Entry into ultramarathon events such as those organised by ourselves at Centurion Running is currently seeing a huge rise, yet little research is currently available for ultrarunners to help determine what the optimum training/ racing choices for ensuring maximum performance might be. We decided to conduct our own survey of runners in our events in order to identify trends in training methods that appear to relate to 100 mile race performance. The survey for each race consists of two questionnaires - one before the race asking questions about runner's biometrics, running history and demographics, and another questionnaire after the race asking questions about training leading up to the event and running preferences. Together with split times from the race itself, this information should provide a valuable source of data from which to answer a number of interesting questions. In the short term, this will allow us to analyse how each race went. But the hope is that in the long term we will build up a database of information that can be used to mine interesting trends which may help people be successful at completing & performing to a higher level over 100 miles on foot.
We kicked off our study with a pilot project of 66 runners conducted at the 2012 South Downs Way race. The results of this study can be found here.
We concluded 2012 with an overview of all 4 100 mile races, picking out details which we hope will allow runners an insight in to the different pacing strategies and challanges of each course. The study can be found here.
All research is conducted as a partnership between Centurion Running and Sam Robson. Sam is a Post Doctoral Research Associate at the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK funded Gurdon Institute in Cambridge. He has a background in mathematics and statistics, and currently works as a bioinformatician in the field of cancer genetics. He is also an accomplished ultrarunner, finishing 2nd in the 2012 SDW100. Sam's personal blog can be found here.
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