Since Dennis Kimetto ran 2:02:57 at Berlin Marathon on a perfect September Sunday, running enthusiasts and the like have been entertaining themselves with a question: Is it possible to run a sub 2-hour marathon? This simple yes-no question has been asked many times before, basically every time someone ran a new world record. But the responses, at least what I heard or read, have been rather pedestrian and unsatisfactory, until now. Ross Tucker of South Africa recently gave his presentation about this topic, and it is based on a wide range of factors that affect running economy. In his presentation, he declares “Two hours will not be broken in the next 30 years.” Ross Tucker @scienceofsport This is a great news to me, as I am still not yet to run a sub 3-hour marathon. It’s a bit silly, but having a marathon time of 2 hours and some or many minutes seems to close the gap between me and the super elite marathoners. It’s a motivation, and my life goal as a runner.
So I have 30 years. I know I am not getting younger, and my current physical state needs to vastly improve to run a sub 3-hour marathon. The most recent marathon time was 3:22:14. I’ve run 10 marathons so far, and my times been pretty consistent between 3:10 and 3:25 with a couple of exceptions. Unlike any elite marathoners, shaving 10 minutes of my marathon PR should not be too difficult as long as I get enough time for training and stay healthy at the same time. Or, is it too optimistic?
In order to run a marathon in 2:59:59, I must maintain the pace of 6:52/mile. My PR pace was somewhere around 7:17, so that’s 25 seconds faster, every mile. 26.2 of them. Hmmm… But then, according to McMillan Running’s calculator, I should be able to run a 2:59:35 marathon now, based on my recent 800m time of 2:23. If I enter my Mile PR of 5:05, it says I could run a 2:51:56 marathon. Ha! So, if I can bring myself back to my running shape two years ago, the chances are pretty good, right? I think it’s do-able! This week and maybe the next couple of weeks, I am recovering from a small medical procedure, but this prospect of running a sub 3-hour marathon totally excites me. I can hardly wait to go running!
By the way, Ross Tucker’s presentation is iframed here. It’s a long presentation and Prezi takes time to load the content, so be patient. Alternatively, you can go to his cool website, Science of Sport. Enjoy!