My Running Year in Charts

I didn’t run enough to brag about. In fact I didn’t even log in half the distance (2016 KM) I had set out as a target in December 2015. Nevertheless, I wanted to look at my runs in 2016 and see if it can be presented in terms of charts. Basically, Exploratory Data Analysis.

Let’s start with the total. I ran 916 KM in 2016 which is a mere 2.5 KM per day. Or is it? I didn’t run every single day, so 916/365 is not the right way of looking at it. What should be my denominator then? It turns out I ran for 129 days in the year (not an impressive figure). This brings my average per day run to 7.1 KM per run-day. It is starting to look a little nice 🙂

Next, here is a plot of my weekly mileage:
Height of the bars = Mileage
Position of the Asterisk: Longest run that week
Horizontal Red Line: Half Marathon Distance(a reference line for long runs- asterisks)01
What does it say? I have ran at least some distance during 43 of 52 weeks. That is 83%. For nine of the weeks (1, 2, 3, 7, 27, 30, 43, 46, 48) I didn’t run even for a single day in that week. Most of these zero-week days were in the beginning of the year when I was probably too lazy, or it was too cold. For four of the weeks (4, 14, 11, 41) I have ran only once a week.

I divided the same plot into the four usual quarters. It is evident that I did most (70%) of my running in Q2 (270 KM) and Q3 (353). What happened in Q3? See week # 33 onward. I was visiting US for a few weeks and the place I was staying had some nice places to run barefoot. This continued when I was back in India. But then what happened in Q4? Weeks 37-40 give a clue. I ran (almost) four half-marathons in those four weeks which probably was the cause for a ligament tear. Weeks 41-48: I tried running, but every attempt brought back the pain. No runs in weeks 43 & 46 is the result of advice from a doctor and a Physiotherapist respectively to take complete rest. Week 48 is when I visited my hometown. Then, week 49 is when I felt good enough to run a half-marathon in Coorg. The last week of the year ended with another half-marathon on 31st December.

One of the most common questions someone who runs regularly gets asked is: How many days in a week do you run? I thought I ran 4-5 days a week. The following chart debunks this thought I had. Only 17 of the weeks fall in the 4-5 days per week. Four times a week is the highest though. Conclusion: I did not run regularly in 2016.

Now let’s see if I have a favorite day of the week for a run. First I plotted mileage by day of the week. Saturday and Sunday are clear winners. In fact, more than half of the total runs happened on Saturdays and Sundays.02

The chart above could be misleading. Knowing that Saturdays and Sundays are my long run days, the mileage would obviously be high on these two days. What next? I plotted the days of run by Day of the week (basically a histogram of the 129 days on which I went for a run). And it does show that I did most of the runs on Sunday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Saturday. Sundays are highest for the reason that I go to Cubbon Park with my wife. Though it is obvious that Mondays and Fridays are my not-s0-favourite days to run, I am now surprised that I ran on 11 Mondays and 10 Fridays!04

The next question I had is: What was my typical run by day of the week? I mean I didn’t run 7.1 KM every time I went for a run. In fact, I never ran a 7 KM distance. So I plotted the Average run distance by day of the week. Sundays are my long run days and Saturdays are my 10K run days which is clear from the graph. The other five days of the week have an average of around 5KM which tells you that on these days I go for my run to a place where X loops equal 5KM!03

The last plot is a combination to show the relation between mileage and days of run. It shows that long run on Sundays contributed to one third of my year’s mileage even if Sundays constitute only one fifth of all my runs days. Conclusion: Sundays were great 🙂 05

These may be too naive, but it was an effort to try to visualize a very basic data-set that I generated. May be next year I will be able to do a lot more with two years of data at hand. I used R-Studio to generate these plots and the Economist theme from the package ggthemes.

One thought on “My Running Year in Charts

  1. 😀 nice read. I logged my mileage dutifully in the first couple of years and then happily tossed it away once I started barefoot running. I guess, 3 runs a week would be my average. Saturday and Sunday are good run day for me too and summer is my season.

    Liked by 1 person

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