How your performance is compare to other runners?

How committed are you to training?

Do you want to find out if you are an average, competitive or elite class in our running community?

How committed are you to training? I’ll show you 3 ways to measure that.

GARMIN, one of my favorite brands has several interesting and well-grounded performance standards, training level and fitness level classifications that provide great guidelines to set your sports goals.

Today I will talk about ONE of them and will share the Olympic Qualifying Standards. With information from USAFT.

Garmin calls it “Activity Class” and it’s just a ranking that allows determining how committed to training are you and make performance projections in all its watches. It is based upon the activities and time dedicated to exercise each week, it also takes your gender, age, and weight in consideration in order to calculate calories burned, VO2 max, etc. And they go from 0 to 10. I use this to rank runners and set realistic goals.


  • Occasional: once every two weeks or once a week.
  • Regular: 2-3 times a week
  • Dedicated: 5 times a week
  • Professional: More than 5 times a week.

If we add all your training in a year period and divide them by 52 you can determine your ranking and will help you set not only time goals but also regularity or constancy goals.

In the methodology I use, a dedicated runner must train a yearly average of 3.5 times a week.

The second guideline is the monthly training miles.

It’s important to clarify that elite and recreational runners follow different training methodologies (mileage load, cross-training, etc.) and totally different lifestyles.

What I present here is a standard based on the average miles that most training methods available suggest as recommended for us, mere mortals.

It is IMPORTANT to notice that these distance loads are intended for runners that have been running 3 times a week for 6 to 12 months (base training), according to goal, age, and gender, otherwise one can easily end up injured.

The extreme, that is “up to 200 miles weekly ” for a marathon are generally intended for Semi Elite runners and can go UP. We are referring to Olympian Class Professionals. 

The more recreational a runner is the fewer miles he/she can get away with but you will run slower and get higher times.

These examples are peak loads for a week, in 12 -18 weeks training cycles.

The third guideline is the times you have for each distance.

There are gender/age group rankings but these are only something to measure yourself against.

So please stop calling those runners who have finished a marathon “Elite”, or those who have been running for years. There’s nothing further from reality as you can see in the following table.


With these standards and times, it’s easier to understand where do we stand and where do we want to go. 

Most of us will rank as Recreational runners and we should be proud.

Thank for reading, if you like it please comment, share and subscribe



RRCA Running Educator, Health & Mindset coach, content creator 22 years running, 200+ races & creating magic at Instarunners

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