Sunday, June 06, 2010

How to choose an event

Following up on my last post, I thought I'd outline my reasons for choosing the 5k as my main racing distance for the foreseeable future. I've used a simple table to do this — with a rating of 0 to 10 for different reasons to choose an event. The 5k is the easy winner, 40 points to 23. The 'good at it' row is based on my performance as a percentage of the world record. As you can see, I've pretty much sucked at running ever since I started doing it! My best event ever was the 800 metres, at 74.9% of the world record. As a 50+ aged runner, my 1500 ranks highest. I'd like to get the 5k up to 70%, which would mean running 21:05 at age 53.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend. I know some have raced the Christchurch Marathon, and some haven't. I raced an awful 8k cross country race yesterday, which is best forgotten. An enjoyable 15k jaunt through the Aussie bush later this afternoon will make up for it.

 Marathon5k100 metresOlympic Tri
Like racing it2945
Like the training61054
Good at it2532
Friends do it7712
Emotional attachment6922

EventMale World RecordAll-time PBOpen A/G %M50 A/G %
100 metres9.5813.869.4No PB
800 metres1:41.112:15.0674.969.6
5000 metres12:37.3517:33.571.967.7
Half M58:2381:3871.567.0
Marathon2:03:593:11:0264.9No PB
Olympic Tri1:48:242:46:5564.9No PB


Blogger jen said...

I love the chart! I should make one. Oh, who am I kidding. I'm married to the marathon. :(

1:16 pm  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

OK. My chart is under construction.

2:13 pm  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

Fabulous run distance decision making chart! I think I'll do one too .... but I can tell you now the numbers will always go the marathon way for me.

4:34 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

cool chart...I'll have to try that. what about your scores for the 10k and half marathon. You are a very good runner. Wish my PB's were as good as yours.

5:15 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

My 100m PB is better than yours...and my 800m PB is 2.16 and 1500m PB is 4.52. but thats all. Solinsky wouldnt choose to run a 10k if his coach hadnt talked him into it, and he did 26.59...

5:19 pm  
Blogger Two Fruits said...

Nothing longer than a marathon, may be try the unknown ? SFT doesn't count.

5:38 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

Christchurch 2:57:45. Thanks for all your help Ewen.

5:47 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Hope you enjoyed your bush jaunt this arvo - can't wait to get back. Your chart looks great. Are you still running the Melbourne Half??

7:46 pm  
Blogger jojo said...

okay you posted it once, whats the link for age based gradings (and the other one too!) gotta get me a table like that

7:48 pm  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

LOVE the chart! Seriously, that makes it so obvious which way to go. And going for an age-grade as a goal? Man after my own heart. :D I have a feeling a heavy weight was lifted off you when you finally put it there in black and white. Here's to 40 fat points of racing satisfaction!

8:31 pm  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

Also, it'll be interesting to see how many people still bug you about doing different distances, even though you've so clearly illustrated your preference. I see a couple swayers already. Memo to the world: Ewen prefers 5Ks. Respect his decision, he knows himself better than anyone.

8:38 pm  
Blogger plu said...

I think i am going to join you on these sort of distances. Plu

10:49 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

Hi Ewen, I miss reading blogs. How are you? I'm trying to work shorter distances in my plan, it's all the time I have these days (especially since we have no more water) so maybe we can run a short race on the same day some day.

11:04 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Jen, I thought you were married to Zach ;)

Speedygeoff, I know already yours will say you're best at races requiring 4:30 kilometres.

Jog, yes! And I bet rough off-road ultras are your worst scoring event ;)

TB, I didn't bother scoring the 10k and half. They'd be less than the 5k. I didn't race the sprints very often - probably less than a dozen 100s ever. I would have liked to have raced more 400s.

2F, I know the unknown would hurt more than SFT, and that hurts more than enough!

Flake, I was so happy to see that. A well deserved sub-3 after many years and attempts.

Strewth, it was an interesting jaunt. I did a "CJ" running through the paddocks in the dark. Yes, still racing the Melbourne Half.

Jojo, I like this one. It's based on 2006 world records. Note that the 800m is classed as a sprint!

Flo, thanks. Yes, it's great being able to concentrate on the races I enjoy. And thanks for beating off the swayers ;)

Plu, that's great. The shorter races are quite a challenge.

Susan, I'm good. That's sad about your water - you can't do swim training in a foamy pool :( I'll take you on in a short race, as long as it's not shorter than 800 metres.

6:45 pm  
Blogger Robert James Reese said...

That's a great table, very logical. I want to sit down and make my own (but with different events).

3:06 am  
OpenID canute1 said...

That is great set of criteria to use to determine your preferred distance and the answer is clear. Good luck with your quest to knock 25 seconds of your M50 PB for the chosen event. Your 1500m time shows you have the required speed; maybe need to focus on the speed-endurance. One approach might be long interval sessions (eg 1000m or 2000m repeats.)

9:16 am  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

Yes, nice charts. They appeal to me as well. You could also use that 1st chart to choose a pet Greyhound rather than a Welsh Corgi!

How were you able to get the info to put together that 2nd chart? I'd like to do one as well.

4:47 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Robert, two would have to be 'the mile' and '50 miles' :)

Canute, thanks. That's a timely reminder about the long intervals. I know they've helped in the past.

That's right Scott! But I'd need two more categories - "cost of food" and "hair shedding." For the second chart, first up, one has to race all the events from 100m up lots of times ;) The open A/G % is a simple matter of dividing the world record by one's PB and multiplying by 100 to get a percentage... so if you ran 12.5 for 100 that would be 76.6%. For older A/G % I use this calculator, which uses the world records (2006) for each age.

7:46 pm  
Blogger Paul said...

Ok, maybe it's just me, but I think it's funny you had to put together a chart to work out which distance you want to race!

Methinks you already knew, but being a 'man of numbers' like myself and many others you just wanted to 'quantify' your choice?

A good read! Cheers, PB :-)

10:59 pm  
Blogger rinusrunning said...

I hope you can run a fast 5km race and i run slower that distant!.
Nice chart.

11:08 pm  
Blogger Sling Runner said...

Great table, especially the % of WR.

Perhaps you can rank your PB based on IAAF scoring tables next!

12:16 am  
Blogger Ali said...

That is a great chart. I would give marathon racing a 2 as well.

1:39 am  
Blogger Carla said...

hey- good luck w/the 5k's! those r great b/c you can do so many of them. i'll most likely go back to shorter stuff after this marathon (time commitments). still chasing a 10k pr- oddly, the only distance (aside from marathon) i never ran in my teens/twenties. so i still have a prayer ;)

12:48 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Paul, it's interesting to see if the numbers match the emotions. If the Olympic Tri had a 500m swim leg I might be more attached to that event!

Rinus, I'd like to get near your 5k PB time :)

Yes Sling, then I could rate my hammer and high jump PBs :)

Ali, as many as 2? ;)

Carla, you're right - the 5k is a great distance to race many times a year, so more chances of good conditions/feeling good, and a PB. 10k PBs often come after marathons, so all the best.

7:19 pm  
Anonymous Julie said...

I'm late to this comments party (madly trying to catch up on all my running blog reading). It never occurred to me to make up such a table. Talk about obvious! What a great idea.

Also -- re: your 10K -- sometimes you just have a bad day. I have a theory (completely unfounded, and arguably crackpot) that men can be subject to hormonal swings just as women are, and that on some days the testosterone just isn't circulating properly.

9:41 pm  
Anonymous keens said...

I like the chart! Seeing this makes me want to have mine also.Thanks for sharing this! Thanks again.. :)

4:13 pm  

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