June 3, 2018

Exercise

Breaking2

I was struck how I was rooting for (and fascinated by) Kipchoge and everyone involved in the preparation and execution, but even more so I felt like I was rooting for us as a species. 

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Love so much about this. Breaking2 was a project by Nike to break the 2-hour barrier for the marathon. To get a taste for what kind of feat this is, I like to put a treadmill at 13.1 mph, sprint for about a minute, and imagine keeping up a pace somewhere in this ballpark for 2 hours. Yikes.

Malcolm Gladwell calls Kipchoge the greatest marathoner who ever lived, and the most beautiful runner who ever lived. On a live podcast event with Bill Simmons last year, Gladwell said he would like everyone to go on YouTube, type in “Kipchoge,” and watch the way he runs, “and if that doesn’t turn you into a running fan…”

Gladwell, a runner himself, says that in running circles they have a “Kipchoge number.” This is just like the aforementioned treadmill experiment: how long (in distance) can you keep up with Kipchoge at his marathon pace? The average person can probably keep his pace for 20 meters (Gladwell himself says can probably keep up for 1200 meters, which is remarkable).

Keep that in mind as you watch the Breaking2 documentary. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The doc is such a great combination of physiology, psychology, engineering, and the pursuit of excellence—in a movement that is etched into human history. I was struck how I was rooting for (and fascinated by) Kipchoge and everyone involved in the preparation and execution, but even more so I felt like I was rooting for us as a species.

– Peter

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