“What’s your mileage?” is to a runner what “how much ya bench?” is to a meathead goon like myself.
I have interacted with the running community for many years on many different levels. I have runner friends. I have assisted runners with physical preparation work as a Sport Scientist. And, I have also consumed a ton of content in the form of books, podcasts, research articles etc. in order to build my knowledge about how endurance training works directly from the specialists so as to aid my own combat sports exploits as well as my work in coaching athletes.
There is, in my experience of the endurance community, quite the widespread idea that “mileage” drives performance.
A plethora of book chapters, magazine articles, and blogs etc. have revolved around the topic of what running “mileage” particular high-level runners were doing, are doing, or plan to do.
Many Sunday morning endorphin-fueled “long run” conversations and post-session “cooldowns” have also included discussions around what mileage people themselves are currently doing, did do in the past, or hope to be doing in the future.
A misconception in the running world is that hitting certain weekly mileage is what allows people to run well. The reason I think this to be a misconception is that mileage does not drive performance — performance drives mileage. This misconception is what I call the Mileage Fallacy.