TimR wrote (see)
. If we all could run 160miles, there would be no elites.
Sorry, but that's utter nonsense. Something called "talent" limits you, it's not just about hard work.
Check out the sub 3 hour thread on this very forum. Couple of guys on there do 120miles a week. That's elite training (who does 160 exactly? I'd guess noone), yet they're nowhere near the true elites. 30mins for 10k, versus 26/27s for the best in the world.
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.
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... 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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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