QT: Stop Trying to Train Like an Elite Runner If You’re Not an Elite

Become a Patron!

Would you consider yourself an elite runner?

If so? Carry on.

Now then, if you’re reading this I assume you and I are in the same category: non-elite.

I don’t say that disparagingly, I promise.

I’m just trying to make sure we are on the same page, to begin with, because I might be ruffling a few feathers before long.

“Do What the Elites Do”

If the elites are doing something, it must be the thing to do, right?

Don't Think You Need a Running Coach?

In theory, yes.

Provided you’re an elite.

If you’re not an elite, which we’ve already clarified is the case for both of us, trying to do what the elites do in training is asking for trouble.

Forgive my bluntness, but you and I simply can’t do what the elites do.

You and I, for the most part, aren’t able to do 10-12 workouts per week.

We aren’t able to churn out 60-100+ miles, week after week, without breaking down physically.

And we probably aren’t going to be able to find time to sleep for 10 hours per night, take a nap most days, get multiple hour long massages each week, see a PT every few days, and so on and so forth.

If you want to do what the elites do, you’ve gotta do all of it.

Not just some killer workout. Not just running 6 days a week while also mixing in a few double days or hitting an arbitrarily decided upon weekly/monthly volume just because that’s what Kipchoge or Flannagan or Linden or Rupp does.

If you’re going to do what the elites do, you’ve got to do it all.

And you and I?

Principles, Not Specifics

I’m not saying we can’t or shouldn’t learn from what the elites do in training.

The key is to look for principles that we can incorporate, at the proper scale, into our training instead of the specifics.

How does this, potentially, look in practice?

  • Workouts

Instead of trying to do the exact workout of an elite, scale it accordingly.

Maybe that means you adjust the volume. Or the intensity. Or both.

But stop trying to do the exact same workout as an elite, when you’re not an elite.

  • Base Building

Unsurprisingly, I’m a fan of running slow to build your base.

So are the vast majority of elite runners in the world.

But guess what? Just because an elite can run at 7:30 pace for their easy runs, doesn’t mean that 7:30 is easy for me.

Nor does it mean that 7:30 is easy for you.

So when you look at an elite’s plan and see certain paces for certain workouts, ignore those paces.

Instead, try and estimate what kind of effort the elite is putting into that workout as you think about how to put your own plan together.

  • Little Things

You really want to take a page out of the book of the elites?

Take a look at how much time then spend doing the little things.

You and I may not have multiple hours per day to devote to foam rolling, stretching, massaging, and various other forms of body work.

But if you look at the ratio of time the elites spent running vs doing all of the little things, and compare that to the ratio that we spend?

Yeah, I’m willing to bet most of us are quite out of balance compared to most elites.

Lord knows I am.

Stop trying to train like the elites, unless, of course, you're an elite. #runchat Click To Tweet

What do You Think of This Idea? Common Sense? Disagree?
Let me know!

Want to Support the Continued Growth & Production of the Show?

Check out the support page for ideas and suggestions of ways you can help me grow the show. And remember, not all support involves money. Some of the best ways you can show your support are 100% free.

Subscribe to the Show

Never miss another episode of the Diz Runs With podcast by subscribing to the show, and for my fellow Apple fans out there, it’s never been easier now that the podcast app is native on the new operating system. iPhone/iPod/iPad users click here. Android users click here. SoundCloud users click here.

Please Give Me Some Feedback!

Take the 6 question listener survey to help me shape the future of this podcast.

Register for a Free Race Training Plan

Every month, I’m giving away a FREE training plan for the race of your choice. For details/information, and to sign up, just click here.

Join The Tribe!

There’s always room for more members of the tribe! Both the Facebook group and the email group provide opportunities that can’t be found anywhere else. The Facebook group is still small, but it is a great way to connect with fellow runners and foster community amongst like-minded individuals. The email group is THE way to stay up to date about future guests on the show, as well as getting some other freebies and offers that aren’t available to anyone else. If you’ve got questions about either/both, just let me know!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *