Friday, October 29, 2010

Age Graded Races

Have you ever participated in a Age Graded Race? Are you even familiar with what it is? Age-graded information allows you to:
  • Adjust your performance to what it theoretically would have been during your prime running years (your 20's and a portion of your 30's depending on the race distance). 
  • Judge your performance, using an achievement percentile, without bias for gender or the aging process (in other words, you are measured against a specific standard for your age and sex). These percentiles can be interpreted as follows:  
Over 90% --- World Class
Over 80% --- National Class
Over 70% --- Regional Class
Over 60% --- Local Class

Compare your performances for a specific race distance at various ages to determine which was your "best race". If, for example, I am a 49 year old male and wanted to see age-graded information for a time of 18:48 that I recently ran in a 5K race. Using this calculator:
  • enter 49 in the Age field 
  • select Male in the Gender field 
  • select 5 Kilometers as the Race Distance 
  • enter 18 in the Minutes field and 48 in the Seconds field for Race Time 
  • press the Calculate Age-Graded Race Time & Percentile button the age-graded race time and achievement percentile will appear

Mine came out to 76.666. That equates to a time of 16:55 that the calculator is saying I would have run in my prime. That's a pretty accurate reflection as I ran a 16:30 at the age of 28. The 76.666 equates to Regional Class. Neat, huh? That's about right for me. I would never get National class (80%+), certainly never World Class (90%+). But I've always have been somewhere in the podium mix regionally.

In any event, I wanted to share the calculator and logic with you. You can play with your times and see how you would rank.

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