A graphic look at hill runs

I’ve mentioned before that I’m using the RunKeeper iPhone app to track my training runs. One of the things I really like about RunKeeper is that it gives you a graph of your pace and the elevation of the runs you do.  And you know I’m a sucker for graphs.

This is a graph from last week’s hill run1:

hill run The blue line represents pace, which is in mins per kilometer – that is, how many minutes it takes to run you one kilometre. It’s a little counter intuitive at first, because lower = faster (unlike speed, where higher = faster). Incidentally, I’m not sure why they have “speed” in the legend, since they don’t show speed on the graph2.

The green line represents elevation – it’s easier because higher on the graph = higher in real life.  You can tell the app isn’t perfect though, because on this run I ran up and down *the exact same hill* four times, so the elevation at the 1 km mark, which was the bottom of the hill, should be at the same elevation as the other troughs in the graph3.

Also, I’m a little surprised that pace doesn’t mirror elevation – I feel like I run so much faster on the downhill than on the uphill.  It’s starts to show up that way a little near the end, but I would have expected it to be more pronounced.

Also, I think the graph is missing a line.  If I were the one drawing the graph, it would look like this:


hill run 2

Where the red line = will to live.

I hate you hill runs. I hate you long time.

  1. I’d show you the graph of today’s hill run, but the end of it got b0rked, like this one []
  2. I think you can select “speed” instead of “pace” as your default measure in settings, but pace makes more sense to me when I am running, so I prefer it []
  3. i.e., just before 2km, ~ 2.5 km, and at the end of the run []