How many miles do you run a week ?



  • Stevie - have you read Bounce by Mathew Syed ? He'd argue that it's not talent. Do anything enough and you can get to be world class.
  • I'd say the guy is bonkers. You have to have talent to be the best in the world.  Yes you need loads of other ingredients, but you can't get there without the talent.

  • Are you saying sub 35min 10k is not elite?

    I'm 43, I'm never going to run sub 35mins because I don't really want to. I could if I gave up everything in my life and just ran all the time but it's easier for me to make excuses for why I can't run 160miles a week.

    Really this thread has gone a bit bonkers. Possibly there are more important things in life than running.
  • TimR- someone who lives with there parents has no idea you say, load of bollox in my opinion. I cant recall ever not thanking my parents for not cooking any meal, or not thanking them for washing stuff, or any other boring but essential day to day task which helps me run that bit more. Yes there probably are people out there who are half soaked kids. I do not wish to be tarnished with that brush.

    Sorry if I come across as irritated but your comment is a tad on the stereotypical side for my liking. I realise, appreciate and aknowledge the sacrifices my parents make every day thankyou very much.

    stevie g I hate to say it but I agree that being gifted is a small part of a very big puzzle.
  • I run between 10 and 55 miles a week. I have ran 2150 miles this year so far.  55 miles when I was at peak of my marathon training.  It takes a very strong individual to constantly be able to train week in week out at high mileage.  I currently have a cold, can't run.  2 weeks ago, I had sickness bug, couldn't run.  I fit it in when I can.  I have 3 young children and I am a woman.  I am just grateful I have legs and my kids can see they have a fit mother who doesn't smoke fags all day whilst joining dodgy Facebook groups.

  • Oh and I have elite talent, I just chose to not unleash it... image   When I reach dizzy heights of a sub 45 min 10k, that'll do me.  

  • Andy, come on, we know your Mum still bathes you... image

  • Andy, you confuse me. Very early in the thread you said that people make excuses not to run and anyone can run those distances just by making practical adjustments to their lives. All I've done is pointed out that being a parent is not just an excuse and there are very few simple practical adjustments we can make to our lives.

    Imagine if your parents decided that they wanted to run 160miles a week. You would suffer then.

    As I say there's a lot of nonsense being spouted here. Someone will tell me next that I chose to be a parent and not a runner. In which case I'm obviously not one of the 'anyone' or 'everyone' mentioned earlier. It's a ridiculous circular argument.
  • Talent will initially get you far, and will give an advantage, but hard work will always get you further, whether it is work or play.
  • TimR- your right I did say that people make excuses not to run but I suppose I should've also added that this comment was directed at people who who ask us runners how to get good but will then sit and watch tv for 3hours a day in the evening. That was the sort of excuse I was refering to.

    But alot of people could make the difference by choosing to exercise rather than go to the pub or whatever to waste away there life.

    Fair comment about if my parents decided to run 160 a week but in that case I would just do things myself between runs obviously and get on with it. I understand obviously that this scenario is hypothetical so am not taking it literally but if that was the case I think the housework would just have to be shared, that's not exactly a hardship. I know one lad who couldn't use an iron an doesn't know what a can out polish does.thats mothering.
  • As I remember Mathew Syed's book he largely based his claims on skill based activities (i.e. playing music, games, maths tricks etc.). I think he still accepted that there was still a physical limitation  to how well anyone could preform.

    I would argue the physical: skill ratio is larger for running than for a game, so genetics plays a greater part. Of course the more you run the more efficient a runner you will become but there is a limit. Not everyone has with the perfect muscle and bone development nor the best genetic variants of metabolic enzymes, etc.

    I think most people know others who quickly become impressive runners off little training and others who work their butts off for little gains. It's near on impossible to say what one person can achieve. You can make as many excuses and explanations as you want but as there are so many factors to making the perfect runner the only way to find out for sure is for that person to try. 

  • Andy, you're still looking at it from your point of view. If your parents decided to run 160miles a week, and you were 8 years old, you wouldn't be ironing, cooking or doing very much sharing of chores. Lol.

    As you say it's all hypothetical and people are taking comments too literally.

