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Runner skill classifications (Read 1713 times)

grinch031


    So are there guidelines on skill classifications of runners based on pace/finsh times?

     

    The reason I ask is that I have a hard time quantifying my race times other than what percentage I fell under against other runners (ie top 5%, top 10%, etc).  In the past I've always set goals based on my previous PRs, but I think it would be more motivating to shoot for reaching an actual skill/classification level that is in more absolute terms.

     

    Another issue is I don't know what defines a 'good' finish time.  For instance, in my last half marathon, I finished in the top 5% of the runners, however the difference between my time and what is considered an 'elite' time is enormous.   There are people who can sign up for a race without any training and still finish on par with me, so I can't imagine top 5% is necessarily that good by itself in absolute terms.

     

    Does it make more sense to classify your level based on the percentage of people you would typically beat in a race, or based on the typical amount of effort and training over time to reach that type of pace? 

     

    I know that getting to the top 5% isn't necessarily that hard, but getting from top 5% to top 1% becomes exponentially harder.

      Maybe something like an age-graded percentage?

       

      http://www.compuscore.com/agegrade/calculator.php

      Easy: Average weight below 160 lbs. for a month

      Medium: Average below 155 lbs. for a month • 5K PR • Marathon PR 

      Hard:  Run more miles than last year • Get to below 150 lbs. on marathon day • sub 20 5K • sub 3:30 Marathon

      Crazy Hard: Run over 2000 miles • Have ripped abs • 20 pull-ups • sub 19 5K • BQ

      xor


        I just try to finish without crapping myself.

         

        Honest answer: it sounds to me like from an 'absolute' level, you only want to measure yourself against the winner/elites of the sport.  This might be an exercise in frustration at many levels, one of which is it kind of comes down to who showed up at the race you ran.  And this isn't just a little race vs big race phenomenon.  Little races are tough... I have run better/harder at some little races where I finished toward the back than at certain other races where I finished toward the front.

         

        Anyway, it is a very personal thing and you are apparently waaaay more competitive than me, so my two cents is probably not worth mu.

         

        I have no idea how many people I would "typically beat" in a race.

         

        If you want to get to boston (your other thread), lose some weight and up your miles.  See where your training takes you.  "Runner skill" is kind of a mysterious beast.  I think I would be Average.  On trails, Far Below Average.

         

        Scout7


        CPT Curmudgeon

          I don't understand what the goal of this exercise is....

           

          If I read it correctly, you're looking to assign some sort of classification system on race participants based on....  finish time?  Or something else?

           

          Also, I'm somewhat confused by what it is that you're trying to "quantify" with your race times.  What's the purpose, and what exactly are you looking to quantify?  Perhaps quantify isn't the best word; maybe you want to qualify your race times.

           

          I generally don't define my finish times.  I'm satisfied with a race if I feel that I can honestly tell myself I ran to the best of my abilities on that given day.  If that means I set a PR, great; if it means I ran a slower time than normal, great.  As long as I can look back at the race and say to myself, "I went out and gave it my all", I'm OK with whatever the time and placement happen to be.

           

          But that's me.  I don't really believe in letting races define who I am as a person or as a runner.  I find race performance and times are better used to guide training for the next one.

          grinch031


            I don't understand what the goal of this exercise is....

             

            If I read it correctly, you're looking to assign some sort of classification system on race participants based on....  finish time?  Or something else?

             

            Also, I'm somewhat confused by what it is that you're trying to "quantify" with your race times.  What's the purpose, and what exactly are you looking to quantify?  Perhaps quantify isn't the best word; maybe you want to qualify your race times.

             

            I generally don't define my finish times.  I'm satisfied with a race if I feel that I can honestly tell myself I ran to the best of my abilities on that given day.  If that means I set a PR, great; if it means I ran a slower time than normal, great.  As long as I can look back at the race and say to myself, "I went out and gave it my all", I'm OK with whatever the time and placement happen to be.

             

            But that's me.  I don't really believe in letting races define who I am as a person or as a runner.  I find race performance and times are better used to guide training for the next one.

             

            I guess what I'm looking for really is some spark to get me motivated to step up my running.  I've sort of plateaued with my level to where I really need to make drastic changes to start seeing improvements.  The problem is motivation to make these changes.  I have never run because I love running, its always been because I'm competitive and want to achieve something that I haven't before.  

             

            So before what motivated me was reaching arbitrary race times that were always within arms reach, but now I think I need something more than that.  But I just don't want to reach too far and end up quitting out of frustration.


            I'm back!

              Give Advanced Marathoning a read. Maybe that will light a fire under your butt. Again, it might *not* take years to get to BQ level. You don't really know, because so far you've only run relatively low miles.

                Motivation is different for different people.

                I think Scout said it right.  What you're looking for is a qualitative assessment for your accomplishments (quantified results).

                 

                For me, and maybe only me, ....

                My motivation is trying to accomplish something that I thought was impossible.  Impossible for me isn't related to speed.  My current goal is an Ironman.  My previous goal was a 1/2 Ironman.  Before that, it was a Marathon, 1/2 Marathon, ...

                My goals require training time that make the result (race day) an afterthought.

                Once I accomplish this goal, I may move on to something else (maybe a 50 mile race, maybe BQ, ???).

                 

                The reason for my motivation relates to my diabetes.  I "need" to live an active lifestyle.  I "want" to live an active lifestyle.  I want to be in this "game" that I'm playing for another 30 years.  I'm not looking for motivation for an event that'll occur in a month or two, and then lose the spark and the drive I have to keep going.

                 

                (As I said in the 1st sentence though, I know that motivation is different for different people.  Find what matters for you and figure out how you can keep the game going forever).


