At the weekend in Berlin the mens marathon world record was broken and now stands at 02:03:38 set by Patrick Mackau, a 26 year old Kenyan. A remarkable achievement and surely a sub-2hr marathon will be achieved in my lifetime?
It begs a question though - is it harder on the body to run a marathon in a little over 2hrs or is it harder for the non-elite runners who are out there for 5+ hours? The elites will be full time athletes, training, eating, sleeping, recovering and little else. All with the objective of getting as close to 2hrs as possible. Contrast with the non-elite who works a full time job, has a family, has social commitments, kids to get to clubs. A house to maintain. Maybe a commute. Then fits in training. Somewhere probably at the start of the day, in a lunch break or maybe the end of the day when all is done.
To run at close to 2hrs is a huge physical undertaking that will take a lot from the body and clearly needs a lot of effort to be able to execute. Running for 5+hrs at a much slower pace though will take a massive toll on the body too. While the pace is not as demanding the time on feet is. The mental pressure will be immense too. Keeping yourself going for that long will not be easy.
What do you think? Remember there are no stupid questions only stupid answers!