Eliud Kipchoge is working hard to become the first runner in history to break 2 hours in the marathon.
Is a sub 2-hour marathon possible? The short answer is yes.
I’ve read all the major analysis about whether or not a sub 2-hour marathon is possible. I was even blessed to go on a personal tour of the Sub 2 Lab training facility in Dallas a couple years back with Dr. Jack Daniels, Peter Thompson, and some other world class coaches and physiologists. Just listening to the work going on at that facility alone was inspiring to me and gave me hope that the sub 2-hour marathon would happen in my lifetime.
As you’ve guessed by now, my take on the sub 2-hour marathon is one of optimism. Roger Bannister proved years ago that one determined and innovative person can break a long-term barrier that has existed since the dawn of time. When Bannister broke the long-standing barrier of the first sub four-minute mile, his great accomplishment opened the opened the doors for many others to follow.
I believe the first person to break 2 hours in the marathon will help shape the endurance training and racing landscape for years to come much like Bannister did with the first sub-four-minute mile. We are knocking on the door of this great goal.
Years ago, I became an optimist when it comes to breaking endurance barriers. I experienced first-hand what it means to push yourself beyond your perceived limitations in life. After running and winning the Original Ultimate Runner Competition (10k, 400 meters 100 meters, a mile and a marathon all ran on the same day), my mind opened up to the fact that we have not yet reached our potential in the endurance realm.
All things are possible for those who believe. If you have faith as tiny as a mustard seed nothing shall be impossible for you. Deep belief combined with hard and smart work moves mountains.
So, can a human being run a sub 2-hour marathon? Absolutely. The answer is a resounding yes.
Who will have the courage to prove the sub 2 hour skeptics and "experts" wrong? Whose name will go down in history as the first person to break the 2-hour marathon?
Only time will tell. Roger Bannister's first sub four-minute mile was the most famous race of the 20th century. The first man to break 2 hours in the marathon will earn the title of the greatest endurance barrier breaker of the 21st century.
Bonus read: Dr. Ross Tucker from South Africa is one of the top exercise physiologists in the world. I’ve taken a couple of classes from Ross. Ross wrote a much more technical article in 2017 about the potential of a Sub 2-hour marathon. If you want a more technical read about the possibility of a sub 2 hour marathon, check out Dr. Tucker’s article at his Sports Science web site below.
Picture Credit: By Denis Barthel - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72802002