This month, Rob Young aka Marathon Man UK is attempting the fastest crossing of America on foot. To beat it, Rob has to run across the USA faster than Frank Giannino Jr did back in 1980 - a feat that no runner has been able to achieve since. That’s 3100-odd miles across 14 states, covering between 60 and 70 miles a day, every day, in less than 46 days, 8 hours and 36 minutes. Speaking about this challenge, Rob was asked about what separates his attempt from previous, “Looking back at what other runners have done over the years, I’ve noticed that they’ve gone into it completely fit and race trim,” says Rob. “But the problem with starting in professional race shape is that you deteriorate day after day, and you can’t afford to lose steam.”
Rob’s theory is to start slightly overweight and underfit. “If you add 6 or 7 kilos to your ideal race weight, your body can burn into that once it’s burned through your food so that way it won’t eat into your muscles and everything else that causes deterioration. Where other runners started off strong but burnt out towards the end, I’ll have a slower start but after a few weeks I would have worked off the weight and run myself into ideal shape to carry me through the rest of the way.”
As for his day-to-day management, Rob plans to run each marathon using the same formula he used to run 117 back-to-back marathons in the Race Across the USA last year: running the first half of the distance at race pace and slowing down to a cool-down jog/walk in the second half. “People that race the full distance can’t eat for an hour or so after finishing, but because I would have already cooled down, I’ll be able to go straight into eating 3-4000 calories to start the recovery process. Hopefully that works.” With the full-time support of a dedicated crew that will cheer him on from a campervan provided by his compression sportswear sponsor SKINS.
At the end of play yesterday Rob had covered 135 miles after 2 days 3 hours. For more info and updates check out his Marathon Man UK facebook page.