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Workout Wednesday: U of T track vs. marathon world record pace

The University of Toronto track club did some one kilometres repeats at world record pace. Guess what? That's hard.

U Sports Track and Field Championships

The fall of 2018 has been a season of record-breaking runs. On the men’s side, the half-marathon world record, marathon world record and Canadian marathon record all fell within six weeks of each other. 

On the women’s side, Canadian ladies have been taking names, with a new set of faces emerging as real contenders. Notably, Rachel Cliff came within striking distance of Lanni Marchant’s Canadian record in her debut run in Berlin. Cliff clocked 2:28:53 and the Canadian record is 2:28:00. 

RELATED: Rachel Cliff debuts the marathon only 53 seconds off the Canadian record

In light of the record-breaking fall on the roads, the University of Toronto Track club ran a world-record-paced workout, and I hopped into the men’s workout, running one of their repeats at world-record pace. 

I threw on a pair of Vaporfly’s, started my watch and set out to run one kilometre in 2:53. To be clear, that’s what Kipchoge ran for 42.2K to set the world record. 

I’m a national class 800m runner with a personal best of 2:02. I’ve been running competitively for six years. I could only keep this pace for one kilometre–even with shoes that some consider to be a measurable advantage. For this pace on the track the shoes were perfect.

RELATED: Is the Vaporfly 4% too good?

The men on my team, some of them national medallists, could only maintain this pace for four kilometres, with two minutes rest in between. A 2:01:39 marathon isn’t just fast for your average runner, it’s fast for almost anyone on planet Earth. If the UofT track club ran this workout relay-style, meaning, trading off every kilometre, we might have been able to reach 20K at world-record pace. But individually, the men reached four kilometres at pace, and that’s with rest.