Will a Sub-Two-Hour Marathon Ever Happen? An Interview With Dr. Philip Mafetone About His New Book “1:59”

Philip Maffetone

With the incredible speeds at which Kenyan and Ethiopian runners are running marathons these days, one of the hottest questions in the running world is: When will the 2-hour marathon be broken?

Some, including this week’s guest Dr. Philip Maffetone, believe that it should have already happened.

Dr. Maffetone is a longtime physiotherapist who has worked with some of the best endurance athletes in history, including 6-time Ironman Triathlon World Champion Mark Allen and 9-time New York City Marathon winner Grete Waitz.

In his new book
1:59: The Sub-Two-Hour Marathon
, Dr. Maffetone outlines how he thinks that the 2-hour barrier will be broken, from training to nutrition to shoes and more.

Some of the key points of our discussion included:

  • 1:59 and why Dr. Maffetone decided to write it
  • The idea of “maximum aerobic heart rate” and why he thinks this concept is the key to improvement in the marathon
  • Dr. Maffetone’s idea about the role barefoot running in the sub-2:00 quest and how to go about transitioning to that style of running
  • The somewhat unique idea of spread out, “slow weights” strength training sessions


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Links and resources mentioned in this interview:

Get 1:59: The Sub-Two-Hour Marathon here

Dr. Maffetone’s website

Will Barefoot Running Strengthen Your Feet? And If So, Will this Prevent Injury?

Using Heart Rate to Measure Fatigue, Monitor Recovery and Know When to Train Hard Again

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