Trends In Race Times: Biathlon

I haven’t posted anything looking at biathlon for a while, so…

Since biathlon has had much more consistent race formats over the years and since we don’t need to split up the data by technique, we should be able to get a clearer picture of any trends on the gun-happy side of things.

The graph below is too small to see.  You’ll have to click through for the full version, which ought to be fairly self-explanatory.

These are the top 10 times in each major race.  We can clearly see that race times have been falling.  In fact, if you look closely you’ll see that times have dropped quite a lot in some cases.

Some other things we can note: the mass start races, true to form, seem a bit slow for the distance, particularly for the women.  It’s so strange that people find it so hard (psychologically) to press the pace in a mass start race…

You can’t really see it in the sprint races, but the rest display a leveling of the time trends followed by an second dip.  The individual races seemed to plateau a bit between 1998-2003 while the mass start races appear to exhibit a similar trend between 2003-2007.  It could just be a fluke, I suppose.  In any case, I can’t think of any explanation for it at all.

Related posts:

  1. An Overview Of WC Split Times
  2. Biathlon and Cross Country Volatility Trends
  3. New Biathlon Race Snapshot Graphs
  4. Trends In Race Times
  5. US World Cup Split Times

About Joran

Comments

3 Responses to “Trends In Race Times: Biathlon”
  1. Zach Caldwell says:

    Hi Joran – Thanks, as always, for the great presentation of data. I was interested by your implied conclusion that racers find it more psychologically difficult to push the pace in a mass start than in an individual start. Don’t you think it might be as simple as tactics? The incentive to push the pace when you’re dragging around a big pack of competitors is considerably more complex than in an individual start race. I remember Carl Swenson saying something to the effect of: “if you’re going to lead a mass-start race you either need to go faster than the other guys want to go, or slower.”

  2. Aldo says:

    You probably have done this, but just to confirm: when you call ‘race time’ it includes also the penaly and shooting time or just the ski time? I think the biggest difference would be in the Individual shooting, when you have to take off the 1-minute penalties.

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