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Tableau Boosts Marathon Runner Performance

OK so the title of this blog post sounds a little like something out of the Sunday tabloids but it is something we want to shout throughout the streets. You see us data folks aren’t usually known for our athleticism, or at least that’s what people tend to think. Tom’s a regular on the squash & tennis courts, Emanuele & Andrew can be found on the 5-a-side pitch each week and we have not one but TWO marathon runners in Chris Love and Tim Ngwena with Emma Whyte poised to explore 26 miles of Manchester next year.

Yorkshire Marathon 2014

This past weekend Tim took on the Yorkshire Marathon and we’re so proud of him cutting his 2013 time by a massive 1 hour 31 mins! Naturally we all wanted to know his secret and somewhere after training each week, eating well, getting into a good mental place…you know the easy stuff…came a Tableau viz:

[tableau server=”public.tableausoftware.com” workbook=”Yokrshiremarathon” view=”YorkshireMarathon” tabs=”no” toolbar=”no” revert=”” refresh=”” width=”600px” height=”1000px”][/tableau]

This is the Runkeeper GPS data of Tim’s 2013 run only instead of looking at performance it analyses the elevation changes across the route. Something immediately stood out to Tim, “yeah miles 1 & 26 suck, but you’re on such a high starting and finishing then who cares!” The miles he had to concentrate on conserving energy for were  6, 16 and 19. These were the killers that just make finishing so much more difficult.

Data Viz = Improved Performance on the Ground

So how did he do? Take a look at this video and the accompanying dashboard to see:

Tim Ngwena Yorkshire Marathon

[tableau server=”public.tableausoftware.com” workbook=”Yokrshiremarathon” view=”2014Analysis” tabs=”no” toolbar=”no” revert=”” refresh=”” width=”600px” height=”1000px”][/tableau]

A much more consistent performance throughout the race! Saving energy to power through the climbs keeps the rate stable and not sprinting to early towards the end allowed to Tim take full advantage of that end of race high.

So…want to take on a marathon yourself? Strap on your running shoes, get some training gear on and sit in front of Tableau to make your own plan of attack.

Congrats again Tim!

Craig Bloodworth

York, UK

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