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Friday, July 15, 2011

Dirt, Altitude, And Speed!

So I started out, down a dirty road
Started out, all alone
And the sun went down, as I crossed a hill
And as DEMING lit up, the world got still
I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings
SLOWING DOWN, is the hardest thing!
(apologies to Tom and Jeff)

So, how much does running in this dirt and altitude REALLY effect my running speed? I have seen estimates that running on soft dirt costs you about 20-30 seconds per mile. The cost comes at pushoff. The soft landing certainly helps with reducing the impact forces, but the trade off is that your pushoff force is reduced by the soft surface. Now as far as altitude goes, I found a physiology site that shows that your performance is reduced by 1% for every 1000 feet of altitude that you run at. So, for 4400 feet, your performance is reduced by 4.4%. So, if you take a 10 minute mile at sea level and adjust it for 4400 feet, you turn it into 10:26. Then you add 30 seconds or so for dirt, and viola, you have a 10:56 pace. See Ernie, we weren't running that slow last spring! I have been amazed the last two times I got back to Ohio and Pennsylvania at near sea level and run on pavement. It comes out about a minute a mile faster. I'll give the extra few seconds to having some humidity in the air and having my running chums with me. Hope it happens again next month when I get to Philly for a few weeks!

1 comment:

TerribleTerry said...

But then you'll have humidity so thick it'll be like running in the pool. That's got to be 30seconds.