Friday, September 18, 2009

Lies, Damn Lies, and Elevation Profiles

So after coming within 1 second of being "fast" in a 5K last weekend, I was eager to try again. I saw that this weekend was the "The Buddy Run 5k" in Wake Forest. I checked the elevation profile with "MapMyRun" and it showed this:



The picture above shows inclines of 1% grade. 1% isn't even noticeable, it's basically flat. I emailed this to Shannon and she signed us up immediately. We were hoping this nice flat course would get us PRs and I could break 19:00.
However when we ran it this morning we found the course was more like this:

Oh sure, 70 feet of elevation change isn't much, but when you go up and down it 18 times it adds up. I am not saying this race was hard, because I'm sure that at this very moment there is an ultra marathon going on where participants run 100 miles up the side a sheer cliff pulling a school bus. So, no, this 5K was not hard.
What I am saying is that elevation profiles are generally full of crap. All the "little" hills they smooth over are more relevant than the broad picture.

Anyway... I'll do a The Buddy Run 5k race report shortly.



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