Women are better than men at nailing London Marathon pacing, says Strava

Social networking app for athletes also reveals training insights leading up to the race
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The 2018 London Marathon is just a few days away and the folks at Strava have dished out some interesting data it collected from last year's race we think might get the running community talking.

The data was taken from 10,706 runners (25% of the field) who participated in last year's London Marathon and uploaded their data to Strava after crossing the finish line.

Read this: Seven tech tips and tricks to help you run a smarter marathon

One of the most interesting pieces of data revealed that women were better than men at getting the right pace for the race. The data showed that in the second half of the race, women slowed by 11%, in comparison to 17% of men. So obviously some of the guys set off too quick and dropped off, as a result.

Apparently that drop in pace is emphasised by the slowest mile on the course, which is mile 25, where runners slowed to 10:20 minute/mile. That's significantly slower than the fastest mile (mile 7) on the course, where runners were clocking in on average 8:48 minute/mile.

When it comes to finishing times though, men were out on top across all age groups, with an average finish time of 3 hours 39 minutes in comparison to an average finish time for women coming in at 4 hours 17 minutes.

Older runners put in more training miles

Getting your training right for any marathon is key and it appears the more experience runners cover the distance leading up to the big day. Strava looked at data from the 13 weeks leading up to the London Marathon and found that 51-60 years old runners put in the most mileage at an average of 370.9 miles, putting in almost 4 runs a week. In comparison, 21-31 year olds ran 310.7 miles putting in 3.4 runs a week. Oh, if you want to run a time that comes in below three hours, it seems that putting in over 600 miles in training will help you do that.

What this data doesn't appear to indicate though are the types of training runs logged. Many runners will have done their fair share of shorter distance training (like intervals), which also forms an important part of that marathon training plan.

For those who are currently enjoying a week of carbo loading ahead of Sunday's race, Strava also revealed that with the course record of 02:03:05, average runners will hit that time around mile 14, some 12 miles behind. Thanks for that Strava.

Wareable's top pacing tips

If that Strava data has you worried about getting your pacing right for the big race, we've got a few tips on how you can use your sports watch to make sure you nail it on race day. Our first tip is to customize the information that will be most useful to see on your watch the night before. We're talking Current Pace, Heart Rate and Distance. Whether that's all on one screen or through different faces, it should help stick to your race plan.

Our second tip is to match pace with music. Apps like Spotify Run and WeavRun do a really good job of this syncing your foot strike rate with the bpms of the best tunes. Also think about your changing running mood during the race and songs that can give you a lift when you need it most, likely when you're hitting those tough miles in the latter stages.

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TAGGED Running

Michael Sawh

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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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