Steve Smythe, age 58, has run a sub-three-hour marathon every year for the past four decades. The London based runner and magazine editor has just set the world record by running 2:56:16 (6:43 per mile) in the Seville Marathon in Spain. Smythe ran his first marathon at 18 in 1976, where he ran 2:54:42 only two minutes faster than he did at 58. However, Smythe dropped his PR to 2:29:42 in 1981, a very respectable time for the marathon especially for the 1980’s.
This most recent marathon was particularly special, not just for the record but because Smythe had been dealing with injuries for the past five years and finally felt healthy. The Brit made several changes to his training plan in the months leading up the Seville Marathon.
Smythe did most of his 85-mile weeks on grass instead of the hard pavement he was used to. He also dropped some weight by watching what he was eating, spent more time in the gym, doing core, stretching, and leg and arm strengthening, he also made sure to do at least 20 miles every Sunday.
“It probably hasn’t been done for a reason, I was thinking. You generally don’t keep that fit for that long,” said Smythe. Running can cause a lot of impact on the body, so it is impressive that someone has been running for such a length of time and doing so at this quality.
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