Wednesday, March 28, 2012

(Semi-) Thought experiment: how much could you run?

How many miles could you run in a week, or a month? Or average over a running season?

This is not merely a hypothetical question or a thought experiment. For example, Tony Krupicka ran over 1,000 miles in a five-week period during the lead up to the 2007 Leadville 100, averaging more than 200 miles per week over that time. And those five weeks were bookended by 133- and 152-mile week.

The world record – 408.04 miles in seven days – that’s a hypothetical question because it requires one to devote everything to running. The Krupicka question is less so because it does not necessarily (however likely) require one to leave everything else (mostly school, work, spouse and/or family for the rest of us) to accomplish it.

But the real issue is not “Could you run as many miles as Krupicka.” We’re not him, we don’t have the huge base of lifetime mileage (approx. 60,000 at end of 2011), and we shouldn't destroy ourselves replicating his training merely because it is him and we want to. Instead, the question is many miles could you put on in a week, or how many miles you could average over a season or seasons, all by taking the long view? Again, Krupicka was walking the razor’s edge of fitness during those five weeks in preparation – any more and he would have slipped into the realm of overtraining, overuse, fatigue and eventually, injury. Had he so slipped, it is doubtful he would have won the race.

So what is your max? Can you do it? What would it take to accomplish it?

(edit: this accidentally went live on 3/25/12 for a brief few minutes.)


SteveQ said...

Boussiquet and Kouros have both done over 640 miles in 6 days, so the 408 mile week isn't even close to the record! And, since I'm in a grumpy mood... it's not Yasso 800s unless you do 10 of them; that's the whole point.

Matt Lutz said...

Well then Google failed me on the World Record.

And I'll get to 10 Yassos in about 15 or so weeks. I only started with six per Bart's instructions:,7120,s6-238-244-255-624-0,00.html