Now that my book writing is done, I’ve gotten back into some serious training again. As part of my renewed interest in my own training, I’ve recently been reading through Jack Daniels’ Running Formula. I’ve used the book as a reference for quite some time, and have used an MS Excel spreadsheet that uses Daniels VDOT formulas for determining training paces for several years. I highly recommend the book.
Anyway, given that technology has advanced a bit since I started using the Daniels spreadsheet, I thought I’d poke around in the Apple App Store and see if anyone had produced an app that would calculate VDOT values and spit out recommend training paces according to the Daniels tables. Turns out there are a few, and one of them is free. fit2run is handy, easy to use little app that allows you to input a recent race time as a basis for determining your VDOT value. I put in my time from my most recent race, a 5K from early spring. It yielded a VDOT score of 51.
Using this value, the app then spits out training paces for easy runs, marathon pace, threshold/tempo runs, intervals, and repetitions. The results match the values from Daniels’ book very closely.
In addition to training paces, the app also provides track workout times for various distances at the various levels of intensity:
Also included are predicted times for various race distances based on the time that you input for your selected recent race. It’s important to keep in mind that extrapolating up from a 5K time assumes you put in the necessary training to achieve the same level of effort in a longer race like a marathon. Despite running my last 5K in 19:20, there is no way I could run a 3:07 marathon right now – but, given a solid training cycle with a string of 50 mile+ weeks I think that time would be within reach.
Finally, if you’re a coach, the app lets you input times for multiple runners and call them up individually as needed.
Hopefully the app will stay free, pretty handy little tool!
You can check out the fit2run app here.