Age Grading Race Times

Back in February, when I ran the Valentine’s Day 10K and the Nutty Runners 5k, I got to wondering about age grading races. How does my present race times compare with back in my heydey, 2010 – 2012.  I have an HDR spreadsheet which calculates the Age Graded Percentage score of every race submitted by the members.

Here is a link to the 2017 version….

I realize that I am NOT in the shape I was in then. I am not training as hard. I am not putting in as many miles, though the Elliptigo may offset some of that. I am 10 pounds heavier. I am 5 years older…..

Still, if….. when… I get myself back into similar shape, how will I know. It is pretty doubtful that I will be able to break those Personal Records in the latter half of my 50s. So, I will have to look at age grading to try to make comparisons between then and now.

Age grading is a calculation which compares the time of a runner of a certain age and compares that time with the world record time for that same age…. not age group but actual exact age. The score comes out as a percentage.

Over the last month I adapted the HDR age grade calculation worksheet to calculate age grade scores just for me. It is more accurate than the HDR worksheet in that it considers age as years AND DAYS converted to a decimal. Right now, for example I am 55.10 years old. I have the results of this spreadsheet linked at the top of the blog in two forms. I have the list sorted by the Best Score, and I have the list sorted by the Most Recent races.

My best scores all date from 2009 to early 2014 when I regularly scored in the low 70 percents. Since 2015, if you throw out races that are naturally slow – trails, etc, there is a general improvement from the low 60s rising to the mid upper 60s.

An interesting thing to do, is to compare the age grade score of the same race in different years. Saturday was my 3rd running of the Pacific Half. As I stated last post, the first time I ran a shortened course, so for age grade purposes I adjusted the race time to match the pace. The adjusted time of the 2010 Pacific is 1:40:13 at age 48.  In 2012 at age 50 I ran it in 1:43:01. Saturday at age 55 I ran  it in 1:45:25.

The age graded score for 2017 – age 55 = 66.49
The age graded score for 2012 – age 50 = 65.46
The age graded score for 2010 – age 48 = 65.93

All three are pretty close, but the most recent is the highest! Of course both of those years I had run a seven mile warm up and had run the first few miles easy…. but still I am excited to see comparable age grading scores!

On another note, I plugged my 1:45:25 score into an elevation adjusting race calculator. The Pacific had 1366 ft of climbing and 1244 of loss. The race has a net uphill. On level ground the equivalent time is 1:39:51.  I plugged both the 1:45:25 race time and the 1:39:51 into race equivalent calculators that predict your race time at a different distance. Using the 1:45:25 you get a marathon prediction of 3:39. Using the 1:39:51 you get a prediction of just under 1:30. So, given 8 more weeks to make sure my edurance is up to par, I should be on schedule to run far enough under 3:40 to qualify for Boston. That is exciting, and that does not consider 1 or 2 more aces up my sleeve. The Mountains 2 Beach marathon is a  downhill, FAST course!  The other, which remains to be seen, would be a loss of weight between then and now.

So over the next two months, it is ENDURANCE and weight loss! I have 8 weeks of normal school schedule – with track practice with the kids. I typically am the most consistent during when my kids are in season. I have 2 endurance races scheduled …. The Leona Divide 30K on April 22 and the Wings for Life World Run on May 7.  The Leona Divide amounts to a 19.2 mile trail run. The Wings for Life run depends on how fast you run, but last year I ran 16.5 miles @ 8:09 pace, which would be a nice marathon pace

This is getting exciting!

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