From Endurance to Speed – the Changing Face of Elite Marathon Running

For 99.99% of us, marathon running is purely an exercise in endurance. The biggest physiological limiter for most of us over the marathon distance is muscular endurance and glycogen reserves. By the end of the race our energy supplies are empty and are muscles have lost any semblance of coordination, as we struggle to keep a pace that seemed easy 25 miles ago. But is it the same for the likes of Mutai, Kimetto and Kipsang, who are knocking on the door of 2 hours?

From Endurance To Speed Endurance

As Ed Caesar discusses in his book, Two Hours, and in the except article below, the marathon for  top tier runners is becoming an exercise in speed endurance rather than pure endurance. The current world record is 2:02:57 (Kimetto) – that is 4:41 min/mile pace folks! We are talking a pace that most fast club runners dream of over a mile race. The elite runners have in a sense have “out-trained the distance”.

Two Hours – The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon – asks the ultimate question in running, and indeed sports physiology today, will a human ever run under a two hour marathon?

Let’s not forget what they all said about the 4 min mile…

Read the article – An excerpt from “Two Hours” – Ed Caesar