How to Run a Faster Marathon


I was suffering up King’s Mountain Road on a pushbike many years ago, getting strafed by ants and snails.

An older gentleman rolled past me.

DAMMIT! I said to my teammate. I’m getting passed by old fat dudes. Why do I have to suck so much?

The old fat dude turned his head. HEY!


If an old fat guy can do this, you can do it too.

Humans are insecure and competitive creatures. Every time a person sets a physical speed record, another soon beats it. Human race times began decreasing at a steeper slope than horse race times in coincidence with the first televised sports broadcast. Horses are genetically bred for speed so those lazy bastards should have no excuse, but humans have the advantage of information.

race times

This week, Runner’s World published a special report on what it will take for a human to best 2 hours in a marathon. The current world record is 2:02:57.

Runner’s World offered a bunch of data-driven theories, but I say the answer is easy: Just tell record contenders that some old fat guy did it in 1:59:99.


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