2017 Marathon Gait Metrics by Pace Group

Another marathon season has wrapped!  Today we celebrate everyone’s great accomplishments in the best way we know how – by looking at data!

We pulled a sampling of 380 global Pod sessions between 24.85 miles and 27.34 miles (40 kilometers and 44 kilometers). From there, runners were bucketed into 17 pace groups, from 5:30 min/mile through 13:30 min/mile. We were interested to see how their gait metrics changed by pace.

Featured metrics are: Runficiency Score™, leg swing, rate of impact, foot strike and cadence.  As a reminder, Runficiency Score™ incorporates cadence, ground contact time, leg swing and stride length into a proprietary measure. You can see a full list of Pod metric description here.

The interactive chart below has all at the juicy details! But first, a word about scalars. Sometimes multi-part measures need to be turned into a single, meaningful number. Since our leg swing averages (% low, % mid, % high), rate of impact averages (% low, % mid, % high), and foot strike averages (% heel, % mid foot, % toe) are all three part, they need to be converted into a single numeric measure in order to plot on a simple graph. The scalar is determined by assigning a value to each level, 0 for low, 50 for mid and 100 for high.  On the following graphs the scalars are represented as follows:

  • Leg swing: 0 = 100% low leg swing and 100 = 100% high leg swing.  
  • Rate of impact: 0 = 100% low rate of impact and 100 = 100% high rate of impact.
  • Foot strike: 0 = 100% heel strike and 100 = 100% toe strike.

For example, a “50” leg swing score could be 100% mid or maybe 50% low + 50% high.


Take a look!

NOTES: Be sure to click through all five tabs. Hover over any cadence bar for detailed data (including stride length and ground contact time). The units of measure: imperial. Click on the full screen icon (bottom right) to enlarge.




As you can see, cadence, leg swing and Runficiency Score™ trend along the pace line, while rate of impact and foot strike are more personal and not as much pace-based.

And, the shoes!

Wondering what shoes these marathon runners wore? Because we love running shoes as much as running data, we looked! Here are the most popular shoe models worn for a marathon distance this fall, listed as most popular first:

  • Mizuno Wave Inspire 13
  • Brooks Ghost 9
  • Hoka Bondi
  • Altra Escalante
  • Asics Andrenaline GTS 17
  • Hoka Clifton 3
  • Saucony Freedom IOS
  • Asics Glycerin 15
  • Saucony Kinvara 8
  • Hoka Clifton 4
  • Asics GEL-Kayano 23

Great job getting out there for your PodPowered 26.2 / 42.2. Spring marathon season is right around the corner!

Special thanks for Milestone Sports staff member Chris Feitz for sharing his data and charting skills!

Author: Nancy Rowe

Nancy is the VP of Marketing and Communications at Milestone Sports. She can be reached at