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The "Don't Be Sh*t!" Series - The Marathon Revival

The "Don't Be Sh*t!" Series - The Marathon Revival

My London Marathon time of 2:16:27 in 2014 was good enough for a top 3 British finish and won me a place on the Commonwealth Games England team.

Thank goodness I wasn’t born 30 years earlier as the same time in 1983 would have just squeezed into the Top 50 Brits and I certainly wouldn’t have been winning a vest for my performance!

Englishman Mike Gratton, won London that year in a time of 2:09 and then two years later, Steve Jones won the Chicago marathon in a time of 2:07 that has since stood for almost 30 years as the British marathon record.

So... how can we explain not only the lack of progress at the very top end of British marathon running but also the massive decrease in depth of sub 2:20 runners.

Obviously there’s not one simple reason, but my opinion is that it is all to do with participation numbers of young men taking up the sport seriously.

I often get asked if I think there are other “Steve Way’s” out there sat on the sofa with a beer and a fag who could be sub 2:20 marathon runners and the simple answer is yes, of course there are!

My natural talent for marathon running almost stayed hidden and unfortunately in this modern era where we are encouraged to be lazy humans, for every elite marathon runner who identifies and taps in to their genetic potential, another 10 either choose a more glamorous sport or take the easy option and just don’t bother, turning on their latest new gadget or computer game.

Success breeds success and with more quality marathon runners pushing each other on in the bigger training groups it can only lead to more progress, so put down the TV remote and get out there – be a part of the revival.

Old School Training Session

Looking back at Steve Jones training diaries before the Chicago marathon back in 1985, you can see that speed sessions don’t need to be complicated.

Steve was a firm believer that it didn’t matter how far or how fast you went in your speed work but instead just insisted you put in a good honest effort.

So 8 x 3min “HARD” with 90 second jog recoveries.

It’s as simple as that, don’t worry about how far you get in the 3min efforts just make sure you are working at an effort level that you can just about sustain for the whole session, simple but very effective.

Tip of the Month

Long runs aren’t just for Sunday’s

Got a few marathons under your belt and are back in training for another? Consider adding a “medium-long run” to your week if you don’t already.

One of the easiest ways to improve your endurance is to add a run of 13-16 miles on a Wednesday as well as your standard Sunday long run; it could make all the difference in that last 10km of your next marathon.

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