Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Olympic Marathoner Brian Sell- High Mileage Runner

Brian Sell earned a birth on the 2008 Olympic Marathon team by placing 3rd at the Trials on November 3rd in 2 hr 11 min 40 sec. Sell, who runs for the Hansen-Brooks Distance Project, made his breakthough in the 2004 Olympic trials race, holding the lead until mile 21. He eventually faded to 12th but that race served notice that he was for real. He has run 2 hr 10 min 47 seconds for the marathon and placed 4th at Boston and 6th at Chicago.

The following was taken from message board- Kevin Hanson (Sell's coach)

"Those mileage amounts (5,625, an average of 110 miles per week for 52 straight weeks) are what Brian recorded for 2007. Brian has a tendency to cheat on his mileage on a daily basis. The group will run a 12 mile run and Brian will record it as 11 or an afternoon run of 45 minutes as 6 miles which is probably 7 and half. Brian cheats by a minimum of 10 miles a week. It is just a weird motivating thing for Brian. I would roughly estimate Brian to have run an additional 10-15 miles a week or about 500-700 miles for the year. His total for 2007 was definitly over 6000. He also had scheduled downtime of 30 days during the year (an additional month) and a huge cut back in mileage in February due to sickness. Brian ran more mileage than this in 2006 as he recorded 6000 of his cheat miles that year (probably closer to 6500). He also had 26 scheduled days off that year.However, mileage is not the answer. It is simply one variable. Brian works very hard but assumes that others are either working harder or are more talented. It is true that Brian feels like others are gaining strength on him if he runs less than 140 miles a week. He uses this drive as motivation to make him the athlete that he is. All of these little quirks help to prepare Brian mentally as well as physically."

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