most of the time (i.e. about 2/3) when the calculator is wrong it doesn't predict a slow enough time for the over 5 hour folks or a fast enough time for the sub 3:30 folks. If that doesn't sound very reliable, realize that Equinox times are ALL over the map, so a simple calculator like this is probably doing pretty well at 1/3...

If you are preparing for a half-marathon, or a 10k or ten-mile race, just substitute the correct distance. Because of my modifications, however, it will probably not be useful unless those target races are similar to the Equinox (i.e. mixed trail runs with 150' per mile of elevation gain).

Enter your best training run...      (just write over the default data)

Enter the distance you have just run:

miles (or enter km and click )

Enter the time you just took:

hours minutes seconds

The distance for which you are training:

miles (or enter km and click )

And now...   

Target speed:  

miles at  mph or  kph

Target run time:

hours minutes  seconds

Target split time:

minutes  and seconds per mile

Target split time:

minutes  and seconds per kilometer

Pretty cool, huh? Wish I could take credit for it! Alas, I can not. Used (with some alteration) by kind permission of Michael Liebreich.