ITRA has announced some changes to the ITRA performance index to try to ensure it more accurately reflects elite performances.
What is the ITRA performance index?
It was designed to compare the speed of runners around the world. In theory, even if runners have done different races, the performance index should be able to compare their results by taking into account the difficulty and competitive nature of the race. So it ranks runners and in theory, going into a race, should give a good indication of who the favourites are.
A runner’s performance index is worked out by calculating a weighted average of their 5 best performances over the last 36 months.
Why change it?
The performance index isn’t perfect and it’s being changed in response to feedback from runners. One example of the possible anomalies it can throw up is the fact that Damian Hall was ranked around 50th on the 2018 start line but actually finished 5th. That’s quite a discrepancy!
It’s never going to be perfect but one change that was identified as potentially making it more accurate was giving more weighting to more recent races. This should place more emphasis on recent form.
What are the changes?
The weighting for races will be given in line with the date of the race. So the more recent it is, the more weighting it’s given. For the first 12 months a race will be given the full weighting (as it is now). However, after that the weighting will be progressively reduced every 6 months. So the index will decrease if a runner isn’t racing for any reason.
ITRA emphasise that the points allocated for a race result will always be the same in the runner’s file (ie if you scored 900 points for a result, that will remain for ever), it’s just the weighting of that result in the calculation of the index which will decrease.
These changes will mean that the performance index will change now (for example, Caroline Chaverot was ranked 5th in the women’s index, but because her 2018 season was affected by illness she will now slide down the index to reflect that her points are from older races). However, it will mean that the index will constantly changing from now on, and therefore should be more accurate.
Read more about the changes HERE.
Related post: Changes to ITRA points system from 1st January 2019