Race Performance Calculations & Other Cool Stuff for Runners

Runners get the blues too? What's this all about, you ask? Well, long ago before I became an Internet Junkie (in the 80's), I was an avid runner. I never reached anywhere near top level status (37:51 10k PR), but as with all my endeavors, I became obsessed with the sport. Along the way I developed a program in QuickBasic (I said it was a long time ago!). I named the program RunPro, and it attempted to project equivalent efforts for various distances based on user input of a specific distance and time. Eventually I developed an Excel spreadsheet to replace and greatly expand on the functionality of RunPro.

On this page you'll find all of my running programs/spreadsheets, and a whole bunch of links to other interesting training and racing information I've found on the web.


Jack Daniels' Training Tables - 06/02/06 (Excel 2013 Worksheet)
[formerly named Jack Daniels' Intensity Points Table]

This Excel worksheet has become my pride and joy. In his 2nd Edition of "Daniels' Running Formula", Jack Daniels introduced the concept of assigning intensity points to workouts. Basically, the longer and/or faster the workout, the higher the intensity. Jack's tables present the info based on minutes run. Some time ago I set out to create an Excel spreadsheet to approximate intensity points from a mileage perspective. This utility provides a convenient means of comparing intensity levels of various workouts based on miles run, rather than minutes run. For general use, the worksheet provided default percent of Heart Rate values for 4 levels of runners - Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Elite. It also provides projected training and racing paces based on a race time input by the user. Since that first production, updates to the spreadsheet have run rampant, as I added more calculation tables than you can shake a stick at. Many of the added charts are related specifically to "Daniels Running Formula" and are so noted. While some are not directly related, they provide useful tools that enhance the overall Daniels experience.

New Update!
Update: Revision 3.01.01 - 12/19/18
Wow! It's been 7 years since the last update. But when I'm running (an off and on affair), I still use this spreadsheet. It's largely unchanged, but a couple of new twists have been added, one or two glitches fixed, and a bit of display tidying done.

- The most siginificant change is the addition of a Custom Distance option. Now, you can choose Custom from the dropdown, and enter *any distance* in miles or KM, including odd distances, such as 3.5k or 5.6 miles.
- The Open Standards table of World Records and World Best times has been relocated to a visible location, and the fields are now editable, so World Records can be kept up to date by the user, if desired.
- The info from the Peak Potential section has been added to the Main Section header area, for more convenient viewing of this hypothetical but interesting calculation.
- Also added an Age Graded Percentage calculation to the Main Section header area.
- Fixed an issue with the Adjusted Time Section that was causing it to be a bit over-optimistic. It was possible in some cases for this calculation to show an adjusted time that was significantly better than the Open Class Standard (Elite record).
- The Instructions have been sectionalized a little better, hopefully making it easier to find the info on each specific section.

Update: Revision 3.01.02 - 01/23/19
- Added user adjustable Power Factor to benefit of weight change calculations.
- The two entry fields for speculative weight change now default to Dr. Stillman's Ideal Weight for Disance Runners, but can still be overwritten by the user (a table of Stillman calculations is in the worksheet).
- The logic used for the assumption of "Ideal Racing Weight" (an admittedly dynamic topic) has been expanded. The old logic simply assumed the universally recommended minimum BMI score of 18.5 as the ideal racing weight for all runners. However, the BMI scale is widely recognized as having shortcomings. In some cases (for smaller runners), Dr. Stillman's recommendations actually fall below BMI 18.5. The new logic now uses the lower of the two calculations between BMI 18.5 and Dr Stillman's for the ideal weight assumption.
- Cleaned up the Absolute VO2max section, hopefully for better clarity. This section now called Misc. O2 Consumption Calcs.
- Squashed a few more small bugs.

Update: Revision 3.01.03 - 01/28/19
- Cleaned up a few display issues, squashed a couple more bugs.

Important Note! This new release is in Excel's XLSM format, which means Excel version 2007 or better is required.
This workbook uses macros, and you will need to enable macros for the automation buttons to work, such as the "Hide/Show", "Clear" and "Restore" functions. However, I believe all the calculations will still be correct, even if you leave macros disabled.

Since it's been 7 years since the last update, if someone recently sugested this tool to you, you might want to let them know about the new release.

It's entirely possible there is still a bug or two in hiding in a fresh release. Please let me know if you find anything that doesn't seem to be working as expected. If you're downloading this tool within a month or so of its release, you might want to check back in a few weeks to make sure you have the latest update.

Screen Shot

Download Newest Release: DanielsTables3-01-03.xlsm    
(Requires Excel v2007 or newer)

Follow Training and Race Pace Calculator on Facebook to keep up with any Updates.

