Thursday, 10 January 2013

Marathon finishing times

Statistical distributions arising from sporting events are a nerdy love of mine, so I found this chart form athlinks particularly interesting. They analysed marathon results from 2012 and found a number of invisible time barriers. You can read their original post on facebook and join their conversation.


The distributions show the psychological effects of goal times. The most striking are at 4 hours and 5 hours, with the sharp drops on the hour suggesting that a lot of runners are aiming at just beating that particular time. Indeed, if I ever ran one, I would probably be aiming at 4 hours, or more likely 4 hours 30 minutes, which is a nice round number. In my first half marathon, I beat the 2 hour mark by only 15 seconds, and if it wasn't for a sprint at the in order to pip the 2 hour mark, I wouldn't have made.

What intrigues me is whether runners are really competing to their full potential. If you took away the clock, clearly you wouldn't have these invisible barriers - you'd have a nice smooth curve. But are runners performing better than they ordinarily would, or are they pacing themselves to hit certain times? Let me know what you think.

For a description of what drives the above curve (bar the invisible barriers), see this post I put together on an ocean swim I did - you can't see the clock in an ocean swim so the invisible barriers aren't apparent.

3 comments:

  1. Fabulous


    Love the way the data tells the story


    James

    ReplyDelete
  2. To know more about Chief Dr Lucky you can visit his website (https://chiefdrluckyherbaltherapy.wordpress.com/)
     
     A friend that suffered from Herpes and was cure with the help of this great herbal doctor Chief Lucky so i decided to contact him for help in getting rid of my families genital herpes virus 1/2 which i did and all i was told to provide was just some useful information and some materials used in preparation of the natural cure and that i did and now i am the happiest person on earth because i am writing this testimony of mine with joy and happiness in my heart to the whole world to know that natural remedy is real because i am a living testimony of Chief Lucky traditional herbal cure and i want you all to contact Chief Lucky via his email: chiefdrlucky@gmail.com or WhatsApp him +2348132777335 am sure he will help you too.

    ReplyDelete