                Cheers,

                2014 Goals:

                #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                #2: 365 Hours training

                 

                zonykel


                  There are quite a few books that give you "beginner", "intermediate", and "advanced" classifications and I don't think there is much overlap among them. I think athlinks.com posts your results (even if you're no a member) and they added a new feature (beta) that shows what percentile you fall in. As others have mentioned, there is really no point in following those rankings closely. I know that chess provides ratings to anyone who participates in official tournaments. The value is that you get matched up against those to your skill. It matters more there because these are one on one match ups. I don't think anybody would care in road racing. It's just a different culture, attitude, and purpose.


                  day after day sameness

                    So are there guidelines on skill classifications of runners based on pace/finsh times?


                    I know that getting to the top 5% isn't necessarily that hard, but getting from top 5% to top 1% becomes exponentially harder.

                     

                    I think this is an interesting question.  Same as many others have said, I've had events where I finished in the top 6%, and then run the same race distance much faster and finished at the 40 - 50% mark -- that's all due to the field, not me.

                     

                    But anyway, your question is "skill" and the desired measure is finished result.  Who is more skilled, the runner who gets 100% of their capability on that day, in that race and finishes in the 70% of all finishers, or the runner who used 80% of their capability and finished first?

                     

                    To me...the two measures don't relate -- that is, there is no direct correlation in any one event to skill as runner and finishing percentile.

                     

                    On the other hand, I think I do understand the question in terms of what you're trying to get to.  Its just sort of a nonsensical link of two unrelated concepts, like "digital electricity".

                    I've done my best to live the right way; I get up every morning and go to work each day...

                    grinch031


                      I think this is an interesting question.  Same as many others have said, I've had events where I finished in the top 6%, and then run the same race distance much faster and finished at the 40 - 50% mark -- that's all due to the field, not me.

                       

                      But anyway, your question is "skill" and the desired measure is finished result.  Who is more skilled, the runner who gets 100% of their capability on that day, in that race and finishes in the 70% of all finishers, or the runner who used 80% of their capability and finished first?

                       

                      To me...the two measures don't relate -- that is, there is no direct correlation in any one event to skill as runner and finishing percentile.

                       

                      On the other hand, I think I do understand the question in terms of what you're trying to get to.  Its just sort of a nonsensical link of two unrelated concepts, like "digital electricity".

                       

                      I see all your points about percentile.  I guess I'm only used to the non-qualifying big races where the distribution of finishers is pretty comparable across races.

                       

                      I think what I want to know is what is a good way to gauge my progress in a more objective way.  I've focused too much on relative progress but that by itself isn't really satisfying.


                      day after day sameness

                        I think what I want to know is what is a good way to gauge my progress in a more objective way.  I've focused too much on relative progress but that by itself isn't really satisfying.

                         

                        Realistically, that's all you've got....your time against the clock, your progress Doppler shifting towards or away from your goals, measured over enough time to mask the highs and lows.

                         

                        Unless you have a doppelganger who is starting at the same place you are, has the same goals, and gives you a comparison reference.  (ie I'm doing better than ace4dave.1, I'm doing great!)

                         

                        For those of us of a...ahem...certain age, we've got tools like age grading to make us feel better as the times get worse and worse.  But in the end, the clock favors no one over another.

                        I've done my best to live the right way; I get up every morning and go to work each day...

                        grinch031


                          Realistically, that's all you've got....your time against the clock, your progress Doppler shifting towards or away from your goals, measured over enough time to mask the highs and lows.

                           

                          Unless you have a doppelganger who is starting at the same place you are, has the same goals, and gives you a comparison reference.  (ie I'm doing better than ace4dave.1, I'm doing great!)

                           

                          For those of us of a...ahem...certain age, we've got tools like age grading to make us feel better as the times get worse and worse.  But in the end, the clock favors no one over another.

                           

                          Age-grade might be the closest thing I'm looking for, but its still a bit vague.   I can say I'm looking to become a 'local' or 'regional' class runner and I can attach a goal finish time to it, but still I don't know if that's a worthy accomplishment or not because I don't know really what a local or regional race is, since people travel for races regardless of how competitive they are.

                            FWIW, I've also got: how I feel for a given run over more or less the same route I've run before, seeing easy training pace drop incrementally, and mostly just feeling stronger/faster/fitter when I'm running.  Things like the two hills I hit in the last mile of my long runs, that I used to be thinking about for miles in advance and dreading, then realized one day that I was just cruising up without drama.

                             

                            But if you don't really like running, I'd be concerned how your motivation level will hold up when the weather sucks, or you're tired, or you're just in a grind and the workouts are unsexy slogs.

                            “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman


                            I'm back!

                              I really like running... at least, I like *having* run a lot, and generally I like it when I'm doing it. But without the motivation of a race to train for, I do have a hard time getting out the door, and running seems sort of meaningless.

                               

                              For me it's always been about the next PR landmark. First it was BQ, then < 3:10, then < 3:00. Now that I'm after 2:55, motivation is more of a problem, because it will take a hell of a lot of work for me to get there, and it's a more arbitrary number than 3:00. Moving up to new distance challenges is also a motivator. I just ran my first 100. I can see getting sucked into that world. Not sure I would want to go farther, though.

                               

                              ace4dave, I would think 3:30 would be a pretty major PR landmark to shoot for, on the way to a BQ.

                                Age-grade might be the closest thing I'm looking for, but its still a bit vague.   I can say I'm looking to become a 'local' or 'regional' class runner and I can attach a goal finish time to it, but still I don't know if that's a worthy accomplishment or not because I don't know really what a local or regional race is, since people travel for races regardless of how competitive they are.

                                 

                                The Competitve Runner's Handbook, by Bob Glover and Shelly-lynn Florence Glover uses age-grade formulas and percentages of world record times to categorize runners. The training plans are based on those categories. You can preview the categories on google books.

                                 

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