If you have questions, I can be reached

If your version of Excel predates 2007, you can download the older .xls version here DanielsTables3-00-00pv.xls    

Run S.M.A.R.T. Project

Jack Daniels is currently Head Coach at the Run S.M.A.R.T Project.
They offer Individualized Training in the form of Custom Training Plans and Private Coaching.

Coach Daniels has launched a free Training App for logging all your workouts and races at VDOTO2.com.
Your log is accessible via both the VDOT O2 website and a mobile device APP.
Download the App:   Apple App Store     Google Play

They've also developed a nice Daniels VDOT mobile app for calculating race pace, training paces and race equivalents on the go.
Click on the Apple App Store or Google Play button below to download this Daniels VDOT Calculator to your mobile device.

This Official Online Jack Daniels VDOT Calculator is hosted at Run S.M.A.R.T.

Riegel Predictor (Excel 2002 Worksheet)

This Excel workbook features a Riegel powered Race Predictor tool similar to RunPro. It also has some interesting additional features, including a worksheet for calculating your own Riegel exponent (Rx), allowing you to fine tune the Predictor to your personal race profile. There are several additonal worksheets modeling some other popular coaches' prediction models, as well as modeling actual world record times. This provides an interesting means of analyzing how well these models correlate with each other. This file was developed in Excel 2002. No guarantees it will work with earlier versions of Excel.

Download RiegelPredictor.zip

Good Reading

Daniels' Running Formula

There are many fine running books available, and I've read several. This is the one I most often refer to. Daniels manages to present fairly detailed and scientific information in a way that's reasonably easy to comprehend, and he covers all aspect of training necessary to become the best runner you can be. The heart of Daniels' program is his VDOT method, relative V02max values from which all training and racing paces can be derived.

Buy Daniels' Running Formula at Amazon.com.

Arthur Lydiard's Athletic Training - by Arthur Lydiard
A Guide to the Brooks / American Track & Field Lydiard Running Lecture Tour in 1999
Courtesy of FitnessSports.com

This is a Lecture summary in book format in which Lydiard covers many aspects of his training methodology.

View the file in html:

or download the file in .pdf format:

Coaching Quotes and other Tidbits

Speedwork During Base Phase?

I asked Pro Coach Greg McMillan "what's the harm in doing speed work during the base phase?" Here's his reply:

"I'll fall back to Lydiard who learned that during aerobic base building it is not good to 'pull down the ph' as he stated it. The reason is that a large build up of lactic acid (lowering the ph in the cell) can destroy the aerobic enzymes - not what you want during this period of training. We also know from Lydiard that heavy anaerobic training cannot be sustained for long periods of time so it's better to only insert it at appropriate times."

Drink a Slim-Fast Shake after your Long Run

Also from Coach McMillan's website, this recovery tip:

"...researchers discovered that the enzyme, glycogen synthase, that turns carbohydrates from your food into glycogen for storage in your muscles is most active immediately after exercise. If you ingest carbohydrates soon after exercise, your muscles store two to three times as much glycogen than if you wait until you eat your post-workout meal, usually two to three hours later."

Jack Daniels on Stride Rate

In his book "Daniels' Running Formula" (2nd edition), Jack Daniels suggests a stride rate of around 180 steps per minute. Being 6'2", and (at the time) having a much slower turnover (155-160), I wondered if such a quick turnover applied to all runners, regardless of height. Here's his reply:

"As for stride rate, even the 6-6 guy (who plaed 9th in the Olympic marathon, and was a subject of mine for many years) turned over at 180. On the other hand, I assume that some people may not be built to go that quickly, but I have not come in contact with one who was a good runner. Maybe that is a factor that has allowed some to be better than others? It does make sense that a very slow turnover produces more air time and harder foot falls, and possibly more chance of injury, than the shuffling stride you find you are doing when turning over that quickly. Nothing applies to everyone as to proper mechanics and proper training. Jack"

Needless to say, after reading that I worked on improving my stride rate!

The Minimal Effective Training Program - By Herm (Me!)

Want to train, but your job/life/family keep you really busy? Wonder what would be the least amount of time you could put in that would still result in good training results? You can get in surprisingly good shape on a 4 times per week schedule, training only 30 minutes most days. In the article linked below I offer my own suggestions for a 4 day schedule, designed after much personal experience, observation of others' experiences, and after reading a good many articles and books.

Minimal Training Schedule

Effects of Excess Weight on Performance

Ever wonder how much a little extra baggage slows you down? There's a simple formula you can use to calculate a projected Daniels' VDOT fitness level based on a projected weight loss. Simply multiply your current weight by your current VDOT, then divide the result by your projected weight. For example, I currently weigh in at 195 lbs, and based on my most recent races at that weight my current VDOT is around 44. If I wanted to see what my projected VDOT would be if I were to lose 10 lbs, here's the formula...


