Sub-Four Marathon at Forty | Marathon Training Academy

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Here’s a nice email we received from a client named Stephen who used Resilient Runner to help with IT domain injuries and used the MTA 4:00 Marathon plan to earn a shiny new PR!

Hello MTA family!

With all of our races cancelled, I was excited to see all the great things the MTA podcast was doing to help keep us all sane. I completed the 100 mile challenge at the end of last year.

Later when I saw the medal in the 300-mile challenge plus the theme: I Run to Burn Off the Crazy, I had to score. I justified signing up for another hypothetical race with the belief that if my spring race didn’t happen, at least I’d get that cool medal and a nice new hat.

I decided this is the year I’m trying to break the 4 hour marathon. Less than 4 hours now that I’m 40!

You have registered for Running the Frisco Railway in Willard, Missouri, which is just outside Springfield, Missouri. The race was on April 24, 2021 and offers 8K, half marathon, full marathon, 50K and 50 miles.

I chose it because it’s a relatively small race, so I thought it was unlikely to be canceled or postponed. The course runs out and back on a trail that was once part of the old Frisco Railway. (I also chose this race because to try PR I wanted a flat course.)

With race day approaching, forecasts included rain and thunderstorms for a week. However, as the days approached, the chances of rain dwindled and there was only a light drizzle of rain on race day which stopped 15 minutes before the marathon started at 7am.

During the race, I met a handful of people who were running at a similar pace as me. We got together while we were steady eating for miles. You’ve sailed at a wonderful length of up to 23 miles. We’ve maintained a 9:00 minute per mile pace until then and I started slowing down at 9:20.

I refused to stop however I wanted to and when I crossed the finish line at a specific time 3:58:51! I was ecstatic! My best marathon time was 4 hours 18 minutes at MO Cow Bell 6 years ago 20 minutes PR!

Thank you MTA for the great content and resources. I can’t finish without you. A special thanks to Ryan from Oklahoma City for walking me all this way.


Stephen from Ashland, Missouri

listener since 2015.


Before that, I had problems with the IT domain. So, I signed up for the Resilient Runner and got started during the winter of 2021. I completed all three 20-mile courses of a 4-hour MTA plan with no IT scope issues. Many thanks to Dr. Benchatto for the information on injuries to IT teams!!!

About Trevor Spencer

Trevor Spencer is the producer of the Marathon Training Academy podcast. He loves inspiring people to take action in their fitness and life.

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