Wednesday, July 19, 2006

By the numbers

Dork that I am, I love cranking through race statistics when they post very detailed results online. It helps me put a little spin on things to create personal victories.

For my first Olympic Distance tri, I came in last in my age group. For New York, I was hoping to finish out of the bottom quarter. I came in 272nd out of 346 for Men 35-39. That's ahead of 22% of the group, just within the bottom quarter. But if I include all age-groupers, I came in at 1583 out of 2217. That's better than 29% of the field, so I'm going with those results.

OK, now it gets a little more analytical. Here's how I ranked for each leg within my age group:

Overall: 272
Swim: 281
Bike: 252
Run: 279

You could say that the bike was my "strongest" event. But note that all 3 of my placings are pretty close to the overall; the bike only deviates 7% from my overall placing. I think that means that regardless of my speed or lack thereof, I am a very "balanced" triathlete. In contrast, the guy who came in right in front of me for 271st place, came in 146th for the run: a deviation of 46%. So clearly he is a primarily a strong runner. The guy after me was 60th in the swim, a whopping 78% deviation from his 273rd overall placing. Obviously he's a ringer swimmer.

The math breaks down when you try analyzing people in the top 10% of the race or so. (If the overall winner places 2nd in the swim, that would give him a deviation of 50%, which is misleading.) But for middle-to-back-of-the-packers, I think it gives a good idea what areas you should work on. And since I'm so well-balanced, that means I need to work on everything. Crap.


Blogger Iron Pol said...

Every great comment I had came off as insulting, when put to "paper." Just trust me that they were hilarious, in my head. That's where I'll leave them, for now.

Regardless, finishing the race is a huge accomplishment, and you made huge gains over your last race, as far as finishing position is concerned. What is missing is how you performed relative to that first race, and the conditions of the day.

And for that guy who finished way high in the swim, perhaps he just wanted to get out of that disgusting water, and wrecked himself in the attempt. I know that's what I would have done, seeing those pictures.

5:26 AM  
Blogger Steven said...

I'd rather be well-balanced on all three then excellent at one and suck at two.

Keep doing what you've been doing. Just do more of it.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When asked what my strongest event is, I often reply that my strength is that I'm completely average in all three events.

Now, if only I could say that I was fast in all three.

Welcome to average at all three my brother...


11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or work on nothing...

4:39 PM  
Blogger Mister P. said...

Whoever the anomymous person is, you're my kind of triathlete!

5:08 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

"that means I need to work on everything. Crap." Crap? Isn't this mean u have more reason to go enjoy the sun and the bike rides? :) complain here :D

8:36 AM  
Blogger Habeela said...

And being mediocre instead of last is one reason I love this city!

11:56 AM  
Blogger Geek Girl said...

This is way too, too much math for me when it's this hot out.

7:51 PM  

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