Raj vs. The Marathon: 2 Years, 37 Minutes off

Training for spring races has begun! Time to lace up and get going. However, one GHP member is enjoying the end of some well deserved rest at this time.

Last year, I wrote a story about Raj, one of our remote members who I coached in college for quidditch and who ran a major personal best in the marathon.  

Well, folks, he’s done it again.  

Two years ago he came to GHP with a goal of breaking the 4 hour marathon barrier while improving his back pain. He hit that goal (3:46) and then realized he was capable of so much more.  

So we went after more.  

As we got to the end of the summer of 2023, we got back into the lab to take on a new challenge: 3 hours & 30 minutes for the Houston Marathon in January. He was putting in the miles, putting in the weights, and getting his rest. In the fall, he ended up running a personal best in the half marathon of 1:37 on a training cycle race that was not really tapered for.  

Raj had to overcome some adversity in preparation for the race though. Late in the fall, he had a knee issue pop up that stemmed from a bit of fast ramp up that we had to adjust for. This limited his ability to fit in any runs beyond 13 miles which left us a bit uncertain for the back half of the race.

After making some adjustments to mileage, strength work, and physical therapy, we got training dialed in. I learned a lot in this process about ramping up speed work & how long term fitness can build a really large and resilient engine that can withstand setbacks while still creating an all time best performance.  

On our last call before the race we revisited strategy. While I was talking about a conservative beginning and a strong finish, Raj stopped me and said (paraphrased) “I think I’m just going to go out with the 3:30 pacer and see how long I can hold on at the goal pace.”  

And that is exactly what he did. Raj ran 3:30. He reported feeling really fresh and surprised himself with how well he could maintain pace in the last 10K. Off of an imperfect training cycle, he made a 16 minute improvement.

In the last 2 races, Raj has shaved off 37 minutes on his marathon without training year round for it, and starting from a base that is faster than most people ever start.  

Who knows what is possible for his next race! For now, it’s speed time!  

Raj has inspired me a lot. Being a part of his journey has inspired me to train for the marathon to see what I can achieve and push myself to do. Thank you, Raj!

Are you looking to reach a big goal this racing season? Schedule a Success Strategy Call to learn how we can help you along the way. 

Global Human Performance
Global Human Performance

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