An Elite Runner’s Job Isn’t Just Their Running

Sometimes people discuss the number of hours per week an elite sponsored runner trains, which is often in the 10-15 hours per week range. Inevitably someone brings up the argument that the sponsored elite runner’s job must be a nice job, only having to work 10-15 hours per week.

Let’s never mind the clearly exhausting effort that 10-15 hours can require, and how it’s obviously not the same as someone sitting at a desk 10-15 hours a week let alone 40.

Let’s also never mind any promotional or media work the athlete has to do as part of their written commitment, or any required travel.

Don’t forget that part of your training includes your diet, your recovery, and how you manage the rest of your life. If any of this falls short, it adversely affects the quality and results from your training.

So in effect, an elite sponsored athlete, facing high expectations with their race results, also is working when they are recovering. That is effectively part of their job: Eating right to fuel recovery as well as future workouts, getting the needed rest to recover from the last workout and prepare for the next, etc. All of these tasks are in effect part of their responsibility to their running because they are necessary to get the needed results when they do run.

So no, an elite runner’s job isn’t just the 10-15 hours a week they run. It’s also the hours of meal prep and consumption, the hours where a point is made to stay off their feet and rest even if they want to go out and do something, eating food they’d rather not eat because it’s healthy and essential to their recovery, etc.

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