We have had a great
response to our marathon survey. Following is an in-depth look at the
results and some of the key reasons people gave for running a
successful, or not-so-successful, race.
Over 2,500 marathoners have completed our survey so far. Here
are the results of our analysis of the survey responses.
This bar chart shows the
percentage of marathon finishers compared to minutes over/under their target
To Meet Your
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Are women more realistic
than men in predicting their finish time?
Yes, slightly; 31% of
women met or exceeded their marathon finish time compared to 25% of men
Which survey group was clearly
better at meeting their time goal?
This turned out to be quite
close between two different groups.
of the group who predicted times
under 3 hours
finished within plus or minus 5 minutes of their target, compared to the
average for all runners of
of the runners in the
40-44 age group also
finished within plus or minus 5 minutes of their goal.
The younger age groups from
18 - 39
were the least accurate in predicting their finish times.
Top five reasons for
not meeting your marathon goal
As our survey indicates, most
marathon runners do not achieve their time goal. The marathon is a very
tough event and this is not altogether surprising. However, we all train
hard for the race and most of us expect to do reasonably well. Here are the
top five reasons stated for not meeting the target time.
Conditions: fully 32%
of the people who didn't meet their goal gave this as the main reason.
Specific reasons included the heat (this affected a lot of runners),
hilly course, and headwinds.
18% said that they should have done more training. The most common
reasons given were insufficient weekly mileage and long runs.
Too Fast: 11% went
out too quickly and ran out of energy during the second half.
Wall: Although almost
10% gave this as a reason. it is usually a result of one or more of the
above such as insufficient training or starting to quickly for the
sickness: 6% stated
they had a problem with previous injury or sickness prior to the race.
Top reasons for meeting your marathon goal
People who met their marathon
time goal attributed the following different reasons to their success:
accounted for 37% of the people who finished under their target time.
Responses included things like, sticking to the training plan, training
harder and getting help from a coach.
Strategy: 23% gave
this reason, referring to things like setting a realistic goal, and not
starting out to fast.
experience: 12% cited
previous marathon experience as the main reason they were able to meet