    160miles is elite runners territory, if you are or want to be elite that's what you have to do and for most people it's just not practical.
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    The elite v the rest, and its relationship to mileage has; I've noticed, thrown up some interesting attitudes. I once ran 100 miles in a week; I've only done this three times so not a habit, a comment I received at the time was, "why are doing that for? you're not an elite!". So the implication here was that being an elite somehow qualifies you to run high mileages. My response was to suggest that running high mileages might make you an elite. The reply was that elites are born etc, to which I said that if the elites were so good why do they need to run so much, is it a means to be good or a punishment for being talented? This chat can go around in circles, but eventually it came down to whether or not its worth putting in all the extra effort. My gut feeling is that training/living like an elite but getting barely up to 80% WAVA is a waste of time. Of course, there's also the slight outside chance that the individual might just like running loads of miles.

  • Chimpster- fair enough if its based on more skill based activities like music, racket sports ect.

    RicF thats an interesting idea you have there about how peoples attitudes have implied that unless your elite your not needing to run high mileage.

    For me its not so mucb needing to run high miles its that I want to run that mileage. I dont think anyone would manage the mileave they do if they didn't want to run.

    TimR- yes I agree totally there with your first paragraph "....if you were 8yrs old" ect. yes it would be very different if a child is really to young to do stuff for them selfs, although I have in the past qiuetly qeustioned how good a parent can elite runners be. As clearly people in this thread have kept some perspective on the fact that they cant just neglect kids for benefit of running. I like the fact people are just trying to do the best they can with there circumstances.

    I was just really showing my frustration at the people who are in a situation where they could do something but dont even though its only them who come up witb excuses. you must of met the story of person I mean who says "i'd love to run but then comes up with the lamest excuse possible (ooooh I'll miss coronation street or something daft. I don't mind if someones taking there kits to some other club or something its just a bit irritating when people are looking for the easy shortcut to fitness.
  • Tim R- another factor about the whole "if your parents decided to run 160mpw....." Some people seem to need nursing for far to long w whereas some young people prefer to actually learn how to do things themselves.

    I knew a lad who stil has his work lunch made by his mum at 20yrs of age. He also gets driven to and from work as well by his mum and a load of other things so you know that sort of person I'm on about. I was 2mile to school as soon as I was aloud and made me own dinner as soon as I could because I never wanted to be a chore in itself. some parents dont half moddy coddle there kids through life only for the kids to be to soft to cope, ridiculous really. Gotta be cruel to be kind sometimes.
  • Sorry about the garbage spelling aswell.
  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    TimR wrote (see)
    Are you saying sub 35min 10k is not elite? 

    Nowhere near.  (At least) 1,567 men in the UK ran under 35 mins last year.  Maybe we're talking semantics because I'm not gonna say that such-and-such a time does constitute elite, but the point still stands about whether it's worth making certain sacrifices in order to reach a certain level.  If you enjoy running 160 miles a week, fill your boots, but if you're sacrificing things like family life or your job just to try and run under 35 mins for 10k, you're a bit of a mug.  Any prize money you can pick up from cherry-picking minor races won't even cover your entrance fees and transports costs to get there!  To become an elite, on the other hand...


    On a side note, surely Mo Farah is good example for aspiring young elite-wannabes.  Wife and kids (OK, he lives apart from them for certain training periods, so there are sacrifices on both sides...) and when asked what it takes to get to the top, the words "hard graft" are normally in there.  IMO he's genetically advantaged to be running fast in the first place and to be injury resistant enough to cope with the training, but he still needs to put the graft in.

  • He I'm with philpub there, 35mins is good but nothing amazing really when you think how many people have done that time, its not really any big deal.
  • The Ghost Runner story was one that got me.  The guy let running take over his life.  Lost his wife, family.  There is a fine line between hobby and obsession.  A young man like Andy can do this.  However, Andy, if you had wife, 3 children and a full time job, you would increasingly find it nigh on impossible.  So do it while you can!  You don't have to apologise to anyone.  Your life, your choice.  Your parents support your decision and you are grateful to them.  You can be a bit more selfish in your twenties,  Loads of time ahead to have to think about other people.  Your parents will know this, hence why they will support you.  I would for my children.

  • How long would it take for an elite runner to run 160 miles over a week?16 hours? I suspect a lot of runners do 16 hours a week....

  • I doubt a lot of runners do do 16 hours a week.  When at my highest peak week of 55 miles, that was around 8 hours.   Plus, elite runners don't run everything at 5m/m do they?  55 miles might not seem much to a lot of people on here, but to the majority of runners I know in real life, they would never do 8 hours/55 miles a week, ever.  I think that we are all a bit blindsighted by the elites on RW who do do miles and miles a week.  It is not the average whatsoever and probably only something a sub 3 marathoner would be doing.  Majority of us will never be sub 3 marathoners!  If you catch my drift.  To be honest, not many elites do 160 miles a week.  I think Mo Farah does 125 miles.  A lot of Kenyan marathoners peak at around that too.  This 160 miles is rare indeed. 

