London Marathon | Strava Insights Available


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London Marathon | Strava Insights

Recent data from Strava sheds light on the improving performance landscape of marathon running as we look forward to the London Marathon. Comparing statistics from 2022 to 2023, runners are completing London at quicker paces than ever. In 2023, the median finish time on Strava for the London Marathon decreased to 4 hours, 6 minutes, and 39 seconds, down from 4 hours, 18 minutes, and 34 seconds in the previous year.

Achieving a 3:30 Finish

The training completed for the 16 weeks before race day by runners beating the 3-hour, 30-minute mark covered a range of 313 to 517 miles. On average, these runners completed 499 miles in their training, equivalent to the distance from London to Aberdeen.

Generation Differences

Surprisingly, the average training pace for achieving a 3:30 finish showed little variation across different age groups. Generation X runners maintained a pace of 8 minutes and 38 seconds per mile, only slightly slower than their younger Gen Z counterparts at 8 minutes and 28 seconds per mile. However, Gen X runners logged 47% more training miles than Gen Z participants.

Bonking in Marathons

The Strava data highlights suggests it is evidence for a common phenomenon known as ‘bonking’ among marathon runners. Nearly half (46%) of participants experienced a 10% slowdown after the first 20 miles, while 16% faced a more significant 20% decline. This slowdown resulted in finish times averaging beyond the targeted sub-4-hour mark, with some finishing as late as 4 hours, 24 minutes, and 4 hours, 48 minutes.

Comparison Across Major Marathons

The London Marathon is one of the more challenging races based on median finish times, ranking second-to-last among major marathons. Comparisons with other races via Strava uploads show the following median finish times and paces:

  1. Boston Marathon: 3 hours, 24 minutes, and 55 seconds (4 minutes, 51 seconds per kilometer)
  2. Berlin Marathon: 3 hours, 54 minutes, and 24 seconds (5 minutes, 33 seconds per kilometer)
  3. Chicago Marathon: 3 hours, 55 minutes, and 55 seconds (5 minutes, 35 seconds per kilometer)
  4. Tokyo Marathon: 3 hours, 57 minutes, and 45 seconds (5 minutes, 38 seconds per kilometer)
  5. London Marathon: 4 hours, 7 minutes, and 39 seconds (5 minutes, 52 seconds per kilometer)
  6. NYC Marathon: 4 hours, 19 minutes, and 4 seconds (6 minutes, 8 seconds per kilometer)

Take Out

whilst the stats do not necessarily take into account the quality of entrants compared to the local running population, what advice can be given to first-time marathoners is Practice and Execute Correct Fuelling



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