In February 2020, German ultrarunner Florian Neuschwander broke American Mario Mendoza‘s 50K treadmill world record, running 2:57:25. Just a few weeks ago on January 30, almost a year after his 50K record (which has since been lowered by multiple runners), Neuschwander broke yet another one of Mendoza’s treadmill PBs, this time doubling up for the 100K. Neuschwander ran a new world record of 6:26:08, beating the mark set by Mendoza last June by 13 minutes.
Neuschwander’s 100K run
Neuschwander has already proved he can throw down some impressive times on the treadmill, but there’s a big difference between 50K and 100K. Both are ultra distances, but the 50K is only slightly longer than a marathon. In a 100K, you’re running close to two and a half marathons, which is hard enough to complete, let alone to run quickly. Despite going double the distance as his last treadmill world record, Neuschwander ran an exceptional time, and he had clearly prepared extremely well for his record attempt.
Mendoza’s previous record of 6:39:25 works out to essentially four-minute kilometres (the actual pace comes in at a fraction of a second under four minutes). It wasn’t going to be easy for Neuschwander to match or better Mendoza’s pace, but he handled it extremely well, and his 6:26:08 finishing time was 3:52 per-kilometre pace.
As he worked toward the record attempt, Neuschwander posted updates on his training, and a lot of his longer treadmill runs hovered around the pace he hit on January 30. In December and January, he ran multiple 50K and 60K tests on the treadmill between 3:49 and 3:52 per-kilometre pace. In his build, he even beat his 50K treadmill PB (and the German record), running 2:51:52.
Unfortunately, this was not an official record attempt (he was actually running a Zwift marathon and made a mid-race decision to go for his 50K PB), so this time will not be ratified. Even so, this result undoubtedly gave Neuschwander confidence as he moved toward his 100K a little over a month later.
In the end, he crushed the 100K run, and he is once again a treadmill world record holder. While he is thrilled with this result, he recently told Zwift that he has aspirations off the treadmill and on solid ground instead, specifically at the 100K world championships (which are set to be held in Berlin in 2022), France’s Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc and the Western States 100 in California.