Older runners run faster London Marathon times than younger runners, says Strava

Strava also reveals whether men or women cover the most training miles
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Strava has revealed that older participants ran faster times than younger runners at last year's London Marathon.

The social networking site for athletes pulled data from 14,000 runners who logged their training and race data for the Marathon Major, returning some insights that will no doubt stir some debate.

Essential reading: Best running watches to buy

It revealed that runners that fell into the 50-59 age group scored better average finishing times (4 hours and 34 minutes) compared to runners aged 20-29 (4 hours and 37 minutes). Runners in their 40s actually put in the best finishing times with an average of 4 hours and 30 minutes.

Age was a running (ahem) theme when it came to training for the race too, with older runners (50-59) putting in more training miles to hit a sub-4 hour London Marathon time running an average of 36 miles a week. Those aged 20-29 in comparison aiming to get a 3 (or 2) hour in their marathon time put in an average of 28 miles per week.

Men and women vs miles

Strava also revealed some interesting gender-based data, including that men in all age groups clocked up more miles than women training for last year's race.

Men in the 50-59 age group ran the most miles from 13 weeks of training, notching up on average 28 miles per week. Women in the same age group in comparison managed 24 miles per week. The same data suggested that women under 30 did the least training at under 20 miles per week, while men in their 30s did 25% more training than women in their 30s.

Of course clocking up more or fewer miles doesn't necessarily mean you are more or less prepared for race day; the data doesn't indicate how those training miles were spent. A good marathon training plan should involve a good mix of shorter, more focused runs and longer runs too, both of which are beneficial to getting your body ready to get through those 26.1 miles.

In terms of finishing times, male runners across all age groups managed an average of 4 hours and 16 minutes compared to female runners with an average of 4 hours and 59 minutes.

Race day

Looking back at the 2018 race itself, Strava revealed that the third mile of the course on average was the fastest mile with runners putting in an average pace of 8.36 minute/miles. Unsurprisingly, mile 22 was the slowest with runners clocking up a 10.46 minute/mile pace on average.

Wareable's last-minute marathon tips

Here at Wareable we've clocked up a fair few marathons, so we have a pretty good idea of what you're going through with just a couple of days to go. When it's so close to the race, it's never wise to start thinking about changing your race prep or strategy. But if you're going to be a running with a sports watch or a smartwatch, we've picked out some last-minute tips to run a smarter marathon with your wearable to help make sure you've got everything you need to focus on getting to the finish line.

Older runners run faster London Marathon times than younger runners, says Strava


How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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