2019 was a big year for running. Eliud Kipchoge broke the 2-hour marathon time (1:59:40), albeit at on a debated format, Brigid Kosgei set a new women's marathon record at the Chicago Marathon (2:14:04) and Jim Walmsley set a 50-mile world record in the Hoka One One 100K Challenge (4:50:08).
But there's a lot more going on in the world of running than record-breaking times from elite athletes, and although the information doesn't tend to make the news, the daily mileage of us mortal runners does offer some interesting insights.
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Luckily, as many of us track our weekly mileage using the Strava app that information is stored, unearthing a wealth of titbits on how we run, where we do it and what we wear whilst we're clocking up the miles.
In December Strava released a detailed report covering the highlights from 2019's vast wealth of tracked fitness data. We've rummaged through the info to bring you some of the most interesting nuggets about us runners.
The number of people completing marathons and ultramarathons in 2019 is getting higher
Well, that is apart from France. But numbers for the UK (+3.9% YoY), the US (+8.8% YoY) and a frankly ridiculous level of growth for Japan (+23.2% YoY) suggests that people still can't get enough of endurance running.
Marathons are less of an ultra stepping stone
According to the report, a massive 51% of ultra-runners on Strava have never uploaded a completed marathon distance, which suggests that more and more people are leaping into ultra-running at the deep-end.
London Marathon runners love the Nike Pegasus
That's right. 6% of Strava users running the London Marathon did it wearing a pair, closely followed by 5.8% running in the Brooks Ghost and 5.4% wearing the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%. Although to be completely honest the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 was one of our favorite shoes in 2019, so we're not that surprised.
Athletes that set a goal are more likely stick to their training
Okay, that may sound logical but the data on those Strava Summit athletes that set a goal in January in comparison to those that didn't shows by just how much. Might be worth having a think about what you're hoping to achieve in 2020.
The Carbon X was pretty popular
We knew HOKA ONE ONE's Carbon X shoe was making headlines but according to Strava data, it was the fastest growing shoe for 2019, beating the adidas Solar Glide and the New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon to the top spot. You can read what we thought about it here.
People can't get enough of the Polar Vantage V
We know it's a great piece of kit, offering a heap of advanced tracking and data features for runners but we didn't realize how popular it was. According to Strava data, the Polar Vantage V was the fastest-growing running watch of 2019, followed by the Garmin Forerunner 945 and the Garmin Instinct.
To read more insights from Strava on 2019 head over to Strava.com. You can also see your own efforts over the last 12 months in Strava's rather impressive customized infographics. Clear here to see how your 2019 looked.