I'm a bit of a statto. I always have been. I enjoy trawling through endless stats relating to another of my passions (Football), looking at player records, head-to-heads, averages, league progress, comparisons to previous years. The list goes on. It's not for everyone I accept, but I love to fill my head with these useless snippets of information.
So when I made the switch from RunKeeper to Endomondo, I was pleasantly surprised by the extra statistics that Endomondo gives you.
I have blogged before about how I believe a large part of running is in the mind. About how if I set out to run a certain distance I will run that distance, but struggle to run any further and usually end my run extremely tired.
Set out to run 5k and I run 5k and feel that mixture of satisfaction and relief upon finishing my run.
However set out to run 7.5k and I will almost leisurely jog past the 5k mark, where I previously stopped, breathing heavily, and continue onto my 7.5k target.
The stats Endomondo gave me pretty much confirmed this for me.
These are my recent times when I have set out to run 5k and no further:
29:46, 29:27, 28:24, 29:53, 29:02, 29:50, 28:54, 28:31, 27:29, 30:27
My fastest time being 27 minutes and 29 seconds with my average probably somewhere around the 29 minute mark.
(I am getting to a point with all this rambling!!)
After importing my RunKeeper details/history into Endomondo however, it tells me my fastest 5k time is 25 minutes and 24 seconds!
"When?! - I do not remember this!"
This is because it turned out this particular 5k was part of a longer run and I now remember the run clearly. Because I wasn't near home I just found a park and just ran in the grounds, no set distance, no plan, I just ran. And had no idea about this 5k time until weeks later when I imported my RunKeeper details into Endomondo. The actual run distance that day was just shy of 8k.
My point here is when I set out to run a certain distance (ie. 5k) it holds me back, I find it more difficult and I run slower, seemingly always running to finish, to get to the end.
When I set out to "just run", which I've only done that one time it seemingly made such a difference and had I not seen these stats I would never have realised.
So, after sitting the past few weeks due to a foot injury (big unit + butter fingers = broken toes!) I'm returning to running with a totally different outlook. I'm not going to map out routes before I set off anymore, or run exactly 5k and stop, because for me, concentrating too much on distance and times seemed to be holding me back.
Happy Running folks.