Monday, October 08, 2012

Visual Analytics and the Athlete: Part 1B

"What do the pictures mean?!"

Yes I understand I didn't do "the great reveal" in the last post. It was on purpose. My first step to analyzing visuals, as I mentioned previously, is to do so in a vacuum, try to do as much as you can to keep preconceived ideas from skewing the analysis. For the record I actually had Leanna look at the 2nd chart and tell me what she saw. She immediately noticed the two locations where the blue line crossed the tan line on an upswing. These two peaks are also visible in chart 3 which is the same data spread over months (the previous chart is a quarterly spread). So we have identified two points of interest, so what are they? Well I've already let you know that the category line, the 'X' axis, is time. Those two peaks are July 26, 2009 and June 26, 2011. The measures being illustrated are my run speed and a "run score", a calculated measure I produced to be able to "grade" very different types of runs. In both cases the score, which typically tracks just below the run speed, jumps distinctly above the speed line. The significance of those two dates is that they are both race dates, Ironman Lake Placid 2009, and Ironman Coeur D'Alene 2011. It's not entirely unexpected that this would happen as the run score is weighted towards longer runs (I am an endurance athlete after all!), but this also corresponds with how I felt about the runs. The races were not perfect, but I felt like I ran them really well.