NPR

Why Are American Runners Getting Slower?

A new mega-study has found that American runners, except for the elites, are getting slower. Blogger and avid runner Marcelo Gleiser discusses with the authors some theories on why this is the case.
Source: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The largest study of its kind — analyzing data from 24,763,389 results between 1996 to 2016 — has found that the average American runner, from 5k runners to marathoners, is getting slower.

The study was led by Jens Jakob Andersen and Ivanka Andreeva Nikolova from RunRepeat.com. Andersen is a former competitive runner and statistician from Copenhagen Business School. Nikolova holds a Ph.D. in Mathematical Analysis. The results include only races with more than 2,000 finishers. The researchers have data from 1902 to 2017 (May), but chose to publish only the trimmed data set from 1996 to 2016. Results can be trusted at a

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min readPolitics
Tillerson's North Korean Overture Highlights His Credibility Problem
The secretary of state says the U.S. would be willing to engage North Korea "without preconditions." But he has signaled support for talks before, only to be publicly rebuked by the president.
NPR2 min read
Rikers Settles Class Action Solitary Confinement Case
More than 450 plaintiffs are approved to receive compensation for time they spent in solitary confinement at Rikers Island under the "old time" policy.
NPR3 min readSociety
Health Care Costs Push A Staggering Number Of People Into Extreme Poverty
And half the world's population doesn't even have access to essential health services, according to a report from the World Bank and the World Health Organization.