Running (or Walking) the Numbers

As I mentioned, last week I decided to increase my pace to the reputed Roman legion standard of 4 mph, and I’ve maintained it through this week. Three days in, I’ve already completed an IKEA half-marathon and change at 14.2 miles, chiefly due to a spontaneous decision yesterday to try a 10K, which I did (mathematically enough) in a little less than 93 minutes (1:32:52 for those of you without the minute-to-hour conversion chart).

While I’ve been doing this, I sometimes find myself doing math as I walk, checking myself against the time and distance measurements, counting steps and such. I’m not quite like my two-greats Aunt Bay, who used to work quadratic equations in her head to lull herself to sleep, but I still notice stuff like this, I guess.

What I’ve noticed is that at 4 mph, I (or anyone else, really) will cover 52.8 feet in nine seconds (1 mile in 900 seconds –> 15 min.) Typically that equals 19 steps for me, which gives me a step length of not quite 2.78 feet (2.7789473684210526315789473684211, if you’re really picky). By way of comparison, the average step length for a man is 2.5 feet, and so I seem to step about 11% farther than the average (Although I have gerbil legs in proportion to my height, I guess 6’4″ is 6’4″.)

In turn, this means I take about 90.1% of the steps a “normal man” takes to cover the same distance. Given that, the 4-miler I did today took me about 7600 steps (1900 x 4), but “should” take the average guy 8435. From a tempo standpoint, I’m walking at about 126.67 steps per minute, which means that these two songs would pretty much split the difference:

These are things I think about as I clomp along. And even though you aren’t my Aunt Bay, this may have helped you get to sleep. See you soon!


About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
This entry was posted in Alternating Feet, Family, Music. Bookmark the permalink.

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