The Juvenator – 800m

In my last post I introduced the Juvenator and explained the narrow range of performances that define the very best of the World’s track athletes. Previously I outlined the methodology of creating this range (i.e. creating a perfect bell curve from World Athletics lists).

Let’s quickly review the Juvenator.

The Juvenator is NOT intended to estimate what your youthful performance (or potential performance) was or could have been. It is extremely unlikely that you would have ever been able to perform at the levels of the athletes included in the Juvenator bell curve.  For example in the 400m, the slowest point on the bell curve is 46.25. For women, the slowest performance is 53.50.

No, the concept is to say, for example, if you are a W60 400m runner, then you are one of the World’s elites in the 400m. Granted W60 400m sprinting is not as competitive as Open Women’s 400. That is a given.  But that is beside the point! You should think of yourself as an elite. Be proud of yourself and what you do. Think of all the training you put in. Certainly compared to all those “couch potatoes” you see in your daily life.

So when thinking of yourself as an elite, here is how your performance in your age group equates to the ultimate World Elite grouping. Relatively speaking, that’s how good you are!

Now for the 800m.

As with the 400m, the goal was to create a perfect bell curve with the 800m performances from World Athletics. The All Time list for Men goes as deep as 1:46.00, and for the Women to 2:02.00. To create a perfect curve we needed to add further performances. Best individual year performances from 2016-2019 from World Athletics were added up to 1:48.00 for Men and 2:08.00 for Women.

All the Masters Men’s WRs equivalize to 1:43.xx (except Johnny Gray’s astonishing M35 1:43.36 which registers a 1:42.82 equivalent). For the Women, Masters WRs are generally equal to 1:56-1:57 except for Yekatarina Podkopayeva’s W40 and W45 records which come in at 1:54 high and 1:55 low.

Because of its extremely competitive nature and narrowing of Elite performances into a bell curve, it takes a lot to move the needle at the Open/World Elite level.  Even a second or more improvement, depending on the age group, may not make a significant change in your Open/World Elite comparison.

With that background, I invite you to give it a try for your 800m performance. Click the link below and enter your Age Group. Select 800m from the drop down menu. Enter your time, then click the green “OK … Done … Go” button. You will receive your duncanSCORE and percentile. Now click the orange “Run JUVENATOR” button to the right. Remember, it’s not designed to estimate what you “did or could have” run. Rather it shows what an Elite would need to run to equal your time. One elite cohort compared to another. I looked at my 800s for the past few years. I can be happy with that!

Your Open/World Elite equivalent time.

Run Juvenator

And if you would like to view your duncanSCORE for a different track event, just go here.

Track DE

 

If you become a duncanSCORE friend on Facebook you will be notified immediately about the next post. Just go here

Should you be new to the duncanSCORE and confused on what’s it’s all about … the standardized alternative to age grading …, you can get more information here.

How Do You Score Against Open 400m? The Juvenator

This was a very interesting exercise.

I described in the prior post, how duncanSCORE will be providing comparisons of your performances within your age group, to Open/World Elite results as part of duncanSCORE 2.0.

However, our methodology will be different than what is used in the Age Grading “system”.

As we process each event, we will be trying to construct a perfect bell curve for Open/World Elite performances. After all, that’s how duncanSCORE works. This will then allow a “relative” comparison between your performance and the “equivalent Open/World Elite” level of performance.

How? By scoring your performance to the average of your age group and then matching it to the same World Elite score to World Elite average.

Let’s see how it works beginning with the 400m.

World Athletics (formerly IAAF) lists All Time performances. In Men’s 400 (electronic timing only), the All Time list goes from Wayde Van Niekerk’s 43.03 to all those who have run as fast as 45.50. All told 728 performances. The Women’s All Time list goes from Marita Koch’s WR of 47.60 to everyone who has run at least 52.00 (771 performances). However, these do not quite yield a “normal distribution” (i.e. perfect bell curve) so these lists needed to be supplemented.

For Men, World Athletics keeps track of all performances up to 50.00 seconds, and for women up to 59.00 seconds. We have taken all the best individual yearly performances from 2016-2019 and added them to the All Time lists. From these many, many thousands of performances (24,700 for Men and 22,500 for Women!), we have whittled down the numbers until we created 2 perfect bell curves (1 Men’s, 1 Women’s). For Men to make the bell curve “cut”, the time has to be 46.25 or better. For the Women, 53.50 or better. This then becomes the duncanSCORE definition of 400m Open/World Elite – Men sub 46.26, Women sub 53.51.

