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 my running life in a graph
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

my running life in a graph Posted: Tue May 30, 2006 11:04 pm 

I geeked-out with Excel this evening, and made a graph of PIH versus time for the races of my running career. PIH is a performance measure used by the runlog Excel log, and is conceptually similar to Daniels' VDOT. Higher numbers are better.

There are three main cycles in the graph:

1. rapid improvement from my first race up to the Austin Marathon, followed by about 10 months of decline where I didn't run much
2. another period of rapid improvement and then semi-plateau, peaking at Des Moines and the San Francisco Half Marathon, followed by about 8 months of decline
3. a third period of rapid improvement and semi-plateau

The portion from the most recent SF Half up to today's date looks a little worse than it is, since it includes one very hilly race and the two stinky 5K's I ran shortly after Boston.

Some interesting observations:

- Fitness is gained faster than it's lost. Even when I practically stopped running entirely during spring/summer 2005, the rate of decline was less steep than the rate of improvement during retraining.
- Most of the improvement is achieved after about 3-4 months of retraining following a layoff. After that, performance improves more slowly, or hits a plateau.
- After each layoff, the height of the next plateau is higher than the last. (Tough to say for certain-- we'll see where the current cycle ends up!)

Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: my running life in a graph Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 5:05 pm 

Based upon my most recent experience, I'd certainly agree about the 'regaining your prior level of fitness after about 3 - 4 months of training', but you seem to be hitting a ceiling at about 660 PIH (first I've ever heard of it). Let's hope you can break on through to the other side this time!

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