Some of the most popular posts on this blog have been about Lance Armstrong adventure in marathon, his first marathon at New York marathon where he finished 2 hrs 59 min, seconds, a minute below his three hours target and his 2007 New York marathon where he incredibly slashed 13 minutes to finish in 2 hrs 46 mins. Is this a prelude to to being the best runner in the planet like he dominated cycling, winning seven tour de france?
Old is gold
At 35 years, you might think he is too old to compete with the likes of Robert Cheruiyot, World Marathon Majors Winner and Martin Lel, winner of 2007 New York and 2007 & 2008 London Marathons, but keep in mind Haile Gebresellasie is 35 and he declared his intention to run the marathon at 2012 London Olympics.
A research published by Journal of Applied Physiology indicates Lance is no ordinary runner and I feel in my personal quest to beat his time I might be forced to try and run under 2 hrs 30 mins sooner or later.
Unsual Lungs, heart and lactic acid production
Big, big heart advantage
His heart is 30% larger than average; however, an enlarged heart is a common trait for many other athletes. His heart can beat over 200 times a minute and thus pump an extraordinarily large volume of blood and oxygen to his legs.
Big Oxygen Intake
His VO2 max—a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen your lungs can take in. Lance has a VO2 max of 83.8 mL/kg/min — much higher than the average person (40-50)
Low Lactic Production
When people reach exhaustion, their muscles build up Lactic acid, which causes the muscles to stop contracting. But Armstrong’s muscles produce about half as much acid as the average person’s muscles do when they get fatigued. This allows him to recover much faster than other people.
In addition to his “good genes” Lance got to the top due to, years of incredible training, competitive experience, and obsessive drive to achieve and persevere.
Looking at his marathon performance, its clear the physical advantage is there and he might as well have brought his obsessive drive to running.
Do you think, with more miles under his feet this superhuman will run a marathon in under 2 hrs 20 minutes?