I dont think thats true at all wrote:
there are quite a few different body types, and those conclusions presume that you have the ideal ~19-21 BMI runner body or close to it
For non-runners that do multi-sport, can push 3-plates or near it in multiple compound lifts and are around 25-26 BMI [yet not >15% BF] are not going to run mid 15s
And distance runners are also self-selected [especially in the 40+ crowd] for runners that are extremely durable. Many runners will have ligament/joint/soft-tissue injuries that keep them bouncing around 20-30 mpw with downtime for injuries
So sure, if you assume the peak of the bell curve:
a) spare time to dedicate to 70-110 mpw training
b) are extremely durable [2 sigma above normal population, esp above age 40]
c) have a low BMI runner body type [
Good post, but that still doesn't say that most male's aged 18-39 can't reach sub 16 min 5k for example.
a) Fully agree. A lot of people don't reach those times, because it makes no sense for them. Why dedicate sooo much time (training, cross-training, sleep, recovery measures) to running over many years to be mediocre (compared to elites) with a 15:50 5k and earn no money? Why run alone most of the time for optimal training stimulus and exact paces when they could train with trains a bit less effective but with way more fun?
If someone has a family, a well paying job, why should he put so much dedication to reach his limit in running? He isn't even getting a good body doing that, strength training or swimming would be much better for it.
b) I had shin splints for 5 years (going from sedentary to trying to become a decent runner) and couldn't run more than 5-10 mpw. But do I blame lack of durability? No! I just had no clue what I was doing in training. Every run was a tempo effort, my cadence was low (150-160), every run I would finish with an all-out 200m sprints downhill on concrete (and I have a lot of natural speed). My lower legs were ruined for years, nothing was able to fix it. When I did intervals, it was all out until I was seeing stars, usually getting slower each rep with standing recoveries.
Then I did a lactate threshold test, and the trainer prescribed me training zones. They were MUCH lower than I ever trained at, but suddenly my injuries got much better and I was able to gradually build mileage.
c) But most people CAN get a low BMI if they really tried. Some really can't, as it can be highly genetic (I for example can eat whatever I want without gaining wait, even when I was sedentary), but most can change their life and lower their BMI. But again, why would they? Why stop going to the gym and bench presses/biceps curls to maximize the running times? Most women couldn't care less if someone runs 22 min, 20 min or 16 min 5k, but having almost no muscle mass on the upper body vs a well-trained muscular body certainly makes a difference (even if most of it is just evolutionary, like wanting someone to "protect them"..).
Sorry for the wall of texts, but I'm very passionate about this topic. Almost everyone can be quick (as in 15:30-16:00 5k) if they really tried and optimize everything and are young enough.