Jack Tupper Daniels (born April 26, 1933) is a professor of physical education at A.T. Still University and a coach of Olympic athletes. On March 21, 2013, he was named the Head Coach of the Wells College men’s and women’s cross programs. Named “The World’s Best Coach” by Runner’s World magazine, he led SUNY Cortland runners to eight NCAA Division III National Championships, 31 individual national titles, and more than 130 All-America awards. Daniels outlined his training philosophies in the 1998 book, Daniels’ Running Formula. He mentors and coaches some of America’s top distance runners in the country.
He really knows his stuff! I stumbled upon his running calculator and realized I’ve been running too fast on my long runs. The Jack Daniels’ Running Calculator calculates what your training paces should be. Daniels uses five specific training intensities to improve running performance. They are:
Easy / Long (E/L) pace
At 65-79% of maximum heart rate (HRmax), this non-straining intensity is used for recovery runs, warm-up, cool-down and long runs. The primary purpose is to build a base for more intense workouts by strengthening the heart and increasing the muscles’ ability to use oxygen, and to recover between hard workouts. Daniels recommends that most training miles are performed in E pace.
Typical E runs include continuous runs up to about an hour.
Marathon (M) pace
At 80-90% HRmax, this intensity is primarily aimed towards runners training for the marathon. The pace is one at which the runner hopes to compete. The pace can be included in other programs for a more intense workout, especially if the runner feels fresh and there is enough time to recover afterwards.
M-runs are performed as continuous runs up to about two hours, or as long interval training
Threshold (T) pace
At 88-92% HRmax, this intensity is aimed to raise the lactate threshold. The runner should be able to sustain this pace for up to 60 minutes during racing. Daniels describe this intensity as “comfortably hard”. In elite runners, the pace matches the half marathon one, while less trained runners will run at around 10k pace. Daniels points out the importance of keeping the given pace to reap the benefits of the training.
T runs are typically performed as continuous “tempo” runs for 20 minutes or more, or as “cruise” interval training with 3 to 10 long bouts of about 3 to 15 minutes each, having 20%-25% rest intervals in between. “T” runs of longer than 20 minutes can be done at slightly reduced pace, according to a table in his book. No more than 10% of the weekly miles should be run in T pace.
Interval (I) pace
Intensity at 98-100% HRmax. This intensity stresses the VO2max to raise the maximum oxygen uptake capacity. Since the pace is very intense, it can only be sustained for up to 12 minutes during racing. To cope with the intensity, and to train for longer periods of time, this training is performed as interval training, hence the name. The interval between each work bout should be a little less than the time of the work bout. Optimum intervals are 3–5 minutes long. There is no benefit to exceeding 5 minutes at this pace, under Daniels’ theory, which means that despite the popularity of mile-repeats in many running groups, Daniels discourages them for people whose pace is slower than about 5:00/mile, preferring shorter intervals such as 1200 meters.
For example, an I session can be 6 x 800 m at I pace with 400 m recovery jogs. At most 8% of the weekly training miles should be I pace.
Repetition (R) pace
R pace is very fast training aimed to improve speed and running economy. The training is performed as short interval training, with typically 200 m, 300 m, or 400 m work outs, with full recovery intervals in between. No more than 5% of the weekly miles should be R pace.
You can calculate your Paces here:
According to the calculator, I should be running 10 min miles on my Easy runs. On Sunday, I ended up running 9:15 min/mile. I didn’t go with what the calculator said but I managed to go slower than I have before. On a bad note, my knee started to hurt again. I got a new knee band and I may have put it on tight and it felt weird towards the end of my run. I was planning on doing 10 miles but just went 9.58 miles. I hope my knee issue goes away.
Anyways, what do you think about the Jack Daniels’ Running Calculator?