Visualizing My Runs in 2017

By Max Candocia


January 01, 2018

This past year I began running again for the first time in several years. I had just moved to Chicago earlier in the week, and I had only been road biking for exercise when I walked by a poster for a local 5K, titled Dim Sum & Then Some: The Uptown 5K". I showed up to the race the following day, and in my first run in over half a year, I managed to finish the 4-mile 5K (I am not sure how they decided on the map for the course).

After the race, I talked to some of the other participants, and I asked them about local running groups. From our conversation, I learned about a running group that met less than half a mile from where I live, and I started to join them for weekly runs. Over the summer, I began to run on my own, and I also started training to improve my speed in addition to endurance.

Enjoying analyzing data as much as I do, I recorded all of my runs using GPS, primarily through the Strava app, although later with a dedicated Garmin watch, along with heart-rate and temperature-recording accessories (that I will use in future analyses when I have more data).

Below are some general graphs I made using R from the data I recorded.

Weekly Running Patterns

I thought it would be interesting to see when I run the most. Many groups in the area have Monday evening runs, and I usually join either Uptown Runners or fun runs hosted by Fleet Feet Sports. Wednesdays I usually participate in a speed workout, hosted by Uptown runners, at a track. On the weekends I generally run anytime from the morning to early evening.

Weekly Distance

I started off with very low mileage for a while, and then increased my number of runs per week during the summer, also introducing longer tempo runs on the weekend.

I also looked at the average pace each week, and while there was a slight downward trend, the average pace of my runs didn't change too much. It was usually the mileage that changed, as well as the intensity of my track workouts/races.

Race Results

I also recorded the races I ran this year. Unfortunately I didn't run too many this year, so there's a pretty big gap in my progress. I measure the below in pace, because some of the distances were a bit inconsistent (esp. the first 5K).

Future Runs/Data

This year I am hoping for some more consistency in my data, and I am to start marathon training once the temperature becomes remotely hospitable. I should be able to find more interesting ways of analyzing individual runs once I get some more data.



Recommended Articles

Analyzing and Clustering Christmas Foods, Drinks, and Desserts

When celebrating Christmas, most people think of a large feast as part of the celebration. In the fourth part of my Christmas article series, I look at what foods are common across different regions of the US. Clustering also shows interesting relationships between different foods and drinks.

Word Clouds of Christmas

Visualizations of how people describe Christmas using word clouds.