How do you calculate your mileage?

18 Jan

I’ll admit , right off, that I don’t own a Garmin, or a Timex, or any other type of GPS. So the only tool I have at my disposal, to measure my routes, is mapmyrun.

Years ago, before GPS, I did own a Polar HRM. It wasn’t cheap, but it was a cool toy. I played close attention to my HR while training for a few marathons. But, I noticed that I paid too much attention to it. Was my HR within range? Am I on track to hit my predicted milestones? Eventually, the battery on the chest strap died, and I used the Polar to track mileage and speed, till eventually, it also crapped out. Sending it to Polar for a new battery just didn’t seem worth it.

More recently, I found logyourrun. It met my needs, initially, to track my routes. Eventually, I moved over to mapmyrun. It seemed worked better for me. I would take the info it gave me as pretty accurate. For the last 3 years, I tracked everyone of my runs. Once I measured a run, I’d note the mileage and use that for all subsequent repeats. Last week, I was testing a different application, runningahead. Just to test its response, I laid a 6.1 miles course I had been running for the last 3 years. Imagine my horror when it displayed total mileage as 5.8.

What the heck!  I went back to maymyrun.com and laid out the course gain – and it had changed to 5.8 also. I did notice that maypmyrun required that I update to a new mapping tool. So now I’m wondering how short some of my other runs have been. I did check a few and, to my relief, saw that they were pretty close.

Anyway, I find that runningahead.com response better that mapmyrun.com. It also doesn’t seem to get confused like mapmyrun. More frequently, mapmyrun was adding these weird backtrack while I was laying out my routes. This happen to anyone else?

So, recap for the week, and to show my progression on Katye’s 1010 in 2010/ challenge.

Two morning runs of 5.8 miles (grrrr). One long run of 17.7 miles.

The long run was a mixed bag. It started off great. Instead of taking a walking break every 20 min, I decided to do my run in 60 min segments, as a test. For the first segment, I ran along the local canal trail, taking a health break at the creepy bathrooms at Heather Farms park. Nothing like stopping at a dark, smelly bathroom at 6:30am. Yuck! Still, I was feeling pretty good at this point, especially getting that load off. After the 60 mins, but started to feel some discomfort with my left arch. I did find that slightly changing my running gait made it go away. At this point, I was running along the Iron Horse trail, a former railroad easement. Unfortunately, part of the trail runs along a major highway, with its exhaust fumes. On the plus side, the trail runs along Walnut Creek, which is really more of a storm runoff. At points , it is more than 300 wide. It is filled with wildlife. I was feeling a little tired after 2 hours, and started taking breaks every 20-30 minutes. The arch pain came back for about 15 minutes, then just as quickly disappeared. As expected, by going too fast the first 2 hours, I slowed quite a bit the last 60 minutes. I finally made it home, exhausted, and with tired legs. No arch pain. I did chafe quite bit. Right before my run, I realized I had run out of Glide. I tried to use some petroleum jelly, but mindful that it stains, I didn’t apply it liberally. Consequently, I ended up with soreness in certain spots.

Final tally

Wildlife: ducks, squirrels, egrets, hawk, fox(?)

3 towns: Concord, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill

17.7 miles

Last, my son’s b-ball team played a thriller last night. Literally trading baskets with the other team. Ultimately, the team played great defense and shut the other team down in the last 20 secs for 1 3 point win!!  These games are sooo stressfull!!!! ….for the parents J

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3 Responses to “How do you calculate your mileage?”

  1. Christina 01.18.2010 at 3:26 pm #

    I’m a devoted Garmin user but I’ve used http://www.buckeyeoutdoors.com/cgi-bin/training/drawmap to map out routes before hand. Buckeye uses some existing software, I think by Google so it works really well. I tried mapmyrun earlier today and got so frustrated I went back to buckeye. one of the nice features is that you can go on road or off road with it and undo a last leg without restarting the whole route.

    So you listen to podcasts? Dave with Running in the Center of the Universe has played around with different run/walk breaks and he’s an ultra runner. I think he does 25 min run and 5 minute walk for his long runs.

    Even though you were tired at the end of the run, you did great (besides the sucky chafing). Each run is a new learning experience and the next time you run 17 miles, you’ll find it easier. Great job!

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