Running like a Kenyan

After watching some footage of previous Marathons where the Kenyan's finished a Marathon in just over 2hrs I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice on increasing my speed.

I currently average 9.24 minutes per mile for 7 miles and completed Reading half in 2.07. I am doing Brighton and VLM (Charity) next year and am keen to increase my speed to a sub four hrs...

 Can do 13 (about 2hrs now) miles fine and am aware I need to increase milage but unlike my previous attempt at London (5hrs + and 3 months training from zero to 26.2 miles) I have time to train for both but want to do myself justice..

I have booked up a 10ks for the next two months (Yateley), Basingstoke half, Cabbage patch 10, Great South Run, and Grim original (fun) and am considering a running club though my pace may put them off me!!

 Any advice to increase speed from a slow running soon to be 32 year old and if joining a club will help?


  • Joining a club will help !

    Like you I want to improve my marathon time for brighton next year.... And my road half marathon time is about 2 hrs...

    I have started doing some speed work once a week; I run up to the local school playing field and use their track. 400m (1 lap) as fast as I can go followed by a recovery lap repeat 4 times and then a gentle cools down run home image I'm planning on increasing the number of repeats each week through the summer. I have an autumn half marathon booked that I also want to improve my time for.

    Chatting to our club coach he has advised me to keep a long run of 13-16 miles in my schedule once every 2 weeks and then a shorter long run or race on the alternate weeks.

    Personally I think to be in with a chance of a 4 hr marathon my half marathon time needs to be closer to 1:45... With a 2hr half marathon time I would hope to run the marathon in 4:30 ish.

    Good luck !
  • Hi Tim. Well I guess you are after the secret to the Kenyans success....? Some short-cut tips for massively improving your speed in the shortest possible time....?


    It's a trick.... there is NO SHORT-CUT. image

    Try any of the following (or a combination thereof):

    Lose lots of weight
    Go running two times a day
    Do strength work in the gym
    Plyometrics sessions
    Join a running club to get skilled coaching and extra motivation
    Follow a structured training programme
    Do your easy runs dead easy and your hard runs so fast you want to puke
    Throw in some cross-training (biking or swimming) so you are able to sustain higher quantities of time in training, over and above pure running

    I know you don't really mean "How can I easily emulate a near 2 hr Kenyan marathoner"... simply, "What can I do to go quicker?". Simply, do more training, follow a structured programme which starts at the level you currently have, incorporate elements of tempo running and high intensity speedwork (intervals).

    I highly recommend you read some books on the subject. The P&D "Advanced Marathoning" is staple fare and Jack Daniel's "Running Formula" are both worthy items to have on your shelf.

    Good luck, TD. image

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