Who's Fitter?

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29/04/2011 at 13:14
genetics play a big role but its vastly overrated by untrained and slow people imo

i dont believe anyone is achieving the maximum of their ability (at optimum age) running a 4hour marathon
29/04/2011 at 20:01
A 3 hour marathon runner could run a marathon on 3 hours, or take 4 hours if they chose.

A 4 hour marathon runner would have to do a lot more training and get much fitter in order to run in 3 hours.

Therefore the 3 hr runner is quicker.

However if you think differently, presumably you would claim that this guy is fitter than Geoffrey Mutai:


29/04/2011 at 23:12

As I said at the beginning I'm assuming two identical runners.

If one runner is 60kg he may use approx 2760 calories. In three hours he's done 920 cals/hour.

If the other is 90kg he may use approx 4150 calories. In four hours he's done 1039 cals/hour.

Just something else to consider.

30/04/2011 at 23:21

who cares?

01/05/2011 at 07:31
as lisider says

the objective of running races is to get from a-b as fast as possible. On the results it doesnt mention your height, weight, how much you can bench press or put an asterix next you your name if you have rubbish technique

(well not in the races ive entered anyway )
seren nos    pirate
01/05/2011 at 07:47
Crazytown Emperor wrote (see)
genetics play a big role but its vastly overrated by untrained and slow people imo i dont believe anyone is achieving the maximum of their ability (at optimum age) running a 4hour marathon

optimum age...................now thats an interesting point...............how on earth could you measure an optimum age..........surely different for everyone and different for different distances .

what did you actually mean by optimum age........

01/05/2011 at 08:08
(Hoping that the answer, along with Life, the Universe and Everything, will be 42)

According to this article Seren Optimum marathon age is somewhere between 20 - 35. I'm 36

01/05/2011 at 14:34
i meant optimum age in a broad sense. id accept a 75yr old has serious limitations compared to someone in their late 20s

seren nos    pirate
01/05/2011 at 16:14
Keir............as I only started running in m late 30's then I was already outside my optimum age................but glad that I am still at a stage i can get faster
02/05/2011 at 21:58

Look at it a different way: a runner completes a 2010 marathon in 3hr 55. They spend the next year training their backsides off, enter the same marathon in 2011. They cross the finish line in 2hr 55.  Have they lost fitness?

(I would like to know what training plan they used)

Re: calories burned - the heavier an object (be that HGV, runner, wheelbarrow full of potatoes) the more energy it takes to move that object across a given distance (be that diesel, calories burned or strength pushing said wheelbarrow)  Therefore the heavier runner is only burning more because he is heavier.  OH and I occasionally run together and he burns more than me even though he covers the same distance in the same time (and his heart rate is likely to be lower than mine as he can run faster than me with less effort)

Re: optimum age - surely depends on when you actually started? Someone who starts running age 40 will be lucky to run a faster marathon / 10K / whatever at age 45 than someone who started at 15 running the same distance when they reach 45?

02/05/2011 at 22:18

The fact that your OH can carry more weight and run with a lower HR than you shows he is much fitter than you. If you tried to carry weights to increase your weight to be the same as his your HR would not be lower it would be much higher.

In boxing, judo and horse racing the weights are carefully matched. At the top end of racing I suspect that the runners are all of a similar build and weight. You don't see many Sumo wrestlers winning marathons and you don't see many marathon runners winning Sumo competitions. So maybe this thread's first reply was correct. A marathon runner is not as fit as a sumo wrestler is to fight in the Sumo ring.

The optimum age is for the same person. So someone who started at 15 would arguably be on the decline when he gets to 45.

Edited: 02/05/2011 at 22:19
02/05/2011 at 22:22
What if you had to carry heavy weights when you ran the marathon. Everyone had to make their weight up to 100kg. For a 100kg man that would be no extra but for a 60kg man that would be 66% extra of his. Who would have the easiest task? Who would you say was the fittest?
Edited: 02/05/2011 at 22:24
03/05/2011 at 21:07

It's like a can of worms!

He is indeed much fitter ( / faster) than me, usually around 15-18kg heavier than me yet can run a good 4 minutes quicker in a 10K race. But what about the male vs female difference? EG, a 25 year old female running a 10K in 50 minutes scores an age grading of 60.7%. A male of the same age finishing in the same time scores 53.7%.

The heavy bloke carrying nothing vs the skinny bloke with the weights. The skinny bloke would be fitter? He's carrying 40kg more than he's used to, or like you say, 66% of his weight. The 100kg bloke would be used to the extra KGs. What if the 100kg bloke lost 40kg, 60kg man remains the same, who would win? If neither of them loses or gains fitness in the meantime the 100kg man would win. I think.

Going back to the original question, what about futher extremes? A marathon runner finishing in 2:30:00 has got to be considerably fitter than one who does 4:30:00?

03/05/2011 at 21:50

Men v Women is even trickier the World record holders (according to wikipedia) are 56kg and 54kg respectively. Who is fitter?

As I said earlier you have to define what fitness is before you start. Otherwise you are just asking who is faster? We have no means of knowing whether Paula Radcliffe could run for 4hours at the same speed as Mrs. Average Runner and then how long each could keep going. That would be a measure of their endurance fitnes. We already know Paula has better speed fitness.

So what about strength fitness. How many KGs could Paula Ratcliffe do in a squat compared to Mrs Average Runner. How many squats can they do?

And Flexibilty? Maybe Mrs. Average Runner teaches Yoga as her day job.

Conventional wisdom says that if you can run a marathon in 2hours you can run one in 4hours. I've walked 50miles in 17hours. My marathon time is quite a bit quicker than 8.5hours.

Edited: 03/05/2011 at 21:51

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