Wednesday 26 October 2022

 Age Graded 5km TT on Tuesday 25 October 2022

Well done to all those who took part in the Age Graded 5km TT yesterday evening.  Although it was pitch dark and a bit slippy underfoot with all the fallen leaves, it proved to be a great success and hopefully we will continue to offer this format in future group TTs (including longer distances and in daylight) and for individuals who would like to record their age graded % and ranking.

A thanks to Pete Hall who took the lonely job of standing at the turn point at Cardrona Bridge, and to Gillian who recorded the finishing times.

Congratulations to Dean Carr as the overall winner with a superb grading of 74.68%. This puts him top of the Club Age graded rankings for 5km and posts a % for the rest of us to chase!

Overall the results were excellent with over 60% gradings for all 7 runners, and in particular Tim who clearly illustrated the levelling effect that age grading has.

I believe that age grading has a place in our Club and look forward to more events such this.

Age Graded 5km TT Results
25/10/22   Eshiels/CardronaFlat Equivalent 5.13 km
Age graded positionNameAge graded percentageRecorded time
4thPete C65.56%00:24:24

Mike Goddard

Saturday 22 October 2022

Age Graded 5km Time Trial (TT) on Tuesday 25 October

After much (positive!) deliberation at the last meeting of the Moorfoot Seniors Get Together we decided that it would be a good idea to trial an age graded 5Km TT.  I have therefore put together some notes on Age Grading for the Club as well as guide lines for this upcoming TT.

Firstly the 5Km TT.  This will take place on Tuesday 25 October as part of our Seniors weekly Tuesday training sessions coordinated by Gillian Dean.  Pleasel meet in the usual place, Kingsmeadow Carpark, at 7pm and Gillian will jog with you down to the start of the TT which will be at the Eshiels sign on the Tweed Valley Trail.  I will be at there (on my bike). It will be a mass start and the 5km course will follow the Tweed Valley Trail to the turn point at the start of the Cardrona bridge (where there will be a marshal), and then return the same way back to the start point which will complete the 5km. Shown here:

It will be crucial to get an exact time.  There will be somebody at the finish to take your time (or shout it out) but you may also wish to record it yourself (eg Garmin watch).  Please also ensure your age (as of the day of the race) is given to the timekeeper.

Please note that it will be pretty much pitch dark for the run so bring a head torch (charged up, or with new batteries).  The course is all tarmac so road shoes or light trail shoes would be OK.

I will then use a calculator (see notes below) to record the age graded percentage and let you know the results.

If this is a success we are hoping to include age graded races/time trials on a regular basis, and during daylight hours where possible, so please come along and give it your support.

For background interest I have included below some notes on age grading for runners.

I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday

Mike Goddard

Age Grading for Moorfoot Club Runners


Most or us will be familiar with age grading for runners through the park run races but I would like to look at how we can use it within the Club environment.

From a personal viewpoint I have always been impressed with how some athletic organizations have used age grading in one form or another to provide motivation outwith the elite groups.  My personal experience has been within the triathlon community where age grouping (in 5 year blocks) has been extremely successful worldwide. I started some 12 years ago in my early 60s since I needed the motivation to compete against triathletes of my own age (albeit in 5 year blocks which favours those at the beginning of the age block!). I quickly found that I could be competitive and was soon selected to represent GB at the European and World Championships culminating in a silver medal at European level and 4th at world level. Despite the advancing years the motivation to continue competing has been immense and I have qualified for the GB team every year since 2011.  There are examples within the running community (and our own Alastair Walker from Hawick is a world champion and world record holder in his own age group).

It's a simple biological fact that as we get older we can’t run as fast as we could have when we were younger, and this aging process begins at a pretty young age! But this doesn’t mean we can’t improve and become better runners for our age, or even set new PB’s if we didn’t achieve our full potential in our younger years!

However, with the right motivation and training, improved running performances can be achieved long after the prospect of new PB’s has faded away. But how can you tell if your performance is improving when your times are getting slower? This is where Age-Grading comes in.

Age-Grading is a simple but very effective method of measuring your performance, making allowances for your age and sex. It gives you a percentage score for each run calculated by comparing the time for your run with times set by world record runners of the same age and sex. Benchmark times are collated, and performance adjustment profiles are produced for various distances and ages for each sex.