A few points to note:

  1. These Open/World Elite equivalent times will be different (and in some cases substantially different), from the performances projected from the Age Grading system. I’m quite comfortable with that. I’ve done a comparison of “OPEN” estimates of all the WRs, duncanSCORE vs Age Grading methodologies. Here is probably not the place to go through that comparison. Perhaps in another full blog post. I like the duncanSCORE logic.
  2. I was a bit surprised (and frankly initially disappointed) when I ran various Masters top times and WRs through the Juvenator. For example, not one Men’s WR “equivalized” to sub 44 seconds! All the Masters Men’s WR translate to 44.xx seconds. I’ve thought a lot about that. But then, we must remember, only 14 Men in history have run sub 44. Further, all of the projected Open/World Elite WR times up to M90 would have finished in the top 6 at the Rio Olympics. Even though we know Masters competitions are highly competitive, I think we all understand they in no way compare to the competitive levels experienced at the Olympic and WC level. So projecting Masters’ WR times to today’s World Elites’ times of 44 seconds does, in fact, make a lot of sense.
  3. Somewhat similarly, the Women’s 400m World records all project to Open/World Elite performances of 49 high to 50 low seconds. The WR is 47.60. But again referencing back to the Rio Olympics, the gold medal time was 49.44. All of the projected duncanSCORE WR times up to and including W85 would place in the top 5 at Rio. So these WR projections have real world credibility, I believe.
  4. Because of its extremely competitive nature and the narrowing of Elite performances into a bell curve, it takes a lot to move the needle at the Open/World Elite level. So a 1/2 second, maybe even a second or more improvement, depending on the age group, may not make a significant change in your Open/World Elite comparison.

With that background, I invite you to give it a try for your 400m performance. Click the link below and enter your Age Group. Select 400m from the drop down menu. Enter your time, then click the green OK … Done … Go button. You will receive your duncanSCORE score and percentile. Now click the orange Run JUVENATOR button to the right. Voila! Your Open/World Elite equivalent time.

Run Juvenator

As always, I’ll be interested in your reaction.

And if you would like to view your duncanSCORE for a different track event, just go here.

Track DE

Become a duncanSCORE friend on Facebook and be notified immediately about the next post here

 

 

Comparing to Open Results

– Photo from Wikipedia –

How fast are you? Well, you know your absolute performance, from your race time. The clock doesn’t lie.

But as Masters, while we need to know the absolute time of our performance, given Father Time’s unflagging ability to make us slower,  we tend to also prioritize our relative performance.

In other words, it’s how we ask the question … and how we frame the answer.

In the duncanSCORE how fast you are is expressed as a percentile of your age cohort. The percentage of your age-group that you equal or outperform.

In age-grading it is a percentage of the theoretical best possible performance for your age group and gender.

The Age-Grading process  (I’m using the “Howard Grubb” web site calculator here http://howardgrubb.co.uk/athletics/wmalookup15.html  using 2015 factors) also will give you another relative look at your performance, an “Open” result (see point 2 below). Didn’t we all enjoy seeing what Ed Whitlock’s road race times “converted” to the times for Open runners?

So, could you compare your performance to an “Open” time?

The Age Grading process works like this:

  1. Your time is divided by the “Age Standard” to arrive at your age-graded percentage. The age-standard is an estimate of what the ultimate possible performance is. The “ultimate possible” is usually better than the WR at the time the tables were created.
  2. An “Open” result is created by dividing the “Open Standard” (the Open WR at the time the tables were created) by the age-graded percentage.

duncanSCORE “Open” Calculations will be different

The duncanSCORE is also going to provide equivalent “Elite/Open” times in the upcoming weeks.

But the process will be different. (It’s taking a lot longer than I expected to pull this together, but then everything on this project has been taking more time than I expected.)

Our “Open” calculations will be based upon the World Athletics (formerly IAAF) All-Time lists, supplemented by WA performance lists from 2016-2019.

What does this mean? How will it work?

These World Athletics lists will be pared down to construct a perfect (or near-perfect) bell curve.  After all, that’s the way duncanSCORE works … putting Athletics performances on a bell curve. This WA bell curve will be matched with the bell curve from your age-group/event. Your bell curve result (ie the number of standard deviations away from the average) will be matched with the same bell curve result for the Elite/Open results.

The point is not to say this is what you should have run back in the day.Rather, it is to say

the duncanScore tells you how you rate against everyone in the world in your age-group over time. Here is what that equivalent rating is to the actual best in the world all-time.

We are calling this facility the Juvenator, and next post I will show you how this works, beginning with the 400m.

In the meantime, don’t forget to see how your track performances measure up against your age peers. Try it out here …

Track DE

Become a duncanSCORE friend on Facebook and be notified immediately about the next post here