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The Weekly Mileage of Great Distance Runners Like Mo Farah & Paula Radcliffe

Look on any running forum or website for advice on getting better race times and part of the answer is nearly always the same – up your mileage!

On completing a ten mile race at the weekend I was very pleased to finish in a time that was a minute faster than the same race last year (65 mins Vs 66 mins). Then I looked at the times of the winners – they were almost exactly ten minutes ahead of me! The next day in Twitter conversation with the first and second placed runners, I asked how many miles per week they ran. Anthony Clark, the winner in 55:06 said that he runs 60-70 miles per week in an average week and increases this to as many as 105 miles per week in the run up to a race (marathon or ultra). Jon Sharkey, who came in second on this occasion in 55:29, similarly described his weekly training as 50-60 miles per week, rising to 90-105 as part of a training schedule.


So how many miles per week do other elite or professional runners do?

Mo Farah – Double World and Olympic Champion for 5 & 10k

In the lead up to the marathon, Mo was running 140 miles per week. See his detailed weekly training schedule here.

Haile Gebrselassie – Running Legend – 160 Miles Per Week

Ran 10k each morning and evening to school and back, carrying his books. The great Gebreselassie can run 10 miles in 44:24 a marathon in 02:03:59 and one mile in 3:52. Two months before a race he ups his mileage to an incredible 160 miles per week. He says that the morning runs are the most important and he also trains in the gym on the treadmill or bike.

Alistair Brownlee – Olympic Triathlon Gold Medallist – 80 Miles Per Week

Alistair also does a lot of bike and swim training but still manages to run for 10 hours per week plus two hours in the gym. Ten hours for Alistair is probably around 80 miles… See his detailed training schedule here

Paula Radcliffe MBE – Marathon Record Breaker – 145 Miles Per Week

In 2008 Paula was quoted as running 145 miles per week as her standard marathon training mileage. In her prime, Paula ran the London Marathon in 02:15:25, setting a new world record…

Steve Way – 100k World Champion & Team GB Commonwealth Games Athlete – 130+ Miles Per Week

In the run up to the Commonwealth Games, Steve Way was running 130+ miles per week, as documented in his inspirational training blog. One of the sessions includes 4x 5k repeats with a 3 minute rest between each 5k – I might try that although I will be know where near the 15:31 repeat times Steve laid down!

In Summary

Us mere mortals would never be able to maintain a mileage that high – we have jobs and families! But there’s definitely a positive correlation between increased mileage and lower race times so I’m going to give this a shot. If I can, I aim to increase my weekly mileage from an average of around 20 miles, to 40 miles per week. Obviously this will be increased gradually by 10% each week to minimise the risk of injury. I’ll let you know if it helps!

Rob Murray

A 100%, bona fide running geek! Rob loves running, running gear, and doing races then writing about them!
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  • http://thesuffolkstrider.wordpress.com thesuffolkstrider

    I just can’t imagine doing 80 miles a week, let alone 150. Just would not be able to find the time around work & the family!! A perk of being a professional & not having to work I guess. I would love to be able to just do 60miles per week!!

    Maybe I can work something out for marathon training next year! Just need to ask the missus nicely……….

    • Rob

      I know, almost unthinkable mileage!

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