As you can see, if I drop 10 lbs my VDOT would go up over two points! A 5k time at VDOT 44 is 22:14, while at VDOT 46 it's 21:24. That's a pretty significant improvement for simply losing 10 lbs. You can use one of the links provided farther down on this page to find your current VDOT and the projected races times of your weight adjusted VDOT. The formula works just as well with either pounds or kilograms.

This is only applicable for those with a little extra fat to lose. If so much weight is lost that muscle mass begins to diminish, race performances will suffer, not improve.

Hadd's Approach to Distance Training
A Base Training Plan with a Focus on Improving Lactate Threshold
[Download Hadd Article in Word Document] -

In an extremely long letsrun.com message thread from March 2003, Italian coach John Hadd (possibly an alias) explained his philosophies on endurance base training in painstaking detail. The underlying philosophy of Hadd's program that really grabbed my attention is the premise that not only is it OK to do lots of easy, gentle running, but in fact LOT's of EASY RUNNING IS A NECESSARY COMPONENT FOR ALL DISTANCE RUNNERS! This is not a new concept. Many, probably most coaches advocate training programs consisting of a majority of easy training miles. But Hadd's article is the one that got this concept to sink in for me.

The other major component of Hadd's program is Tempo Runs... long tempo runs of up to an hour at approximately marathon pace two to three times per week for many weeks..... between 12 and 20 weeks depending on the starting level of fitness.

As an injury rehab program, I began a modified version of Hadd's approach in July 2005 (way fewer miles and more easy/off days). Despite using a heavily watered down version, over the next four months I experienced significant improvements in my conditioning and some of the best, most enjoyable running since reviving my commitment to training two years ago. For me, accepting the notion that lots of easy running is not a waste of time, but rather a key ingredient of a successful training program, allowed me to train much more comfortably, while still feeling satisfied that I was doing beneficial training. All that easy running also allowed a chronic two year old knee issue to heal. I'm sold on Hadd's approach, and anxious to begin a more complete implementation, which I plan to do early Summer 2006.

Training Update - 05/01/06

The proof of any plan is in the results.
To the right are my times for 5k & 10k
pre and post Hadd:
DistanceBefore Hadd
After Hadd

While those improvements aren't dramatic, it's important to note I was dealing with a 2 year old, persistent, nagging knee problem. Following a highly modified version of Hadd's principles (much reduced work load), I was able to recover from the knee issue AND improve my 5k and 10k race times.

For the May 2006 - April 2007 season, I embarked on a full fledged Hadd based training program. Still watered down from Hadd's program in terms of mileage (50-60mpw rather than 100+ mpw), I did follow his program as closely as possible in terms of workout types. For anyone interested, below is a link to my real-time, detailed account of this season as it unfolded.

My 2006-2007 Hadd Season - Detailed Account

Links to Running Info

Racing Statistics (World Records, etc)
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF.org) Index of World Records.
Association of Road Racing Statistics (ARRS) - Tons of statistics.

Online Performance Calculators
Pro Coach Greg McMillan's Running Calculator

RunnerSpace.com's Performance Predictors
Shows individual results and averages from four different models:
Purdy, MaxVO2, Dave Cammeron, and Pete Riegel.

MarathonGuide.com's Fitness Calcs - Includes age/sex equivalency and nutrition calcs.

Heart Rate Training Zone Calculator
Calculates both straight percent and Karvonen formula based on your inputs.

HillRunner.com's Treadmill Conversion Chart
shows equivalent efforts for various combinations of pace and incline.

Age and Weight Grading Calculators
Howard Grub's' World Association of Veteran Athletes (WAVA) Age Grade Calculators:
Calulates equivalent times across all ages. Allows comparisons of performances at different ages.
Road (2015 facors)
Track and Field (2014 facors)

Running2Win Age & Weight Grading Calculator
Age/weight grades a current 5k time as compared to 25 year old, 143 lb male (110lb female)
(Input current 5k time, will calculate equivalent time of fit and trim 25 year old athelete)

Jack Daniels

Jack Daniels' discussion of Endurance Training Principles.
Sort of a condensed version of what's in his book, "Daniels' Running Formula".

Larry Simpspn's detailed discussion of Jack Daniels' VDOT Formula. - (Very deep stuff).

Joe Friel

Joe's discussion of his 7 Basic Training Assumptions. So simple, yet so profound.

Joe Friel's discussion on Crash Training, a method of improving performance through supercomensation

Hal Higdon

Hal Higdon's Novice to Advanced Marathon Plans.
(Hal has free training plans for every race distance imaginable on his site).


A discussion on Anaerobic Threshold
(Yeah, understanding the concept of Lactate Threshold is important)

AttackPoint - Performance and Training tools for Orienteering Athletes

Map My Run     Gmaps Pedometer
Trace any route on a Google.com style map and calculate the distance. Amazingly accurate! (Who needs GPS?)