This Is Getting Ridiculous wrote:
There's hardly a lot of 17:30 guys doing 100 mpw. Stop making up stuff.
I've been running for decades and I've never heard of any "17:30" guys (who come a dime a dozen in the world of non-elite running) doing 100 mpw. 100 mpw is a tremendous amount of mileage - many elites, particularly mid-d competitors, don't ever reach that.
I probably exaggerated a bit, but do you really know much about the world of recreational running? Most here on LR are HS/college runners on a decent level doing proper training.
In the real world, most people have ONE training pace - easy/moderate running. There are so many recreational running clubs/groups here that do 3-3.5 hour long runs every week. What do they train for? A marathon in the range of 3:00 to 4:00. That's a lot of mileage for such a goal. If they cover 30-35k in those 3 hours, and we assume that LR = 20% of weekly mileage as Daniel's recommends, they are doing 150-175k/week which is ~95-110 mpw.
And at their paces, that's a lot more running than elites are doing. Is it an effective way to train? No, definitely not but it is what people are doing.
I asked them once why they do a 32k long run in 3.5 hours. They said "I need to get that done to be able to finish a marathon". Most people in real world run for fun, they don't optimize their training like people who go on LR do. That's how these 17:30 5k on 100 mpw guys are created.
I agree in the real world, most people have one training pace. THAT is the big issue. For non-runners or new runners it's usually moderatly hard to outright hard. For more serious "rec" runners, it's usually moderate to moderately hard. Almost no guys over 20' are routinely running easy. That's incredibly rare.
You're acting like there is something wrong with running for 3 or 4 hours. Long run does not have to be 20% of weekly mileage, depends on the goal. One of the reason most of the hobbyists do 3-4 hr long runs is because of their basic schedule. If they want to run, say 60mpw, for there marathon. Most of them can't do 8M x 6 days with a 12M long run. 8M, easy, is likely 75-90' + showering, changing, etc. Lots of regular guys/gals don't have that kind of time. So...to get in the volume they go a bit longer, or significantly longer, on their long run.
Again, nothing wrong with this. 2+ hour runs have some significant benefits that other shorter runs don't have, particularly with regards to aerobic development, and especially when it comes to recruiting TypeII muscle fibers to work oxidatively. Again, go look at much of the research coming from Seiler. These are excellent studies looking at taking the training of high level elites and scaling it down to high level hobbyists or strong amateurs.
Of course, there IS something very wrong with all the moderate running that the typical hobbyist does. That's not helpful at all, and it's a main reason they are injury prone and not improving. Nothing, and this is found time and time again in studies of both humans and horses, leads to overtraining and injury as fast as monotony in training.