Thursday, June 30, 2016

Analysis of Running Video

While this is a bit more qualitative than my other posts, I couldn't resist.

Running Video

In the thick of TransCon attempt, once the criticism had been raised and the heat was on, Rob Young released a Facebook video showing himself running at a pretty good clip.  LetsRun forum members were doing back of the envelope calculations of pace.  But with the Strava data now available, we can be very accurate on that.

Let's take a look at the video.  This does not look like a man cruising.  The runners reading this will recognize these as the looks of a man in discomfort,  a man near his aerobic capacity.

Here are some stills, documenting the things he does in just 3 minutes:

Checks watch
Wipes sweat

Wipes sweat
Wipes sweat

Checks watch
Puffs cheeks


Spits again
Grimacing, sweaty

Strava Context

Here is the corresponding Strava activity.

Referencing the landmarks, such as a Corvette dealership at the beginning of the video, the filmed portion corresponds to this segment:

Filmed segment: 3:18, 7:56 min/mi pace

Despite the countless time supposedly spent running sub-7 miles, Robert Young is visibly struggling to maintain an 8 minute pace.  Granted it's hot out, but this is someone who's nightly routine looked more like this sustained 6 or sub-6 pace.

Source: (mirror)

An 8 minute mile under just about any conditions should be a walk in the park for someone capable of a run like that.


Rob Young's Facebook is full of pictures and videos, almost none of which depict him running.  Despite ostensibly running hundreds of miles at blistering sub-7 paces, almost all the videos depict walking or jogging.  Taking one of the only videos offered of Rob's real running and cross-referencing with Strava reveals a 3 minute effort at 8 minute pace.  The overall activity shows spurts of running with walk breaks.  This is an extremely far cry from the sustained paces he was putting up earlier.  There is no way the sunburnt, sweaty guy struggling in that video is the same pasty-white one who was running effortless 1:15 half-marathons earlier in his trip.

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