............. may have been a 2005 hit for the Kaiser Chiefs, but as far a most runners and in particular those running a marathon are concerned they are only interested in predicting their time for the race.
There are a vast number of prediction tools / tables published in books and on the internet. The problem with these is that they are standardised and it is difficult to take into account each individuals circumstances.
When I started running marathons my guide was simply to take my most recent half marathon time, double it and add 10 minutes. If you apply this formula to my marathon pb then my half marathon in the lead up was 67.14 which gives a predicted marathon time of 2.24.28. My actual time was 2.25.55.
Now Runners World, following published research, 'An empirical study of race times in recreational endurance runners' have updated their race time predictor based on data of, not just elite runners but recreational runners too.
The predictor uses the results of two recent races and also allows you to get a predicted time that also takes account of your average weekly mileage. So how much more accurate is this compared to other predictors.
Using the data from the lead up to my marathon pb of 2.25.55 the predictor came up with a predicted time of 2.25.22, which seems to be pretty accurate.
The new Runners World Race Time Predictor can be found here