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Breaking2 : The Quest to Break the Two-Hour Marathon Barrier

Nike has selected three East African runners to break the Men’s world record time for the marathon. The current record of 2:02:57 will need to be beaten by ~3% which would result in a sub 2 hour marathon. An average pace of 4m 35s per mile split will be required. This is going be some epic biohacking through training, nutrition and environment for maximum performance. Next year Nike will name the location and time for the first attempt.

Via Nike News:

Nike is always looking for barriers to break and the idea of a sub two-hour marathon has come up many times.  Fueled by a long-standing passion for running, Nike began working on a footwear solution specific to the marathon in 2013. This effort ultimately transitioned a year later into a full-on commitment to breaking the two-hour marathon, precipitating the formation of the Breaking2 team.

The Breaking2 team includes world-class experts across biomechanics, coaching, design, engineering, materials development, nutrition and sports psychology and physiology. Alignment of the group’s diverse knowledge bases aims to unpack performance at the molecular level. In this, the team will obsess every detail of the Breaking2 attempt, from weather conditions to jerseys, enabling Eliud, Lelisa and Zersenay to maximize their potential.

Want to know more about the projections for a sub 2 hour marathon? Runners World put out a beautiful series of infographics on this topic. Author Phil Maffetone has an excellent book on this topic “1:59: The Sub-Two-Hour Marathon is Within Reach“. Both the Runners World article and book profile the environment and personal attributes required for such a feat.


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