Friday, June 24, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

Is 10,000 Hours the Magic Number?
I have been reading a book by Malcolm Gladwell called Outliers: The Story of Success.  It was written a couple of years ago in 2008, and I have read it before, but I came across an interesting chapter called "The 10,000-hour rule".  Basically it talks about how people who become experts in their field, whether its computer science or playing an instrument, spend close to 10,000 hours honing their skills before they become really good at what they do.

Of course the first thing I think of is running.  While there is some raw talent that is needed to get a good start on anything, could anyone practice something for 10,000 hours and then become an expert at it?  Doing a little bit of math I came to the conclusion that if a person was to practice something for a little more than 19 hours per week, it would take 10 years to get to the 10,000 hour mark.  So I wonder if the worlds elite runners have all passed that 10k hours mark to get to where they are today.

Questions for You!
So, to end my post I have a couple questions for readers!

1.  Do you think you could practice running for 10,000 hours? What about something else?
2.  If you have been keeping track, how many hours have you ran?
3.  Do you think that the 10,000 hour rule would apply to the sport of running? Why or why not?

Edit:  I did the math with some of my recent data.  I have run 33 miles in about 4.38 hours. If I were to run a similar pace the rest of my life, and I ran for 10,000 hours I would end up running 75, 342.5 miles!  That's A little more that 3 times around the world! Yikes!


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