Tag Archives: Star Tribune

Quarter-Mile Speed Test

Usain Bolt in celebration after his 100m victo...
Image via Wikipedia

How fast can you run a 1/4 of a mile, 400 meters, or once around the track?  My 400 meter PR is 52 seconds which I obtained in the last race of my college career in the middle of an 800 during a 4×800 meter relay, the second 400 didn’t go quite as well!  If I had been able to continue that pace it would have been a 3:28 mile!! Or a 1:30 marathon.  That would be amazing, too bad I couldn’t even hold it for a second 400 meters!

The current marathon world record is 2:03:59 by Haile Gebrselassie which is a 4:43 mile or a 70 second 400.  The current 100 meter world record is 9.58 held by Usain Bolt, this is a 2:35 mile pace or 1:07:19 marathon, impressive!

What’s the point of all these numbers? A writer for the Star-Tribune decided to try and match Jason Lehmkuhle’s Boston Marathon pace (5:03) for 400 meters. Lehmkule ran a 2:12:24 for ninth place.  Can you run a flat out 5:03? My TC 1 Mile time is 5:26 from last year, so I couldn’t even keep up with Jason for a mile.  So Lehmkule’s average 400 meter time was 75 seconds.  The Strib writer, Michael Rand (athlinks), ran a 76 second quarter and was in his own words “spent”.

It was an interesting experiment that shows how amazing the elite runners really are.  Rand is in training for a marathon and has a PR of 4:30.  I like what he says:

I could not quite even run 1 percent of a marathon distance at a world-class pace — let alone conceive of actually running the other 99 percent or so that fast.

How far can you run at a world class pace?

Be sure to check out the full article and video.

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Midtown Greenway: Recreational Mecca

Image from Flckr

There are hundreds of miles of trails – maybe even thousands across the greater Twin Cities metro area. Some have no real purpose other than winding around, enjoying nature. Some serve as vital arteries of transportation and commerce. The Midtown Greenway falls into the latter category.

Cutting East-West through the heart of South Minneapolis, the Greenway is a major commuter artery connecting the Western Suburbs to the Mississippi River. It is also a three lane recreational mecca of sorts easily connecting with the chain of lakes, Midtown Global Market, West River Parkway, and a variety of other bike trails.

Officially the “Midtown Greenway” is only 5.5 miles long but the trail continues on after leaving Minneapolis and Hennepin County. The Star-Tribune recently reported that for the the quarter ending on June 30th that overall trail usage was up 30% and three-fold since 2003. From a running standpoint this means the trail is quite busy. I would argue that this facility maintained and advocated for by the Midtown Greenway Coalition is invaluable as a paved trail for those who need paved surfaces to recreate.

Living only 4 blocks from the Greenway and 6 from an entrance/exit I use the trail for many of my runs and bike commuting to work.  From a running standpoint it is extremely nice to be away from cars and to have a flat surface to run on – although it does get a little boring and repetitive.  The trail occasionally has a dirt shoulder that I can run on to avoid the pounding pavement but you can’t count on being able to run there.  I said flat, but the newest addition – Martin Olav Sabo bike-pedestrian bridge over Hiawatha Ave – provides a pretty steep incline for both the runner and biker.  However, it can provide some pretty sweet views of downtown at the right times of day.

Winter Greenway
Image from Flckr

In the winter the Greenway is extremely useful because it gets plowed on a regular basis and you don’t need to worry about cars sliding around and hitting you – just a bicycle!

I have really enjoyed being able to utilize the Greenway so much. It wasn’t until I started training for the marathon that I really started branching off and running different routes from my house.  The Greenway is just so convienent!

Hope to see you out there!

[tags] Midtown Greenway, Bike Trails, Minneapolis, Recreation [/tags]

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