Analyzing Trends In My Running Pace

I started doing speed workouts late last summer and again this spring. Both of these periods resulted in definite increases in my pace. This made me wonder what the history of my running pace might look like. When and how had my pace improved previously when I didn’t even know what speed workouts were?

I have detailed data going back to April 2011 when I began tracking my run and bike activities with a phone app named RunKeeper. Prior to that, I honestly didn’t pay much attention to pace. All I remember from those days is looking at the clock when I left and figuring out when I would be back by adding 10 minutes for each mile that I was planning to run. I had no idea if 10 min/mile was fast or slow compared to other runners but honestly didn’t care about it since I didn’t even know any other runners at the time.

000024___pace_hist

Here are a few things that I have culled from this data…

  • My pace increased a lot during the first few months but leveled off. I’m sure that this was the result of having the RunKeeper app announcing my pace every five minutes while I was running.
  • My pace drops each winter until Feb. when it starts to rise again. By April or May it seems to be back to where it was the previous October. Not sure why this happens but it might have to do with the running conditions during the winter slowing me down.
  • The period from April to June seems to be when I have the most significant increases in pace. Also, months that include regular speed workouts also resulted in definite increases. The sharpest increase of all occurred the past few months which happens to coincide with both of these trends.

By the looks of things, I shouldn’t be real surprised if I don’t see huge increases in my speed for the rest of 2013. I guess we’ll see in October if these speed workouts are going to allow me to buck the trend.

I’ll also be interested to look at this in a decade or so to see when and where by pace peaks out at. Am I nearing maximum pace right now? If not, how much faster can I get and what age will I be when I hit the peak? This stuff reminds me of the John Bingham book that I just read.