  • Whatever mileage they do it probably done in less than the hours of a full time job requires... So are they really that selfish if it is in fact their source of income requires them to spend 30 hours a week running as opposed to 40 hours a week at another job?

  • Was more thinking that you can calculate your training in hours or miles. If you find out how many hours elites train it probably does not sound so impressive. The only world champion I have been lucky enough to ask said he did 2 and a half hours a day!

  • TimR wrote (see)
    Are you saying sub 35min 10k is not elite?

    Scheme of things, course not.

    Local level races yes.

    And what's all this 160miles a week business?! I'm sure even the best in the world do 140 at the utter max...

    i'd think 120is more the usual.

    If talent doesn't come into it, how come the likes of me take 50-60miles a week over years to get to a position where we could go sub 35, whereas others can do it off a couple of runs a week?

    And how come others do that mileage and don't even get close to sub 35?

  • Tom.Tom. ✭✭✭
    It isn't just about finding the time to run high weekly mileages it's about how knackered you're going to be for the rest of the time - so other tasks like playing with your children, gardening, DIY, car washing, cooking, cleaning, shopping etc just become incredibly wearisome to undertake.

    When I was in my 20's I regularly ran 85-95 miles a week without it impacting on my family life - I was fortunate to be able to run to and from work five days a week, because I had showering facilities and a relatively undemanding job.

    In a different situation, with a one and three quarter hour commute each way to work the maximum mileage I could hold down was about 50mpw, and the only way I could do any quality running was at weekends or by careful management of my flexitime.

    I eventually stopped running altogether when I started studying for my professional exams as it was just too knackering try to fit decent mileages around daytime work, commute, family life and study during evenings and weekends.
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    I saw the training diary of a guy who'd run 23:39 for 5 miles. Max mileage was 45! that's talent.

  • The guy who ran 160 miles a week is Pete Snell in Advanced Marathoning Stevie.

  • Tom.Tom. ✭✭✭
    Snell was part of the Lydiard group, which also included Murray Halberg a 5-10k runner and Bill Bailee a marathon runner. Lydiard recommended mileage of 100mpw and only as part of the three months basic conditioning period. Snell was an 880/mile runner, who admits in his biography that he only ever ran 100mpw once!

    160mpw is definitely the preserve of the professional athlete - as I said in my earlier post the issue for the full time athlete is not the amount of time it takes to run 160mpw but the amount of time you need doing nothing to recover between runs.

    Back in the 70's and 80's british club runners regularly ran 100mpw in training. However the world was different then - people worked closer to home, work was less demanding and young men could put their careers on hold for 4-5 years without loosing ground on their contemporaries. The only runner I recall running 150+ mpw was Dave Bedford and again only for a few weeks during his basic conditioning phase.

    RicF, admittedly you do have to have talent to run that quick but I reckon any runner could achieve his potential of 45mpw. Seb Coe claimed only to run 40 mpw but didn't count all that junky warm up, warm down jogging that so many of us include in our weekly mileages.
  • One of our club runners regularly wins or comes second/third in the NW fell race series. She told me she's lucky if she does 20 miles a week! She would be an extremely talented athlete if she did even my mileage.

    I don't think an elite (as in Olympic athlete) is selfish to run 16 hours a week because its their livelihood. However, a man/woman with a job/family doing it would have to seriously struggle to find the right balance surely? It's a personal thing isn't it? Some wives would be very understanding, others wouldn't. Is going out the footy all Sunday or playing golf all day Saturday not the same? I'd say if was. If you're running to and from work everyday, or in lunch hour, or getting up at 5am to get 120 miles a week in, then go for it. I certainly wouldn't judge anyone. It's none of my business.
  • HeOw wrote (see)
    One of our club runners regularly wins or comes second/third in the NW fell race series. She told me she's lucky if she does 20 miles a week! She would be an extremely talented athlete if she did even my mileage. 

    Not to doubt you, but this is the kind of story I hear quite often, but usually there's a lot more to it.

    First of all, do you mean she comes first woman home, or wins the race outright? How big is the NW fell series?

    Does she count warm ups and cool downs (similar to Tom's comments on Coe).

    She may do 20 miles a week now, but what's her background over 10 years.

    Way too easy to talk about the "Now" without looking at the history.

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