Whilst putting together my recent posts that included some race predictions I quickly added a TrainAsONE FAQ to outline Riegel’s formula for race time prediction in runners.
Anyway, I was playing with ChatGPT earlier today and I thought, for fun, I would ask it about Riegel’s formula.
Tell me about Riegel's formula to predict race times in runners.
Okay, not the formula I was thinking of… Not even the correct Riegel… (ChatGPT is talking about a Dr Jack Riegel, rather than Pete Riegel.) Let’s try again…
Provide a summary of Pete Riegel's formula to predict race times in runners based on a recent race performance.
Still not the formula I am looking…
Attempt number 3….
No… Is Robert an alternative spelling of Pete?
Attempt number 4….
No…. But we’re back to Dr Jack Riegel again…
Attempt number 5…
Perhaps they were the Riegel triplets, who all researched running physiology, and I only knew of Pete Riegel before?
Please leave a comment if you know of any of the formulae above, or what ChatGPT might have been ‘thinking’ about. Or did ChatGPT just completely make these all up!?
And if you manage to get ChatGPT to respond with the expected (correct) formula, do let me know what prompt you used!
I think I was luckier than you, or have ChatGPT already learnt from your FAQ?
“Btw, I would be interested to learn a bit about Riegel’s formula to predict race times for runners. I think first name is Pete (asking for a friend).”
“Yes, you are correct! The formula you are referring to is known as the “Riegel formula” or the “Riegel equation,” and it was developed by Pete Riegel, an American running coach, in 1977.
The Riegel formula is used to predict race times for runners based on their performances in previous races. It takes into account two variables: the distance of the race you want to predict your time for, and your performance time in a previous race of a different distance. The formula is:
T2 = T1 x (D2 / D1) ^ 1.06
T1 = your performance time in the first race (in minutes)
D1 = the distance of the first race (in miles or kilometers)
D2 = the distance of the second race you want to predict your time for (in miles or kilometers)
T2 = the predicted performance time for the second race (in minutes)
The 1.06 exponent in the formula is a scaling factor that is based on statistical analysis of race times from different distances. It is meant to take into account the fact that the longer the distance of a race, the slower the average pace tends to be.
It’s important to note that the Riegel formula is just an estimation, and that other factors can impact your race time such as weather conditions, terrain, your current fitness level, and your training program. Nonetheless, it can be a useful tool for setting goals and planning your race strategy.
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.”
Thank you for trying it yourself and reverting back. I tried your prompt, and got your answer. I then went back to my prompts, and they too now give various versions of a correct description.