So why is Age-Grading beneficial? 

Motivation – Getting slower 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.

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. For example my PB for 10km when I was 39 years old was 34 min giving an age grading of 81%.  I now know that by running 46 min at my current age I would achieve the same age grade of 81%. I could similarly track my half marathon performance and my mile performance. I find this immensely motivating as I now know that my hard work at training can prove to me that I am as competitive for my age as I was then, rather than bemoaning the fact that I cannot run 34 minutes for the 10 km any more!

Predicting Race Times - You can use you current Age-Graded percentage as a basis for predicting finish times for races of different distances.

Interpreting Age-Grading Scores 

As Age-Grading scores are based on a comparison with world record times, don't be disappointed if your scores are a long way from 100%; you’ll probably get the most motivation by aiming to improve on your own scores and by comparing your scores with those of your friends. In general over 60% is club class running, over 70% is regional class, over 80% is national class, over 90% is world class (or your garmin is lying!)

How do I see age grading being used by Moorfoot?

The key of course is to be able to access an accurate and reliable age grading predictor.  I have done some research on this and found that the has a good, user friendly calculator.  I have joined this site (for the sum of £24 per annum) so can access this calculator at any time. We could also join as a Club but I am not sure of the cost or benefit but can easily find out I am sure.

My ideas for Moorfoot are as follows:

- we can select some local training/racing routes, and plot them on the goodrunguide (which automatically calculates the flat equivalent distance rather than the measured distance to take into account the hills).

- These routes can then be used for a Club competition, either as individuals (who would submit their time) or as a handicap race with the results being based on the age grading scores.

- There could be an annual award for the best age grades on the nominated routes, and the most improved based on the previous year.

- Individuals could keep a record of their own scores over a period of time and note the changes, or could set an age grade target and train for it.

- Individuals could use the calculator to predict their finish times for races of differing distances.

These are just a few ideas but all suggestions welcome. 

Mike Goddard


22 Oct 22

Tuesday 18 October 2022

Scottish Long Classic Series 2022 report by Diana Challands

Here's Diana's report of her excellent second place (1st FV) in the very challenging 'Long Classics' hill series! Fab stuff

The Scottish Long Classic Series – for anyone considering these for next year! 

I didn’t even know the Scottish Long Classic Series existed as a ‘thing’ until Colin pointed it out to me after I had completed my third in August and was surprised to see my name quite high up. I’ve done a few of them in the past but never more than a couple a year so this year as I’d trained quite hard for the Ochils 2000s I thought I might as well do a fourth to be in with a chance (4 is the minimum) and then ended up doing 5, running one of my favourites, the Pentland skyline, last week.

I just thought I’d write a bit about them to encourage anyone who is considering running one or some of them. And now in retrospect and its over for the year, I can tell you they’re all great!

So the races in question are:

Stuc a’Chroin                     April       22km     1500m climb

Jura                                      May       28km     2370m climb

Trotternish Ridge             June       28km     2000m climb

Ben Rinnes                         July        22km     1500m climb

Ochils 2000s                      Aug        32.7km  1650m climb

Two Breweries                  Sept       29km     1500m climb

Pentland Skyline               Oct         26km     1890m climb

I did Stuc, Jura, Ochils, Two Brews and Pentland skyline. I’m clearly quite masochistic and love the really steep technical ones and am less happy when I actually have to run - so I loved Jura – first time I’d ever done it – and was probably most pleased with that race in terms of how I did. I went with no preconceptions and generally prefer when running not to look at my watch at all but just go for it and hope for the best. Not to say I’m not competitive, I’m definitely driven by overtaking / being overtaken and love a sprint finish!

I think if you’re into hillwalking, scrambling, climbing then any of these races are doable but if you’re coming from a running background then probably best not start with Jura! 

Jura (Image taken by Douglas – Full course trails)

In terms of navigation the Pentland skyline is probably the most straight forward and somehow doesn’t feel as brutal as the Two Brews. Though the Two Brews has some longish trail and road sections so some people really make up time on those bits (not me!) plus Colin and Alan and many others are the perfect recce guides making it a good local one to start with if you’re unsure about navigating.