How many miles do you run a week ?

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31/10/2012 at 12:30

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....

31/10/2012 at 12:35

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. 

31/10/2012 at 12:47

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?

31/10/2012 at 12:48

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!

31/10/2012 at 14:34
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?

31/10/2012 at 15:10
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.
Edited: 31/10/2012 at 15:12
31/10/2012 at 15:13

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

31/10/2012 at 15:14

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

31/10/2012 at 18:18
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.
31/10/2012 at 18:24
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.
31/10/2012 at 19:05
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.

31/10/2012 at 19:19

There was another runner I knew who claimed to only train 50 miles/wk. He honestly believed that was all he did. He didn't count the six mile round trip to and from work as training since it was only 7 min mile pace.

31/10/2012 at 19:24

Something else about some of these elites training speed. Bedford remarked that he used to run for one hour and put 11 miles in the book. Dave Moorcroft would be averaging 5:45 min mile pace for bulk mileages. Not all train at these speeds but I'll never forget Peter Elliott saying that he couldn't run much slower than 5:15 min mile pace on a steady run. As for Steve Jones, straight out the door and bang! 5 minute miling.

31/10/2012 at 20:28
Fell runners tend to be different animals. If you live in the hills a walk down the shops is equivalent to a London LSR.

I was in Llamberis on the morning of the Snowdon mountain race. I was in the cafe at 9am when a guy came jogging past the window, just trotting, not running. The cafe owner told us who it was, that he was running in the race (a 1pm start) and that he never walked anywhere, was always running.

I'm fairly sure when I was a kid we would be running, or cycling practically all the time. I feel a bit sad that as adults we're supposed to wear special shoes and put on shorts and technical shirts or it doesn't count as running.
31/10/2012 at 20:31
Sideburn- I cant remember who first brought the 160mpw figure into the discussion but I'm guessing it was originally about new zealander Peter snell under (arthur lydiard) based on an average of 7:45min/miles it would take over 20hrs/week. I dont know of anyone who does that ammount a week these days.

Like heow said at the moment I can do decent miles because of no commitments but then I dont see the point trying to take an elite attitude or training regime when someone has kids added in to the eqaution, then I think running is about enjoyment. No point stressing about paces if your compromising pleasure of limited running time.

WiB to be honest I think it is fairly selfish to do 100+mpw all the time if theres a family to think of because in the the time yournot running you'd just be knackered all day. Nuff said on that one
31/10/2012 at 20:32
I also feel a bit sad when I meet someone on a Sunday afternoon and they're amazed that I'm out and about after running 18miles in the morning, or on Monday morning at work after racing a half people are amazed I'm still walking, let alone in work.

The frequent comment seems to be "I couldn't even run a mile!" and they seem almost proud of the fact.
31/10/2012 at 20:35
Sorry cross posted most of this page, (dissapered for a couple of hours half way through post writing)
31/10/2012 at 20:38
TimR- thats true that. I dont understand that apparent pride at there own inadaqacies, I cant spell but dont feel proud of that. So cant see why they say "makes me tired thinking about it"
31/10/2012 at 21:07

Stevie G, she was (from what another club member has told me) a very talented mountain biker (not sure what level but quite high) and came to club about 18 months ago.  Showed promise from word go and has got better and better.  She is not a big road runner,  loves hills and yes, she does very well at the Fell Series but the North Wales fell series has some talented fell runners in it.  No idea how many do it as I have only done one but she usually gets podium position of the females and most definitely doesn't train as often as I do, was visibly shocked when I said how many miles I do.  There are people out there who, as gutting as it is(!), don't need to train like maniacs, the talent is born.  Could she be an Olympic athlete if she ran 130 miles a week?  Who knows?! 

31/10/2012 at 21:09
I suppose it's better than, I used to run a sub 2hour marathon, or I ran in the first London marathon when it was a harder route, or any hundreds of other excuses.
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