The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

Training in Metric... Advantageous?

We all know that 1 mile = 1.609 kilometers. Well, most Canadians do. We use Kilometers (KM, K's, k's, kms) to measure our running and biking distances. min/km and km/hr for run and bike speeds. Does training in metric give us an advantage? I suggest this: Maybe.

A kilometer is shorter than a mile. It's easy to say to yourself, I'm going to push hard until the end of this kilometer. ...and even though you may be attempting to trick yourself into believing... it seems more plausable because you know inside, that a kilometer really isn't that far.

"I ran 10K", sounds like more of an accomplishment than, "I ran 6.21 miles". Is there a hidden reward in reviewing our training logs... BIG numbers = Happy thoughts???

Biking: My spedometer is in km/hr - my average 40K race pace is 32km/hr (20 MPH). ..but I always try to push it to 35 - If I were in MPH, would I strive for 21.875 MPH -- it just doesn't sound the same.

Goal setting: Sub 25 minutes for 5k is slightly faster than sub 25 minutes for 3 miles. Et-cetera... ad infinitum.

Of course, there's the counter argument: A marathon is 42.2 km -- this sounds more daunting than 26.1 miles. Ironman Bike = 180 km vs a "measly" 112 miles.

I don't know if anyone has ever done a study to figure this out - or perhaps it's not even worth trying to figure out... Maybe the US Military should figure it out - perhaps it could produce a stronger, faster soldier?

In the mean time, there's always my trusty Triathlon Conversion Tools for those pesky calculations!