What will it take to run a 2 hour marathon?

Abstract illustration of a man running fast.

I recently read something on Runners World about what it will take to run a two-hour marathon: http://rw.runnersworld.com/sub-2/

It’s a completely fascinating article, so I urge you to read it if you have the chance. If not, here’s a summary of the main points that are made:

  • The right race needs to be selected
    • It needs to be cold (so probably March or November)
    • The course needs to be flat and straight
    • There needs to be a strong group of pacemakers
    • There needs to be a financial incentive for all involved
  • The runner
    • Needs to be efficient in terms of VO2 max and running economy
    • Needs to be fairly small (5’6″ and 120lbs)
    • Needs a huge amount of self-confidence
    • Needs access to data and new technologies
    • will be young and ‘fearless’

The article is brilliantly illustrated with infographics and concludes that a sub-two-hour marathon is possible. It event ends with a hypothetical narrative about when and how it will happen.

Do you think that a sub-two-hour marathon is humanly possible? If so, when do you think it may happen? If you disagree, what are your arguments?

3 Responses

  1. Ah crap…. so, in terms of ‘the runner,’ I won’t be able to run a 2-hour marathon ever then… LOL 😉 1. I am taller and older than ‘needs’ to be’ LOL Oh well… I will be happy as long as I become BQ… 🙂 But, realistically, I will be thrilled to run sub 3. 🙂

    • 😀 At least you’re closer than I am… at the moment, even sub 4 is a S-T-R-E-T-C-H goal! However, if there were a hefty financial incentive, I’m sure I could make that happen! 😉

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