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  • 2-Hour Marathon Redux

    With the recent WR in the Marathon, 'experts' are once again admonishing us for thinking the 2-hour barrier is within reach. I like the article on the home-page that points out that

    World marathon record-holder Wilson Kipsang, after all, has a half-marathon best of 58:59 and went through halfway last Sunday in Berlin in 61:32.
    That's only a 2.5 minute difference, which bolsters my suspicion that a marathon is 'not that much different' than a half-mar. If you can run a super-fast half, odds are that you can sustain a somewhat similar pace for the whole thing. The canard that 20 miles is some physiological BARRIER doesn't apply to the very elite. Can you see a 57:20 half marathon? I can. And there we are at 2:00.

    I'm not saying it will happen in even 20 years, but yes, well within 50, which, though I'll be gleefully rolling over in my grave, is 'pretty soon'.

  • #2
    Re: 2-Hour Marathon Redux

    Marlow -- you have not run one and I do not think that you fully grasp the fundamental difference between the Half and the Marathon. The best analogy might be the 400/800, where few top runners cover both well. The reason there is (also) that the energy systems change. In the Marathon you have to deal with running out of fuel in a way that does not enter for the Half. Now, maybe on-course fueling will help close the gap, but there is a difference between consuming calories and getting them efficiently into you system. In addition, those little fatigue things can go suddenly wrong, although that is a bit more of a reason why the 'hit rate' for good races is rather low (as well as why you take a big chance by trying to race more than a couple a year at a high level).

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    • #3
      Re: 2-Hour Marathon Redux

      This falls well within my "slowdown rate theory" that I've exposited on this MB before in other threads.
      I strongly believe, and have SOME real world examples to back it up, that you can predict a runner's potential at a longer distance by what they've run at a shorter distance.
      No, you can't take a person's 100 or 200.....or even 400 time.....and say what they'd do in a marathon.
      So let's begin at the marathon, and work our way back to the mile/1500.

      2:00:00 marathon would entail someone having run 57:00 at the half.
      The 2.5 minutes given above is an outlier, IMO. As would be 3.5 minutes!!

      To run a 57:00 half, one would pass 20K in approx 53:58.

      To run a 53:58 20K (26:59 twice), one would need to have run one 10K in at least 25:59.

      To run 25:59 for 10K, one needs to be a 12:29 (or faster!!!) 5K person!!

      To run 12:29, one needs to have a 7:50 2 mile to their credit.

      To do a 7:50 2 mile, you need to have a 3:45 (or faster!!) mile in your record!!

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      • #4
        Re: 2-Hour Marathon Redux

        Originally posted by Marlow
        The canard that 20 miles is some physiological BARRIER doesn't apply to the very elite.
        What is the basis for this argument? That they are super efficient at burning fat?

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        • #5
          Re: 2-Hour Marathon Redux

          Originally posted by Daisy
          Originally posted by Marlow
          The canard that 20 miles is some physiological BARRIER doesn't apply to the very elite.
          What is the basis for this argument? That they are super efficient at burning fat?
          That they have trained their bodies (and learned how and what to ingest during the race) to not . . . bonk . . . after 20 miles. Look at Kipsang's pace in the last 6 miles. Do you see a bonk? No. And that is DESPITE continuing to red-line his engine! To what do you attribute that?

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          • #6
            Re: 2-Hour Marathon Redux

            The Half has far more in common with the 10K than it does with the Full.

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            • #7
              Re: 2-Hour Marathon Redux

              Originally posted by Marlow
              Originally posted by Daisy
              Originally posted by Marlow
              The canard that 20 miles is some physiological BARRIER doesn't apply to the very elite.
              What is the basis for this argument? That they are super efficient at burning fat?
              That they have trained their bodies (and learned how and what to ingest during the race) to not . . . bonk . . . after 20 miles. Look at Kipsang's pace in the last 6 miles. Do you see a bonk? No. And that is DESPITE continuing to red-line his engine! To what do you attribute that?
              How far can he run at 2 hour pace?

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              • #8
                Re: 2-Hour Marathon Redux

                Originally posted by skyin' brian
                How far can he run at 2 hour pace?
                26.2 miles.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 2-Hour Marathon Redux

                  Again,..2:00 pace is 14:15/5k. How many 5k portions of the race did he run under 14:15?

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                  • #10
                    Re: 2-Hour Marathon Redux

                    Here are the kilo splits of Kipsang's WR.

                    http://trackandfieldnews.com/index.php? ... le&id=1714

                    He had splits of 2:45, 2:47, 2:48, 2:50, and two 2:51s. That means he ran at or below the 2 hr pace for a total of 6km out of 42.195.

                    KImetto's 25km WR is right around 2:51 pace. Mosop's 30,000m track WR is about 2:53 pace.

                    So I'd say the current limit for the 2 hr pace should be somewhere between 25 and 30K.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 2-Hour Marathon Redux

                      Originally posted by aaronk
                      This falls well within my "slowdown rate theory" that I've exposited on this MB before in other threads.
                      The change in metabolic rates/energy sources is precisely why the 'slowdown rate' changes and is greater for the marathon than for shorter distances. It happens to be the case that historical data do not show this very clearly -- because until recently the Half was not competed very often and the records were a bit on the soft side.

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                      • #12
                        Re: 2-Hour Marathon Redux

                        It's going to come when we learn more about injury prevention and recovery. What if something happens that allows someone to healthily run 30+ hard miles a day?

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                        • #13
                          Re: 2-Hour Marathon Redux

                          I would have bet on Wanjiru if he was still alive and motivated.

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                          • #14
                            Re: 2-Hour Marathon Redux

                            Originally posted by kamikaze7
                            I would have bet on Wanjiru if he was still alive and motivated.
                            and sober.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 2-Hour Marathon Redux

                              Originally posted by 26mi235
                              Originally posted by aaronk
                              This falls well within my "slowdown rate theory" that I've exposited on this MB before in other threads.
                              The change in metabolic rates/energy sources is precisely why the 'slowdown rate' changes and is greater for the marathon than for shorter distances. It happens to be the case that historical data do not show this very clearly -- because until recently the Half was not competed very often and the records were a bit on the soft side.
                              I suspect the half record are still more than a bit on the soft side, for two reasons:

                              1. not a big enough payday to draw the best runners (or if they're there, it's with the idea of saving themselves for a later marathon payday).

                              2. Organizers probably haven't gone to the extremes we have found in the big-city marathons to craft speedway courses.


                              ps--and 1a would be not enough sponsor money there to pay for all the high-powered rabbiting talent that's now so often needed in marathon WRs.

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