I'll arbitrarily define "distance running" as 5k and above.
From various sources, "body mass can predict energy expenditure with reasonable accuracy when running on a firm level surface (road, track or grass). The amount of calories required to run 1 km equals your weight in kg (a runner of 78 kg will burn 78 Calories/km)."
Using that, and using a body mass of 73.2 kg for Solinsky and his 5k time of 12:56, that gives a rate of energy expenditure of 28.26 Calories/min.
By way of meaningless personal contrast, my own rate of energy expenditure for an 18:30 5k at 82.7 kg is 22.35 Calories/min.
Assuming the same efficiency for both of us, that sucks!
I'd have to run a 14:37 5k to match that rate of energy expenditure at my present body mass.
That comparison sucks. I don't feel so badly considering he is probably #1 by this measure, and I know that my rate of energy output over 100m blows his away.
Over 10k, using 27:00, Solinsky's rate was 27.11 Calories/min.
Comparing the reported next-heaviest guy under 27:00 in the 10k, Mourhit, and using his 26:52.30, gives 23.79 Calories/min, which makes me feel much better.
I know a measure of rate of energy expenditure depends on lean body mass--i.e. how much lean muscle there is to support the required metabolism, so that this measure is kind of a no-brainer--but wow. Because I am heavier than he, and just as lean, yet he can maintain a higher distance energy rate than I can, speaks to his metabolic pathways, pain threshold or both.
Bekele's absurd 26:17.53 at 54 kg gives only 20.53 Calories/min, because he is so light.
Per unit body mass, Bekele has the edge at 0.38, over Solinsky and Mourhit tied at 0.37--essentially the same.
What I wonder about is core cooling. At that much greater rate of energy expenditure, Solinsky is generating a lot more heat than the other guys. I wonder if the limitations on his heat rejection would affect him at higher temperatures over, say, the 10k distance.
Also, you probably won't be seeing him in a marathon any time soon--at least not a hot marathon!
Is there some heavier guy running amazing 5k and 10k times, who would exceed even Solinsky?