It Helps to Know How to Fly

timclarkAt the Races

Not a shocker but the more you fly, the faster you’ll finish a marathon.  Flight ratio is an indicator of efficiency, so we were particularly interested to look at our data from the 2015 NYC Marathon to analyze breakdown of flight ratio over finish times. We discovered flight ratio is much more strongly correlated to finish times than the infamous 180 stride rate rule. Participants that finished in 3 hours spent about 20% of the time in the air.  And yes, you can have a negative or 0% flight ratio. That would involve a lot of walking.

As a point of comparison, we took a look at elite data from the 2011 Boston Marathon, using an analysis by Peter Larson at Run Blogger to calculate flight ratio. Elites are mapped in pink on the chart below (RunScribe study participants are in green). As expected, the results were magical. Elites spent 38%-57% of their time flying.

Photo Credit: Chang Jung Lee