Have you noticed that World Records are set mostly by young, healthy professionals? Now, with our age-grade calculator, you can compare your running pace (or jumping distance, or even throwing scores!) with them! In the article below, we'll explain what age-grade is, how it may influence your performance running, and how this age-graded running calculator can help you assess your results.

What is age-grade?

Age grading is a method for recalculating your running times and throwing distances while considering your sex and age. The peak of your physical possibilities is in your twenties. After that, no matter how meticulous your training plan, your performance will start to decrease. But this doesn't mean that you're getting worse - a marathon is still within reach. It just becomes harder.

This is human physiology! Our ability to function begins to deteriorates after 20, muscle become weaker (to maintain them, control your protein intake). That's exactly when our age-grade calculator becomes handy. It enables you to get the score you would have had at your peak age and compare it against the World Record, as well as the standard performance of people your age. Also, don't forget that women and men differ; therefore this tool takes into account your sex.

Why is running good for my health?

To begin with, a daily dose of intensive exercise is good for your health, with doctors recommending a minimum of 75 minutes per week. This will decrease your cardiovascular risk and will help you stay in good shape. And it is so easily accessible!

A runner on a beach

Kyle Cassidy, (CC BY-SA 3.0, wikimedia.org)

Sports shoes are essential for any physical exercise (the best for your spine would be running shoes), as well as a track to run on. Always begin with a warm-up and end with a good stretch. Also, remember to check if the air is clean enough to go out and do sports in - it's better not to breathe in dust and pollution.

How exactly does the running pace chart by age differ?

You will give your peak physical performance in your twenties. Before then, the body is still developing, and you haven't trained for that many years. In some disciplines, you can't even compete in your youth.
When a person turns thirty some inevitable physiological changes begin. Their maximal aerobic capacity decreases, and their muscle become weaker. That's when your performance running deteriorates. It doesn't mean that you cannot improve race time. Yes, you can - only it becomes more difficult every year.

How to use this age grade calculator?

The use of this calculator is intuitive, take a look:

  1. Choose your age and sex.
  2. Decide whether you want to compare yourself with the World Record for your sex or rather a different sex and/or age. If you choose World Record, you don't have to set anything. In the second option, set the age and sex of a person with which you want to compare.
  3. Select the event in which you compete. Choose from:
    • sprints
    • hurdles
    • distance
    • walks
    • throws
    • jumps
  4. Select the distance (or type of a throw and jump) in which you take part.
  5. Fill in your result. It can be either time (in seconds, minutes, etc.), height (if you chose jumps), or even distance (if you decided on throws).
  6. And - that's all! You've just received a bunch of numbers, which we'll explain in the paragraphs below. 👇

How to interpret the results?

So, you've just got five results from the age-grade calculator, and wondering what to do next? Take a moment to look at this.
If you decided to compare with the World Record, the first result is your age-graded result, which is equivalent to the performance you'd give in the open division (in general, up to age 30). The second number is the factor, the value by which you should multiply your result to get your age-graded score.

In case of comparison with a different age and/or sex, the first result is your age-graded result, which is equivalent to the performance you'd give in the chosen division.

In the next line, you can see Open std, which is the open standard for your sex, which your results are compared with. It is the best performance in that category for your sex. Just below is the Age std, basically the same as Open std, but also for an athlete of your age.

The last result appears only if you decided on comparing your time with the World Record. It is your Age performance - it tells you at what percentage of the World Record you perform. It is calculated with the following formula: age performance = open std / age-graded result How to read it? If your age performance is 90% or more, then you are World Class! If you are between 80 and 90 %, you are National Class, then between 70 - 80% - Regional Class. Between 60 - 70% puts you among your Local Class results. Even if you're somewhere below, don't quit! It's good to move - for your health, and remember - practice makes perfect.

The age graded running calculator in practice

Let's take Tommy - he's currently 48 and has been running ever since he remembers. However, in the last couple of years, he noticed that even though his training regime hasn't changed, his result has started to slowly worsen. What might be the reason? Well, in his case, it was the simple and unpleasant fact that he is getting older. Tommy decided to assess his skill as a runner and used this age grade calculator.

He put in his age, sex, distance (he's a distance runner, with his best times in the 1500 m), and his mean time (which is currently 4 minutes 3 seconds).
His age-graded result is 3 minutes 35 seconds, which is what he used to run ten years ago. Congratulations! Tommy's still in form. What's more, his age performance is 95.29%; thus he's World Class.

It is all fast and easy with the age-grade calculator. To know if the training is effective, control your heart rate while running.

What can I do to improve my performance running?

First of all, think of a proper diet. That means, drink enough water, and eat healthy, non-processed food. Unless you're a professional, you don't need additional protein intake. However, if you have some doubts, or need a reliable diet plan, consult a dietician.

Ladies - always wear well-fitted bra. We all know how much pain can be saved with such a simple thing!
We also have some bad news - to reach your maximum performance, you shouldn't drink alcohol. Alcoholic beverages may slow down or even impede the muscle rebuilding and recovery process. Of course, you might drink a glass of wine with dinner - unless you're preparing for a competition!

Dominika Śmiałek, MD, PhD candidate
Female ♀️
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