Age-Grading your Running Performance
An explanation of age-grading, how it works and why it is useful for runners.
What is Age-Grading
Age-Grading is a way of measuring your running performance taking into account your age and sex....you can effectively score every run you do.
Age-Grading is a way of measuring your running performance taking into account your age and gender. It enables you to produce a percentage score for each run based on how old you were when you did the run. It also takes into account your gender so you can use the percentage score to compare your performance with other runners, regardless of both age and gender.
The Good Run Guide Log Book also takes into account the hilliness of the run when calculating an Age-Graded percentage, so you can fairly compare your performance between runs, regardless of how hilly there are. This means you can effectively score every run you do.
How is my Age-Graded Percentage calculated?
The calculation uses data collated by the World Association of Veteran Athletics, to adjust your performance for age and gender. It takes World Record performances for each age and disatance, for men and women, and uses these as benchmarks. So, for example: if the World Record for a 40 year old man running 10 miles is 46:31 and another 40 year old man runs 10 miles in 58:30, he has an Age-Graded performance of 79.5% (46:31 divided by 58:30).
How much does running performance change with age?
Use the following graph tool to see how World Record holder performances change with age for a given distance. When calculating an Age-Graded percentage, an allowance is made for your age based on these profiles.
Why is Age-Grading useful?
...it is possible for two different runners to compare their performance for the same run on even terms...regardless of age and sex.
Motivation - As we get older it is reasonable to expect that we won't be able to run at the speeds we achieved when we were young. This can be demotivating for runners who are 'past their peak' even if they are running well for their age. So, rather than focusing solely on how fast you are running, it can be more motivating to focus on your Age-Graded performance.
Comparing with other Runners - By factoring out age and sex it is possible for two different runners to compare their performance for the same run on even terms, enabling people to compete with each other regardless of age and sex. You will often find that Running Clubs talk a lot about Age-Grading as it provides a way for Club Members to compare their race performances, irrespective of how old they are.
Long-Term Performance Tracking - Factoring out age enables you to see how good your performance is at any time given expected norms for your age. Using this you can track how your performance has changed over the long-term.
Predicting Race Times - You can use you current Age-Graded percentage as a method of predicting finish times for races.
How can I calculate my Age-Graded percentage ?
When you log runs in your Good Run Guide Log Book, you will be able to calculate an Age-Graded percentage for each run.
You can also use our Age-Grading Calculator.
How good is my Age-Graded percentage?
As your score is a comparison with World Record times don't be dissapointed if it is a long way from 100%. As a general guide, if your percentage comes out as 90% or above then either your watch has stopped or you can count yourself as World Class! Over 80% is typically National Class, over 70% is Regional Class and over 60% is local Class.
As another guide, the following graph shows the average race Age-Grades for Good Run Guide Members.