What will it take to run a marathon in less than two hours? The world's fastest times for the marathon have been dropping since the distance of 26.2 miles was made official nearly 100 years ago. But after a noticeable decline that occurred for a half century, the times, while still edging lower, have stalled several minutes north of two hours for the past decade.
For the first time, 1:59 examines what it will take for an elite distance runner to go subtwo hours. It will require more than raw talent, optimal body size, and great athletic genes. In order to become marathon's Roger Bannister and smash this elusive record, this runner must follow a healthy diet and an individualized training regimen that takes advantage of specific environmental factors ("live high, train low"). Because precious seconds count over each mile run, other critical considerations include improved running form and economy, sharpened mental focus, and wearing the right type of racing flats (or even going barefoot).
The athlete who finally breaks distance running's most tantalizing barrier will become a worldwide celebrity overnight. Will the runner be a Kenyan, an Ethiopian, an American, or a marathoner from another country? And how soon will it happen?
By providing a unique window into the highly competitive world of elite marathon running, this book also allows running enthusiasts to have a thorough understanding of the true potential of endurance athletes. And in turn, they can apply the same training and racing principles discussed in 1:59 to their own running, whether it's a 10K, half marathon, marathon, or ultramarathon.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
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Turns conventional wisdom on its head
Maffetone is one of the leaders in the field of endurance sports, and much of what he says goes against conventions - train slower, limit volume, eat fat, run barefoot etc. There is method to his "madness". I have been following his principles for years and have enjoyed great health AND performance as a result. This book is really about everything that he preaches, and how it can help already-elite marathoners to take that jump and move below the sub-2hr barrier.
Any other of Maffetone's books, but most famously "The Big Book Of Endurance Training And Racing". Unfortunately this is not available at the time of writing as an audiobook. Otherwise look for podcasts featuring Dr Phil. His advice and teaching are out there if you look for it.
It's not really about running a sub-2hr marathon. It's a book about how optimal health and training will make anyone, you or I, into the best endurance athletes we can be, no matter what your sport or your genes.
- Van Dieu