Ever since Nike announced that they were going to attempt to break 2 hours in the marathon, I’ve been obsessed with the idea. Can it be done? Can a human being really run as fast as that? Information has been drip-fed to us for weeks now about what is going into this high profile attempt, and it seems the time has finally come. On Saturday 6th May Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa and Zersenay Tadese will try to make history at the race track in Monza, Italy.
So what is the formula for success? I thought I’d pull together some of the articles I’ve found on the topic that’s dividing the running world:
The athletes will be wearing the new, specially-engineered Nike Zoom Vaporfly which features a carbon-fibre plate designed to increase efficiency. Unsurprisingly the shoe has been the focus of much attention and has caused a great deal of debate.
- Breaking2: High-Tech Shoe for Nike’s Bid to Break the Two-Hour Marathon
- Do Nike’s Shoes Give Runners an Unfair Advantage?
- The Race to Design the World’s Fastest Running Shoe
- Nike’s Controversial New Shoes Made Me Run Faster
In order to maintain the required pace, the athletes will have to fuel differently so they can consume more carbs than they are accustomed to in order to increase the supply of glycogen to their muscles. This has the potential to lead to GI issues – not what anyone wants when the world is watching!
Not just as simple as “run as fast as you can”, the pacing strategy will have to be carefully worked out to give the greatest chance of success. This article makes some predictions about how the event will unfold as well as digging into some of the science behind the pacing.
A few weeks ago there was a test run over half marathon distance which allowed everyone involved to see how things had progressed and evaluate whether or not they had to make any changes – a bit like testing out all your marathon kit on one of your long runs! While there were some positives, there were also a number of questions raised.
But Can It Be Done?
That’s the question that is dividing the experts. Some studies have suggested it is possible, but those writing for most media outlets have expressed doubts. Personally I think it’s going to be a really exciting attempt, and you have to admire those involved for having a go. It would be amazing if one of these athletes (experts think Kipchoge the most likely) breaks two hours, and the optimist in me would love to see this happen. The realist in me isn’t sure if we’re quite there yet, but does want to believe it’s possible…one day!
- Experts Divided Over Chances of Sub-Two Hour Marathon
- Here’s Why the Sub-2 Marathon Guys Will Bonk
- Ross Tucker on Ideal Marathon Pacing Strategy, Eliud Kipchoge’s Big Decision and Everything Else Breaking2
- Is ‘Sub-Two-Hour’ Marathon Attempt Just a Clever Marketing Stunt?
- Nike Pulls the Strings in Monza for Attempt at Sub-Two-Hour Marathon
- Big-Name Pacers, Giant Clocks, and the Odds of a Sub-Two Marathon
It seems that everything “controllable” has been planned out, so it now comes down to the “uncontrollables” – conditions and the performance of the athletes on the day. Whatever the outcome, the process has certainly got the running world talking and I for one can’t wait to see how it all pans out.
If you want to follow along then Runner’s World has the information here.
What do you think: is a sub-2 marathon possible?
What are your predictions for this attempt?