Question about 80 – 20 math and the time trials


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    I am a triathlete who struggles with and hates math – and most data (I know, it makes this extra hard). Anyhow, When I am going over the formulas, I am finding that I get stuck before I can even get started. In your example of: “Suppose you swim your 400-yard test in 4:21 (4.35 minutes) and 200-yard test in 2:02 (2.04 minutes)” How did you even get to the 4.35 minutes and the 2.04 minutes… what was the formula that you used? I tried to google it, but came up with a completely wrong number, and I’m not entirely sure I googled the correct search term. Further, for running, in your example, “if your average pace for 20 minutes was 8:45 per mile, first convert this result to decimal form, or 8.75 minutes per mile. Then, convert that value to miles (or kilometers) per hour. In this example, 8.75 minutes per mile converts to 6.86 miles per hour,” how did you get to the decimal version for 8:45? Once I can get these formulas, I should be good to go! Finally in the “testing” workouts (the ones that say to confirm or reestablish your zones, does that mean if they feel easy to me, I should increase by a couple seconds?

    David Warden


    I have great news! Don’t worry about the math, just go to our Zone Calculator and it will take care of the math for you for both the swim and pace.

    But, to answer your direct question, when performing arithmetic on time, you must first convert it from mm:ss (like 8:45) to a real number. 8:45 is not a real number, it is 8 minutes and 45 seconds. 45 seconds is 0.75 of 60 seconds (45/60 = 0.75). So:

    – 8:45 become 8 minutes and 45 seconds. And 45 seconds = 0.75 minutes (45/60). Therefore 8:45 becomes 8.75 minutes and can be used in arithmetic.

    – 4:21 becomes 4 minutes and 21 seconds. And 21 seconds = 0.35 minutes (21/60). Therefore 4:21 becomes 4.35 minutes.



    Yippee…I’ll never have to do math again. See, those teachers were definetly wrong! We have calculators! Also, thanks for answering the time math question, I think you’ve just clarified the last 20 years of time math confusion

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