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30 November 2016

How to run a marathon in less than three hours – Suunto’s new training tools reveal how athletes around the world are training

Progress Metrics, Personal Bests with Age Group Comparisons and Training Insights in Suunto Movescount help athletes train smarter.

Suunto continues its quest to help athletes train smarter by introducing Community Powered Progress Tools – a new online toolbox that delivers hard facts about how athletes around the globe are training. With the toolbox, athletes can monitor their progress, compare their individual performance against their age group, see how others are training, and understand what it takes to reach a certain goal.

“This is one of the world’s first solutions where big data is used to provide answers and facts for athletes – in an easy-to-access format. To go after the most important questions that endurance athletes have by using big data is an ambitious goal. Generally, experts have sought these answers with research and algorithms. The results we have found with our big data solution have surprised even us. The solution itself is getting better day by day as millions of training sessions continue to flow into the system,“ says Janne Kallio, Digital Lead, Suunto Performance Business explains.

Data based on over 100 million training sessions

To create the training toolbox, Suunto analyzed over 100 million training sessions, tracked with Suunto watches since 2010 and saved to Suunto Movescount. The analysis covers the most popular endurance sports such as running, cycling, swimming, triathlon, trail running and mountain biking, yielding more than one billion metrics.

The toolbox consists of three separate analysis tools: Progress Metrics, Personal Bests with Age Group Comparison and Training Insights – each contributing to the following key questions athletes often debate.

Am I progressing?

Every time you upload a workout, Suunto Movescount automatically analyses your performance and spots possible personal best results, such as your fastest 1 km running time. With Progress Metrics, you can filter workouts with comparable intensity level and evaluate your actual improvement in fitness, for example, during your spring training season or over the past three years.

How good am I really?

To answer this question, Suunto grouped the training data of over 1.5 million Suunto Movescount users based on standard age groups. The comparison of your personal bests against those of your own age group offers you a better understanding on how you perform:

  • If you are a 40-year-old male and you can run 5 km in just under 20 minutes, you belong to the top 20% in your age group. Data shows that to reach the top 10%, you need to run 5 km in 0:18’24.

How should I train to get better?

Our big data analysis results have been converted into practical Training Insights to reveal how others are training towards a specific goal, such as a marathon under three hours. This is how athletes who have reached their goal train during the last 16 weeks prior their marathon:

  • They train on average 6.5 hours a week, with 40 km of running split between 3.1 weekly running sessions, averaging 12.8 km per run.
  • When looking at their running performance on shorter distances, we see that in order to run a sub-3-hour marathon, you need to be able to run a half marathon in about 1 hour and 24 minutes. Your 10 km time should be around 37 minutes and your 5 km time around 18 minutes.

The training toolbox is now available free of charge for both new and existing Suunto customers as part of the Suunto Movescount service. 

For more detailed information about the community powered progress tools, go to: or sign in to Suunto Movescount to test them yourself.