Stuck in the Middle with You

By and large, I really love Runner’s World. They inspire, motivate, entertain and educate me.

But sometimes, I think they just don’t GET me.

Recently, I read this “How Many Miles a Week Should I Run?” article. I nodded my head through the majority of advice and tips in the article, and when I got to the actual numerical breakdown of suggested miles for “the rest of us,” I was in complete disagreement.

30 miles a week for a 10k? I have trained for the Bix with far fewer miles than this for a decade and counting.

35 miles a week for a half marathon? That’s closer to the miles I average training for a full mary. Gimme a break, man!

Often, it seems as though Runner’s World lumps runners into two categories: Beginners and RUNNERS. The problem is that I am neither one of these things.

I ran my first road race more than a decade ago, so I’m certainly not a beginner. My running abilities are blissfully average, and my weekly mileage ranges from 10-25 miles per week, depending on what I’m training for. So by my own admission, I’m not a RUNNER, either. I fall somewhere in the middle. I don’t have hopes of qualifying for Boston, but I do have hopes setting new PRs. I do strength work and speed work and find a way to make my life work. I take running seriously, but not too seriously.

So where does that leave me? Somewhere in the middle.

But don’t write me off! I work really hard to be really average at running, and I know that I’m not alone. I am a part of the misunderstood middle class.

As a result, it’s really hard for us middle folk to find our place in the running community. Training plans for beginners are far too easy, and training plans like the ones in Runner’s World are unattainable.

But don’t lose heart, my middle class comrades. You still count! You can still make a difference! Watch almost any race around the country, and you’ll see some of the largest swells of runners hanging around the 9- or 10-minute pace group. That ain’t nothing to sneeze at, I assure you.

So Runner’s World, stop writing us off! Stop neglecting the middle class. And start writing some content for those of us stuck in the middle. —Aidz

 

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4 thoughts on “Stuck in the Middle with You

  1. Excellent points. I think this really highlights the diversity of people that make up the running community. I ran into this recently when deciding to switch focus for a season to shorter races and make 5k & 10k my goal races. So much of what is out there as a “5k Training Plan” is for people looking to finish their first 5k, which is fantastic. And at the opposite end of the spectrum, you can find training plans in the 70+ miles per week range for a 5k specialist at a really elite level. The middle ground there is vast. If there’s a positive to be taken away, I think the internet has put so much more information at runners’ disposal that, if one is savvy, you can find a training plan that is right for you. But a mass-market publication like Runners World is going to have a hard time reliably reaching everyone in that spectrum of runners.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. amen! I Read these articles and feel the same way. I’m not superman but I’m not just lifting my butt off of the couch either.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I too am a proud middle of the pack runner. On good days, I’m a little further up in the middle, on not so good days a little further back. There’s a bunch of us, so don’t worry. You’re in good company.

    Liked by 2 people

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