10 Wacky Math Equations That All Runners Know The Answer To

You wouldn't think that math would be a runner's strong suit (and you're probably right) but we've found a few equations every runner knows.

woman doing math

Runners are good at a lot of things. Going fast, collecting shoes, eating carbs, sleeping a little extra during taper week….but sadly, math isn’t necessarily a strong suit for a lot of us (why do you think GPS watches were invented?). It’s not our fault; when you’re focused on things like controlling your breathing or correcting your heel strike, there aren’t many brain cells left for calculating pace and mileage—and forget about combining the two to hit your tempo run.

However, there are some math facts that runners are actually pretty good at. Quiz one and they’re guaranteed to know the following to basically always be true…

  1. The pain of missing a PR > the pain of holding in your pee for the last mile.
  2. The amount of black leggings you have is directly proportional to the amount of laundry you can get away with postponing.
  3. Any race distance can be rationalized as only five miles. Example: A half marathon is basically just ten miles rounded up, and ten miles is just five miles out and back. And five miles is totally doable.
  4. Shoe sizes 10 = doomed to online ordering.
  5. A 5-mile recovery run = a 2-mile hill run = a 1-mile tempo run.
  6. Pizza before a run = 200 calories a slice and totally unnecessary. Pizza after a run = calorie-free and totally justified.
  7. Treadmill miles = twice as long as outdoor miles.
  8. The second half of a race is always longer than the first.
  9. One free banana + one plain bagel = $200 in race registrations, shoes and apparel.
  10. The likelihood of a successful shoe shopping trip is determined by a very complex algorithm involving salesperson experience, treadmill testing availability, and whether or not they carry the shoe you like in a color other than hideous orange.