Can I really be more with less? | The Marathon Experiment v1

“Do as little as needed. Not as much as possible”

Tim Ferriss | The 4 Hour Chef

Why am I running a marathon with the least amount of training?

Might as well test it out and live this experiment. I’ve lived an interesting life. Learned a lot and one thing that remains constant is that I’m ambitious and I don’t sit still. I’m usually doing too much and filling up my free time (a bit meta considering right now I’m rushing to finish this), always doing one task more to make myself never finish what’s on my to-do list. It’s like a fat kid in a candy shop; I have an open/off day and I want to fill it with as much sugary sweet chocolate goodness as possible and then halfway through I pass out from having too much shit in my stomach.

That’s how I am, and I’ve accepted it. The challenge is moving forward knowing this is who I am and working with it.

For your listening pleasure please click play to start the track below.

Every day I strive to minimize my life as much as possible and it’s the decisions that I make that are the first in line for battle. This is where this idea to do a marathon in 8 weeks came from. I tried the 20–24 week proper marathon training plan and while it excited me I got injured or life happened. Now i just want to do an actual marathon running most of the time, at a good pace and to say I finished one then move onto the next challenge.

That’s why I just pulled the trigger and have set the “80/20x DIY Marathon” for tomorrow. It’s 2 weeks ahead of schedule but yeah… I’m tired of this work, life, training balancing act and what’s another 2 weeks really going to do for me? Gotta practice what I preach and #BeMoreWithLess right?

So… WHAT is it that I’m I trying to do?

Run a marathon in under 3 Hours 30 mins (4:57 min/km or for the metric handicapped — 8:01 min/mile)

WHY am I trying to do it?

  1. I’ve wanted to run a marathon since I did my first half marathon in Baltimore back in 2007. The idea and expectation sounded romantic. Even though I did an Ironman Triathlon that had a marathon run at the end I felt it wasn’t an actual marathon. I did the “Ironman Shuffle” which unfortunately is a mix of running/walking and not enjoying myself at all. Injuries, life, and everything else have gotten in the way for me to do an official one so now I’m doing it on my own DIY style.
  2. To #BeMoreWithLess in all aspects of my life starting with the fitness side of things
  3. Put in the least amount of training (Input) to complete something of considerable proportions (output)

HOW will I do it (Getting into the nerdy nuts and bolts of training, scroll to bottom if this technical shit bores you)?

  • run a marathon with 8 weeks of focused training
  • averaging 20–30km per week (12–18 miles per week) on 2–4 runs per week #MNML
  • every other week do a long run, total of 4 long runs including the marathon (1st run was 90 mins last will be 3.5 ishhours)
  • each consecutive long run add about 20–25% more time from the run before (not concerned with distance)
  • take 2–3 day breaks (sometimes 5?!) after long runs to rest
  • on the off weeks I’ll be doing a 45min — 1 hour run as “maintenance” so my body gets used to running for long periods without the wear of an actual long run (this is not scientific data, just my loose theory)
  • on non run days stay consistent with cycling and swim training for maintenance but still minimal input (8–10 hours per week)
  • Inviting a bunch of running friends to come out and participate. If you are in Sydney you can run 1km or the whole thing, just gotta keep up!

WHERE will I do it?


Dec 12th 2016–5am

Summary/Side Notes/Disclaimer

I just recently completed my 3rd long run (it was actually broken up into 4 runs and One 60 min ocean swim over the course of about 30 hours) due to some schedule/sleep/stress issues. I’m feeling good but having some issues with my IT Band (this has been going on for about 4 years despite lots of work on my form, strength training, physio/physical therapy, etc.). I’m feeling confident that I can finish it between 3:30–4 Hours but the last hour or so will be really tough. I see a world of pain happening and I most likely will need to dig deep mentally and physically.

Some side notes/disclaimers

  • While I did complete a marathon when I did my Ironman Cairns Run, I feel it wasn’t a real marathon as the cramping and stopping and general #IronmanShuffle didn’t really make it a race.
  • I have been maintaining a consistent training schedule of at least 8 or more hours per week for the better of the last 4 years. Before that I had an extensive track/running background and basketball background.
  • While I know what I’m doing is ambitious I also have an advantage over most people, so if you try this at home your results may vary.
  • This is purely to show myself (and possibly others that are similar to me) that you don’t need to put in hundreds of hours/miles/kms to achieve impressive objectives and accomplish awesome goals.

Can I do it? Stay tuned and keep following me to find out.