“The two-hour marathon barrier will be broken. It should happen soon. There is widespread consensus in the running community, including coaches, exercise researchers, and elite marathoners, that a 1:59 marathon is entirely possible. Where opinions differ, however, is exactly when it will occur. Many claim that it will happen within a decade or perhaps longer. Others maintain that the record won’t take place in our lifetime. I am much more optimistic. I believe that a 1:59 will happen within the next several years, maybe even earlier. That’s primarily because the human body is now capable of making the historical leap forward. …
What will it take for an elite distance runner to reach 1:59? This accomplishment will require more than raw talent, optimal body size, and the right kind of athletic genes. There are many other important factors to consider: better diet, avoidance of overtraining, living high and training low, improved fat-burning or aerobic efficiency, increased running economy, proper rest and recovery, harnessing the untapped potential of the racing brain, the right kind of shoes (or even going barefoot!), and having marathoners race on a one-mile loop.
Each of the above topics is covered in detail in this book. For running enthusiasts everywhere, the information will give you an art- and science-based understanding of the true potential of human endurance. And in turn, you can apply the same principles outlined, in these pages to your own running, whether it’s seeking a PR in the 10K, half-marathon, or ultra-marathon.”
~ Philip Maffetone from 1:59: The Sub-Two-Hour Marathon Is Within Reach
Welcome to the fifth Note on Phil Maffetone’s books. We started with The Maffetone Method then we covered The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing then Fix Your Feet then The Overfat Pandemic.
As we’ve discussed, Maffetone is one of the greatest (if not THE) greatest endurance coaches ever. He’s coached everyone from the best triathlete in history (Mark Allen) to some of the best race car drivers (like the Andretti brothers). He even toured with The Red Hot Chilli Peppers as their wellness coach and helped Rick Rubin Optimize his life.
This book is a fun look at Maffetone’s perspective on how to go about breaking the elusive 2-hour marathon. As he says in the sub-title, it’s all about “how it will go down” AND “what it can teach all runners about training and racing.”
If you’re a marathoner, this might be the perfect way to get introduced to Maffetone’s core ideas. Even if you’re not a runner, but appreciate elite athletic performance, you might dig it. I loved it as another way to drill Maffetone’s core ideas into my mind and training methodology. It’s basically a holistic look at all the marginal gains we can apply to reach our running potential. (Get a copy of the book here.)
Of course, it’s packed with Big Ideas. So, let’s jump straight in! Actually… Let’s RUN in. :)
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