Monday, July 13, 2009

Stats and Graphs

I've been meaning to post these for a while. As a runner and a geek, I'm constantly recording and monitoring and analyzing my runs. It's a little bit of a problem, but it does lead to some cool numbers. For your geeky enjoyment, I include them here.

Running miles through first half of 2009: 195
(To compare, that was 352 in 2008, and 384 in 2007.)

Graphically, here is the last few years.


You can see I haven't had a series of crappy months like the beginning of this year, since the beginning of 2006.

I've been playing around with these numbers recently. It started when I was thinking about how quickly to pick up running again. I've questioned the old 10% rule in the past. What happens if you blow one week and run 0 miles. If you increase that by 10% the next week you're still at 0! Also, just looking at the past week doesn't take into account your overall conditioning.

And so, I thought it would be interesting to look at running averages of over different periods of time. For example, what was the average amount of miles per day over the last week, the last month, the last 3 months???

For me, the "last week" didn't work out because there were too many zeros, depending on which day I'd run. So I created a graph with running averages of the last 10 days, the last 30 days, and the last 90 days.


You might have to click on it for more detail, but you can see that there's a lot of noise in the 10 day (yellow) curve. The 30 day (red) curve makes a little more sense. The 90 day (blue) curve really puts the whole thing into perspective. You can really see when I was training well and when I wasn't. Without letting a good (or bad) week or two cloud the picture.

I tried longer ranges (180 days) but I'm not sure it adds much.


I haven't come up with a better "10% rule" but I think it has something to do with how quickly one ramps up the running average. That is to day, that the slope of the blue or green curve shouldn't be too steep. (Calculus, anyone?)

This takes into account what you've been doing the last few months, and allows for one bad week (e.g. if you have a cold).

What do you guys think?

4 Comments:

OpenID runningbecauseican said...

I love numbers and stats and graphs. In the past couple of months though I've been trying to pull myself away from comparing the past three years to each other ... but it hasn't been easy.

Monday, July 13, 2009  
Blogger NY Wolve said...

SportTracks is awesome. Anyway, i agree with you -- the 10% percent is too fast and rigid unless you have a consistent pattern over many months to apply it to. I keep an eye on my heart rate in my easy runs. if it seems consistently too high, I cut back or take a low week.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009  
Anonymous home exchange said...

LOL! This is impressive stuff! I would never have thought. Ingenius!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009  
Blogger Darrell said...

The 10, 30 and 90 day averages are a good way to look at things.

Missing a week or two here and there doesn't screw up the whole 10% thing. Just start back were you left off or maintain that mileage for a week or two before ramping back up.

Sunday, July 19, 2009  

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