Visualizing My Runs in 2017

By Max Candocia

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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.

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