How accurately can you judge your pace?

On Tuesday 18th December Mark Bollam set an interesting challenge to the 'Tuesday' group...

The concept was simple: we all as a group ran at a leisurely pace a set circular route. The time for that loop was noted. Then we all had to guess how much faster we could do it a second time. A clock was started and we each set-off at a timed delay that would mean we all finished when the clock reach­ed the same time as the first loop. The 'winner' would be the person that finished with the smallest error from their guess - and NO WATCHES were allowed, so it was all dead-reckoning.

The first loop took 25 minutes and 41 seconds, so that was the target. I guessed I could do it 5 minutes faster, so I duly set off 5 minutes after the clock started. Anna Bartlett also said she could do it 5 minutes faster (at which point I realised I may have been a bit optimistic!). The full results for the 10 people that took part are:


 =1 Leena Sankey  0 (i.e. same)  25 mins 16 secs  25 secs 
 =1 Gill Harris  25 mins 16 secs  25 secs 
 3 Dave Nichols  5 mins  25 mins 10 secs  31 secs 
 4 Geoff Cowell  2 mins 30 secs  24 mins 50 secs  51 secs 
 5 Mark Bollam  7 mins  24 mins 26 secs  1 min 15 secs 
 6 Anna Bartlett  5 mins  24 mins 20 secs  1 min 21 secs 
 7 Andy Davies(2)  4 mins  23 mins 56 secs  1 min 45 secs 
 8 Pete ?  5 mins 30 secs  23 mins 48 secs  1 min 53 secs 
 =9 Charlie ?  4 mins  23 mins 18 secs  2 mins 23 secs 
 =9 Mick ?  4 mins  23 mins 18 secs  2 mins 23 secs 

 So you can see we're all rubbish at estimating pace! Interestingly, the quicker the runner the worse their estimate.

The course was 2.45 miles with about 500 feet of climb, starting down Hazler Road, Church Stretton, looping round and over Helmeth Hill, past Gaerstone Farm and back down the top of Hazler Road.