As I was going about my evening and getting ready for bed, I mused on Twitter
Two data nerd things follow
1. As i get faster at running over time, and also age over time, there’s gotta be a middle ground where i qualify for the Boston Marathon.
— nathanial’s halloween name (@nathanialjg) October 19, 2019
Then I was thinking about it, and realized that this was not just a thing I had data on, it was a thing I could use that data to figure out. Because it’s Friday night and procrastinating on my physical therapy stretches and sleeping is a higher priority than either of those things, I went ahead and did that.
First off, I pulled my average time per mile from Smashrun into a Google Sheet. Using this data, I found my speed increase from year to year, then averaged it. Upon finding that average, I assumed that my speed would increase at an average amount (0:00:24/mile) over the next three years, then half of an average amount (0:00:12/mile) the following year. Then, because I started this whole process on a mobile device, I subtracted another 0:00:01/mile the following year, to make the Google Sheets chart look the way I wanted it to.
I know I have already built a few assumptions here and the difference between 2016 and 2017 does not make it seem fair to make these assumptions. In spite of this, I want to continue making some assumptions.
The next assumption is that I can run a marathon at my average mile time for the year – I feel like this might be the fairest assumption I have made so far, since the mile average contains all of my runs from a given year, ranging from the speedy runs to the crummy runs.
This next chart is what my marathon time would be if it were run at my average pace for that year. I also pulled the 2013-2019 Boston Qualifying time for men 18-30, then from 2020 to 2023, I used the accepted time for men 18-34 in the 2020 race. Finally, I used the accepted time in 2020 for men 35-39 for the Year 2024.
This shows that I could qualify as early as Fall 2021 – which seems like it would get me to the race in Spring 2023.
Thanks for taking this journey with me – for whatever it is worth, I thought I would close this out
Great goal! Good luck to you!