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New coaches join clube
Great article in the Northern District Times on EDAC's new coaches, Allan Sadul and Andrew Pirie. - Want to join the club or hav…
Oceania Masters Results
Congratulations to Ellena Cubban - great performances and many medals to bring home http://www.athleticsotago.co.nz/Events/Event…
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NSW Club Championships
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New coach !
EDAC has engaged a new athletics coach, who will commence in December 2017. More details to follow soon.
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Latest Blog

— Jan 26, 2018

Upcoming Competitions

We are coming to the pointy end of the season!

Have you done your daily km?

Are you walking a km a day? If so, thats more than most.


303164255_cb7178993f.jpgAs a semi-serious marathon runner, I'm used to running 120+km a week, every week. But last year, injury struck and I was suddenly down to zero running (or indeed cycling or swimming). I managed to keep up a little bit of fitness through walking and the gym. But mentally it was tough going from running 20km a day right across the city walking just 3km to get me to work and back.

Then one Sunday morning, just before I headed out for another long boring session in the gym, help came from the back of a cereal box.  One of the 'health facts' Kellogg’s boasted in an effort to get me to eat and buy more of its cereal was that the average person uses their feet to travel 11,000 miles (or 18,000km if you insist on sensible units) in a life time. Not bad you might think. That would just about get me back home to the UK if I set off as soon as I could walk and kept going until I couldn’t anymore.

But it got me thinking: how far is that actually each day? Well, lets say that the average person has 40 good and 20 not-so-good walking/running years in their life times. We'll call it 50 full walking years in all, or a little over 18000 walking days - the same amount of days as kms. That means that the average person walks or runs only 1km/day*!

Suddenly this ‘uplifting’ health fact doesn't sound as impressive. When I got to training at Epping that morning after a 5km walk (or 5 days if I was walking at the correct pace), I saw the sprint group - whose session was 10 200m - sprint away 2 days worth of foot-travel in  a matter of minutes! Something they made worse by doing 2 whole laps as a warm down. James had just run over from home - 7km which MUST have taken him an entire week. And When I got back home, I read how an Australian had won the worlds longest race of 5,000km. He wont be allowed to move again now for 13 years!

And this got me thinking even more. If active people like us are doing so much more than the 1 km average, surely this drags down everyone else’s mileage? After all, I had already run 3600km that year before injury. That’s enough to stop 10 people from doing any walking at all...

Anyone who’s a fan of statistics (and I realize that’s not many) will know there are different definitions of average. Is 1km a day the average that people walk, the distance the average person walks, or the distance the normal person walks? Remember that this is from a health food cereal packet boasting about how 'much' exercise people really do - its going to want to use the biggest average it can. If so, then a little bit of maths** shows that the average person (the person in the middle, where half of everyone walks/runner further than them, and half shorter) uses their feet for a total of 407m a day***. And it gets worse. The normal person (the person you are most likely to meet) will do ...... 0km****! Nothing, absolutely no travelling by foot at all!?

And suddenly I was happy again. My 3km to work and back every day didn't seem to bad after all.

 


* A number that roughly matches some research conducted in the UK recently, and includes all walking/running outside to get places (i.e, walk to the shops, recreation etc.) but excludes walking around the house/office.

** Using a chi-squared probability distribution

*** Median = mean * (1- [2/9k])^3

**** Mode = max(mean-2,0)

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