My 90-mile week in running. In pursuit of excellence and in defiance of goal setting.

Alexei Sorokin
3 min readJan 16

My love of running has led me to pursue excellence in this sport. Of course, I will never reach the level of professional athletes. I’m too old. Well, I’m not old but I will always be an amateur runner.

Actually, my age is my strength too. I started running a lot, less than three years ago, at the age of forty. If I stay healthy, I can continue to improve and will eventually be competing against a smaller field of middle age runners. In my age group, I can stand out. There will always be runners of extraordinary ability, but I can be very good.

This week was a remarkable milestone in my running journey. I ran 91 miles and that was with a rest day — I didn’t run on Monday.

In the last four weeks, I averaged 84.5 miles a week.

Ninety miles means that I ran — almost — a half marathon every day.

My training had different types of runs — easy runs, hard intervals, a tempo run, and a long run of twenty-plus miles. This afternoon I ran twenty-four miles.

On several days I did double runs, as running 12–13 miles in a single run is not very practical.

I’m running a marathon on February 5th. I want to set my personal best (a time between 2.40 and 2.45), hence this high volume of running.

But it’s not about my goals.

I just run. In recent weeks I ran in Florida, California, and Arizona. I ran in the sun and the rain. With music and without. Fast and slow. I ran every day. Some of my runs had picturesque views, others — not so. I had a lovely long run on New Year’s day morning.

My love of running has nothing to do with goals.

I do care about my results when it comes to racing marathons or half marathons, twice a year or so, but I repeat — my love of running is not about setting goals. In fact, every time I see some blogger recommending “setting a realistic goal” in their recommendations to runners, I immediately put that blogger on the bullshit blogger list. I’m convinced that most runners run because they simply love running. Maybe the love wasn’t at first sight. But once it’s there, once it’s a habit, it has little to do with goals or motivation.

In running I find grace and bliss.

I just love running.

If you like running, please consider my email newsletter Love Letters to Running. You can follow me on Strava.

Why do I get so annoyed by patronizing sobriety stories?

I ran ten miles in under an hour. It took eight thousand miles to prepare.

Signed up for another marathon in a month. Riding the wave.

I’m ready for my marathon. Ready to surrender.

I’ve been eating spirulina. Will it help me run better?

My sub 2.45 marathon: my best, happiest race so far. Getting faster with age. You can too.

I think every human, every kid is a potential athlete. EVERY.

The trick is to keep running (and writing?)

So let’s talk about obesity.

I will never fall out of love with these…

Alexei Sorokin

A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day. More here: