In Which the Prof Makes an Error, and is Pleasantly Surprised

I’ve continued with the alternating feet stuff, and I’ve had a bit of a target in this process. During Mondoville’s Homecoming celebration, there’s a 5K run/walk. In the past, I had considered taking a shot at it, but would have felt silly taking it at my glacial pace. I would imagine myself setting out and promptly being abandoned by the horde of Mondovillians, eventually crossing a long-deserted finish line in the dead of night, picking my way through the abandoned paper cups and hot dog wrappers left by alumni who left hours before. So, I had resolved some time back that I wouldn’t consider doing this unless I felt confident that I could run/walk/shamble/stagger 5K in less than an hour, which would still be slow, but would at least get me done before the evening’s football game.

But for some reason, I had it in my head that a kilometer was closer to 0.7 miles than 0.6, so I had been thinking of 5K as three and a half miles. I’ve been averaging 3.4-3.5 mph on my half-hour saunters, and I was thinking I needed to get up to about 4 mph to take a shot this fall. I can do 4 mph (which I’m told is basically the walk/jog borderline) for bursts of a couple of minutes without significant trouble, but for an hour? That might be tough.

But then I happened to actually look at the numbers, and I realized that 1 km actually equals 0.602 miles, and that 5K therefore equals 3.1 miles, and 3.1 mph seems to be pretty much the average human walking pace. As I said, I’m averaging 3.4-3.5 mph for a half-hour now. Therefore, if I can maintain my current marching pace for an hour, meeting my target should be within reach. If I can do it faster by then (mid-October), so much the better, but I don’t have to feel as much like I need to make a dramatic improvement in sustained pace (i.e., I don’t have to feel like I should be able to jog for an hour) in order to do this thing.

But of course, it’s one thing to bang this out on a treadmill (“KEEP UP OR DIE, MAGGOT!”), and it’s another to maintain a pace in a less controlled environment. The obvious solution is to find some music at or above the tempo I need (3.5 mph= approx. 130 steps/min), so maybe I’ll invest in an mp3 player and put something together.

Still, I guess the important thing is just to keep showing up and hoping the rest will follow.

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About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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3 Responses to In Which the Prof Makes an Error, and is Pleasantly Surprised

  1. Verily, one of the ideas behind 5K walks is specifically that they can be completed in about 60 minutes.

    Of course, mathematically, the term 5km is more exact.

  2. Go! Go! Go! I think you’ll find the environment of a 5k will urge you on toward success. I hate running, but I love 5k events. There is always a wide range of abilities and goals, and always plenty of encouragement to go around. Good luck in your alternating feet adventures!

    • profmondo says:

      Thanks. I made a successful treadmill test walk on Monday, and I’m hoping to extend that to the real world by October (when the 5k happens.) Rest assured — there will be updates.

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