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.

2 Replies

  • Yes, I quite agree with your point that most of the apps (and Garmin) are annoying in that they don't give quite enough data (even cumulative times) in their analyses. So if you run 6 or 7k it's quite hard to work out your 5k time as they don't tell you unless it's a PB. I thought I was going well on Monday and actually had to export the data into Excel to work out my 5k time (my mental arithmetic with times not being so hot). Annoying, as it would be a very simple thing to add. (10 secs away if you must know.)

    Having said that I don't find that my short-course speed improves with a longer run. In fact quite the reverse. I start off steadily tyring to make sure I don't blow up before the end, whereas I can push from the start if I'm just doing 5k.

    Fantastic result of yours though. The difficulty is going to be matching it in future...!

  • you are so right....I think we get so caught up in set times or distances...I had the most enjoyable run I have had for ages when I ran home with my son and my great and wonderful friend ( on a bike)..we just chatted and looked at things, I didn't even have my headphones on telling me my stats and it was totally perfect. We did 18k and I want to do it again now!!!!! Well done on your times ...really good acheivement....

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