When you run within your limits, every workout can be a pleasure. But start even a few seconds per mile too fast, and misery awaits: excess fatigue, loss of motivation, or even injury. That’s why it’s so important to know what pace is right for you. Happily, by doing a simple “magic mile” time trial, you can find the best speed for your runs, then set realistic goals and keep running—enjoyably—forever.
Run One Mile Hard
Go to a track and jog an easy lap or two for a warmup. Walk for three to four minutes. Then time yourself running four laps, which is about one mile. Don’t run all out; just push a little faster than you usually do. Record your time. By running on a track—which is flat and provides the most accurate measurement of distance—you’ll get a solid indication of your top speed. You can use it as a benchmark to determine what pace is appropriate for your current fitness level on daily runs. Do the time trial every two weeks or so; try to beat your previous time, and track your progress.
Slow Down Every Day
On your daily runs, aim to run two to three minutes slower per mile than your magic mile time. So if you do your magic mile in 10 minutes, aim to keep your pace around 12 to 13 minutes per mile on daily runs. At the perfect pace, you should feel comfortable and relaxed—like you can finish a sentence without having to catch your breath. If you’re huffing and puffing, ease off. Don’t worry about going too slow.
Set Race Goals
Signed up for a race? Use the magic mile to set realistic goals for different distances. Add 33 seconds to your mile time to determine a pace for a 5K. Multiply your mile time by 1.15 for a 10K, 1.2 for a half-marathon, and 1.3 to predict your marathon potential.
Get Used To It
At a race, you’ll get the best results if you try to maintain a steady pace from start to finish. Here’s how to practice: Once a week, try to run your goal race pace for a half to three-quarters of a mile. Each quarter mile, check your pace and adjust if you need to. Each week, run a little farther at your goal pace until you’re running one-third to one-half of the race distance.
If you can run one mile in 10 minutes, here’s your pace for other distances.
Pace per mile: 10:33
Pace per mile: 11:30
Pace per mile: 12:00
Pace per mile: 13:00
Fidelity also gives you savings mileposts: Save one times salary at age 35, three times salary at 45 and five times salary at 55……
Aon Hewitt, which provides bookkeeping services for 401(k) plans, sets a benchmark of 11 times final salary, and others use still other criteria
1. The first three months at the gym, you will not lose a drastic amount of weight. However, you will learn an amazing amount about Drew Barrymore while watching “Access Hollywood” on the elliptical trainer.
2. Focus on technique. Have an instructor teach you proper form. If you lift a barbell like a 129-year-old man bending over to pick up a turtle, you need some help.
3. No, you’re not getting a six-pack. You’re just trying to take off your shirt at the beach without people running to their cars.
4. Avoid gyms next to liquor stores and Cinnabons.
5. Consider investing in one of those fancy computer wristbands that measures how many calories you burn walking between birthday cake parties in the office.
6. Here’s a helpful rule on gym clothing. If you’re not sure your shirt smells? Your shirt smells.
7. Everyone’s accidentally thrown a gym towel into the trash barrel. Everyone.
8. The scale in the locker room weighs everything seven pounds heavier. Do NOT dispute this. The psychological stability of the entire gym membership depends on this.
9. Every gym in the U.S. has an indestructible issue of People magazine with Katie Holmes on the cover. You can throw it into the recycling, and two weeks later, it will be there, sitting on a treadmill, open to the Katie Holmes article.
10. It’s fun to take an exotic gym class. But be careful: If you talk too much about your “Extreme Javelin” class to your co-workers, pretty soon your nickname behind your back in the office is going to be “Extreme Javelin.” Hey did you talk to Extreme Javelin about that report? Is Extreme Javelin coming to the 3 p.m. meeting?
11. Squat! You hear people say this and it’s true. If you’re not doing squats, just stop going to the gym and take $100 and set it on fire in a garbage barrel once a month.
12. The most intimate, personal thing on anyone’s phone is the WORKOUT JAM TUNES MIX. That’s where the Ace of Base and Men Without Hats hides.
13. The Clint Eastwood move in any gym is to walk up to the TV in a packed room full of ellipticals and treadmills, change it over to The History Channel, and light a cigar.
14. Nutrition is a half of the exercise battle. For real. Do not conquer the gym and then conquer The Cheesecake Factory.
15. Everybody has Gym Friends, people they know only from the gym. This is important and humanizing. You may have accomplished great and sophisticated things in the outside world, but to them, you’re just The Weird Guy Who Jumps Rope Like A Goat.
16. Someone really needs to start a gym chain called Bench Press and Stare at the Wall for people who just go to the gym and Bench Press and Stare at the Wall.
17. Wow you really just took a phone call in spinning class? Amazing.
1 8. Make sure to read every gym contract carefully. That gym you signed up for in 1989, in the city where you used to live? Check your credit card statement. You’re still paying $12.99 a month through 2092.
19. Every yoga class has a few show-offs who can’t wait to get to the handstands. Just let them do their handstands and get it over with.
20. Most hotels do not have gyms. They have a busted treadmill, a dusty exercise ball, and a sad TV that only gets Dr. Phil.
21. You know that CEO who claims to be working out every morning at 3:45 a. m.? Ha! The CEO just said that to a reporter once to sound tough. Totally wakes up at 8:30 a.m. and eats a huge pile of pancakes.
22. The best gym on earth is outside, and it’s totally free.
23. Everyone looks good doing dumbbell curls in the mirror. That’s why people do dumbbell curls in the mirror. But do other stuff, too, Narcissus.
24. Always end every gym class by shouting “I win! I win! I win!” at the top of your lungs, grabbing your stuff, and running out the door, laughing maniacally.
25. A visit to the gym is always better than nachos and margaritas. OK that’s a total lie. Nachos and margaritas rule. But go to the gym the next day, OK?
Here is what I say to all the ladies who are alone on Valentines Day: please do not ever use these words “ladies who are alone on Valentine’s Day” together in a sentence ever again. Ever. Again.
Valentine’s Day is just a day. It’s just a day of the year like any other. Go. Be happy with the people you love and who love you. See a friend. Read a book. Flirt with a cute boy (or girl). Dance it out. Watch a movie. Have a party. Build a robot. Stop a Zombie Apocalypse. Take over the Earth. Paint your toenails. Eat soup. DO ANYTHING.
BUT DO NOT buy into the idea that a day created by greeting card companies should be more romantic than other day or should make you feel lonelier than any other day. Cause life is awesome. And that (feeling lonely cause of a day) is stupid. And a waste of perfectly good time. And it makes me do things like write ranty tweets. Because FOR REALS? You’re asking me to cheer up women who are alone of Valentine’s Day? You don’t need cheering up. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU. You are perfect and awesome just like you are. You just happen to be listening to someone who says you aren’t. They are idiots. Ignore them.
Because FYI? A lot of great things can happen to you while you are single.
I came up with a show called Grey’s Anatomy while I was single.
Fuck Valentine’s Day. Go do something with your life.