Runners' Math: It May Not Add Up, But it's Logical to Me

I've never been exceptionally good at math. My fourth-grade math teacher cautioned me I'd need to know all this stuff someday. She warned, "You won't be walking around with a calculator in your pocket all day." I guess she had no way of knowing in 1984 that she'd be really wrong about that.

Good thing for me they invented smartphones and GPS watches to do all the hard math calculations for me on my runs. 

Runner's have their own unique way of calculating math that makes no sense to a non-runner or the math-inclined. Bear with us, we're runners, not mathematicians (aka math magicians). I admire those left-brain smartypants who can calculate complex math problems in their heads, that's just not me. Runner math: It may not add up, but it's logical to me. 

 Runners' Math: It may not add up, but it's logical to me. Save to Pinterest for later.

Runners' Math: It may not add up, but it's logical to me. Save to Pinterest for later.

Runners' Math


1. Running is 50% physical output, 40% mental strength, and 20% carbs. 
2. 1 mile = 1 beer earned, but that ratio does not apply to a marathon.
3. The 2nd half of any race distance is always longer than the first.
4. Your last PR subtracted from your current pace, times the numbers of miles to go, plus the number of miles finished at your current pace = too much math to do in your head during a race. Thank God for GPS watches.
5. $150 running shoes plus $100 race entry = one race shirt, one finisher's medal, one banana and terrible race photo you will never buy.
6. It's always OK to subtract your water and porta potty stops from your unofficial finishing time.
7. The number of curse words during the last two miles of your race is usually equal to the number of minutes after crossing the finish line that you start considering signing up for your next race.
8. Another year added to your age is just an opportunity to move up into a new age group placement and kick those old runner's butts, although technically you're an old runner too, but who's counting?
10. 'It's all downhill from here' never equals the actual elevation at the end of your run.
11. The number of people you see holding a "You're Almost There" sign at the beginning of a race directly equals the number of people you want to punch in the face. 
11. 26.2 miles is only 13.1 miles out and back, which is only a little more than 10 miles each way, and ten miles is only five miles twice. I can run five miles = I can run a marathon. Runner's logic at it's finest. 
12. The greater the number of legs on your running partner is directly proportional to the amount of fun you will have on your run.
13. One mile on the treadmill is equivalent to two miles on the street.
14. One microwave minute and one treadmill minute are in two different universes. They are not the same. Nope. 
15. Running = Love.

Runner's math may not be logical but we all know that running 4.89 miles is not the same as running five miles, so we always run around the block again. We have to be exact. 

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