PREDICTING MARATHON TIMES USING DATA OR FORMULAE IS NO BETTER THAN INTUITIVE ESTIMATES
Roberts, J. W. (2008). The accuracy of marathoners’ prediction of finish times without formulas or laboratory data. ACSM 55th Annual Meeting Indianapolis, Presentation Number 1287.
This investigation determined if marathoners can accurately predict finish time without the use of formulas or laboratory data. Recreational marathoners (N = 633) completed a 13-item online questionnaire within seven days of the start of the Detroit Free Press Marathon.
Some Ss (N = 244) used some type of formula to predict his/her marathon finish time whereas 389 Ss did not. Both groups' mean prediction errors were similar. By a 2:1 ratio, Ss finished slower than the predicted time regardless of formula use or not and regardless of the number of previous marathons completed.
Implication. There were no significant differences in the accuracy of predicting finish times when using formulas or laboratory data as compared to using neither. [This study exemplifies just how little is known about training that is relevant for predicting competitive performances.]
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