Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Fitness factor

Since the time I started running in 2002, I am amazed by the times of a Elite athletes in various distances. For the first time during Athens marathon (Olympics 2004), that I really enjoyed watching marathon the entire 2hr 20 mins of the race.

I just cannot comprehend the fitness level of elite athletes, cant imagine what it takes to run aa 4:40 minute miler and still have energy to burst out of the pack and win. Its very unfortunate that the Brazilian runner Vanderlei de Lima, who seemed sure to win the race got pushed out of his run by a lunatic, but still he managed to secure 3rd place.

1. Stefano Baldini (Ita) 2h10:55s
2. Mebrahtom Keflezighi (USA) 2h11:29s Season Best
3. Vanderlei de Lima (Bra) 2h12:11s


Being a sportman at heart since my childhood, I enjoyed all the sports but never really managed to excel in any sport, due to constant transfers I didnt specialize in any of the sport. I did get chance to dabble in various sports right from Gili danda, kabbadi in Raichur , Karnataka ; Maram petti in Delhi ; Cricket, Soccer and Table tennis in Calcutta and Volley ball in IT-BHU, Varanasi.

Finally in Bay Area, California I managed to spend consistent amount of time in one sport, Running, it seems simplest of all sports putting one foot in front of other and ensuring constant forward motion, but as you spend more time honing your skills in running, you will understand the various aspects of performance tuning. And when it comes to ultra running it adds further more dimensions like refueling, hydration, listening to different signals of vital organs etc etc.

Running is one of the very few sports where you get to compete with the elite runners, well not compete, but we atleast are on the same field :), the winner has to work hard to beat me!!.

It was after Athens marathon I thought of the idea of associating my performance at various distances to world record in the same distance. This way I can monitor my progress in different races going forward.

I define fitness factor as = (my time in a given distances) /(world record pace)

Ofcourse this is not accurate representation because race times depends on the course, conditions, but for now it is good a enough approximation. and as I get older additional age parameters can be accounted for.

Current fitness chart for various distances are as follows:


World Record

Personal Record

Fitness Factor

1 mile














Not done




















Not done



Based on the mile time trial, my goal is to reach 55% fitness factor for all race distance. So my next goal for a 50 mile is a sub 9 hr 25 min pace.


Rashmi said...

wow, looks like you have it all chalked out.Neat. so there is some logic behind what you are doing after all ;)

Rajeev said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rajeev said...

You will get there. Sooner than you think!! Nice post.


Rajeev Char said...

The law of diminishing returns has already slowed the reduction of the world record times...whereas your times will improve in leaps and bounds. My suggestion is to select one specific distance and whittle away at the fitness factor differential. Since this involves speed work please select shorter distance race, like say a marathon! :-)...(Rashmi, you can thank me later :-))

Very interesting post indeed.

Preetham said...

Thats a neat idea. Good way to set goals indeed. Go knock yourself! May be a 101% FF is waiting for you somewhere .. :)

Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...

Hi Anil,

Thanks for the nice report. I have the same idea, too.

It does not matter if I can run sub-3hr marathon. As long as I can improve the ratio, i.e. fitness factor, I'm very satisfied.

Wish you reach 9 hr 25 min in AR50.


Goutham Kondapalli said...

Nice post, Anil. It is a good info for me as I did not know all the world records in these distances. I am pretty sure with your rigorous training regimen you will beat your goal sooner than your think, goodluck!

anil said...

Thanks Char, lets if I can narrow down one specific distance.. but for now i am njoying every distance :)

anil said...

Hey chihping, dont think 9:25 is in the horizon at AR, but by end of year at Helen klien should be possible! lets see !

anil said...

Thanks goutham.

anil said...


well 101% FF would be something to dream in my dream, there is funny dream i used to get before every long distance race in my school sports..will share it some other time :)

anil said...

even there isnt any logic, need to associate some logic to this crazy running!! how else should i explain a urge to run entire day :).


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