First: Dave, Mike, and Susan are running the B.A.A. 10K this weekend. Good luck, everyone! Hopefully the heat and humidity won’t be as strong as it has been for you lately.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how to learn from my workouts. How could I spot trends and represent my improvements graphically in a way that it makes sense. Simplistically, it is an easy concept; I have data from all of my runs, including pace, time, distance, and date. There are several things I can parse from this data. But there are also a ton of variables, such as when I bring Audrey with me and things like that.
Pace versus Distance
I want to make the assumption that the longer the run, the slower I go. This seems like a common sense idea because as I keep plowing through, I would get more and more tired. Does the data support this trend? Let’s look:
What we are actually seeing is that my speed actually increased as my run distance increased. I would now argue that my original assumption was wrong, and my new hypothesis is that if my body takes the proper amount of time to warm up sufficiently before I begin to increase my pace, then I can sustain a higher pace longer.
Pace over Time
I was interested in knowing if my average pace per run has gotten faster over the course of my training. To do this, I’ll graph my average speed in relation to date.
Looking at the graph, It is a little bit interesting because you can see that I’ve actually maintained about the same speed, though recently it looks like I have increased the tempo a little bit.
Distance over Time
The last thing I wanted to look at was if my average distance has increased per run over the past nine months. To do this, I take my distance per run and chart against date.
This is a pretty cool view. When I first started out, my average run looks to be about a three- to four-kilometer run. Now I am closer to the five- to six-kilometer mark. Progress!
So, to recap, it takes a little bit of time at the start of each run to ramp up my pace, and once I hit that pace I am able to maintain it for nearly ten kilometers now! Overall, my speed has gotten slightly faster in recent months, though I didn’t see as big of an increase as I was expecting. Finally, my run distances have gotten longer, on average going from three to four kilometers when I started running to now doing five kilometers or oftentimes more.
I think one thing that may bias the data is when I take Audrey, my dog, with me running. This changes my timing dramatically. I wish I had made notes of when I took her with Ellie and I! Perhaps we’ll start marking those trips and review that data after a while! Ellie and I are convinced Audrey’s pace has improved since she started running. She’s up to a 5K!