Before this guy, I thought these monks were the ultimate in mind-and-spirit-and-body physical endurance:
> Only 46 men have completed the 1,000-day challenge since 1885. It takes seven years to complete, as the monks must undergo other Buddhist training in meditation and calligraphy, and perform general duties within the temple.
...The final two years of the 1000-day challenge are even more daunting. In the sixth year they run 60km each day for 100 consecutive days and in the seventh year they run 84km each day for 100 consecutive days. This is the equivalent of running two Olympic marathons back-to-back every day for 100 days.
Doing it every day would be very difficult, but doing it six days a week wouldn't be that hard. The term 'overtraining syndrome' is actually a misnomer, because you don't get it from training too much, but rather from chronic glycogen deficiency. As long as you eat a banana or an energy bar every 45 minutes and drink diluted gatorade you'd be fine with that workload.
The biggest concern would definitely be joint problems and not muscular issues. The reality is that this guy probably did do a lot of damage to his body, but was able to mask it using an anti-inflammatory/analgesic drug like ibuprofen or marijuana.
I hope this guy doesn't regret doing this down the line, because right now it is very inspiring.
It's probably possible to go out in a single day with poor form and do more damage to your body than this guy did in an entire year.
Most people could run a marathon if they trained for it. The human body is made for running.
Both are quite good, worth reading.
Running these durations and distances is just plain amazing. I liked Murakami for the inner thoughts of a runner, and he talks about marathon runs as well.
McDougall's book almost seems unreal, and the coverage of appropriate running style and footwear is very interesting.
At that phenomenal pace of 2 hrs 56 min, 49-year old Engels is beating the qualification straitjackets for elite (non-professional) runners in ALL age groups.
"He will do his 42km (26-mile) daily jogs at Battersea Park every day until Monday..."
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathon#Distance for the interesting history behind the distance.
That said, still very impressive. Running 26.2 miles a day is amazing. Anyone who can run over 100 miles per week deserves nothing but praise.
That race has to be a rarity since he's supposed to average 4hrs.
>That's supposed to be a picture of his last race, which he finished in 4h21m59sec according to this (Dutch) article: http://sport.be.msn.com/running/nl/nieuws/?Article_ID=492504
I think the first of the above statements is correct and the portion of the time that we see differs from that indicated in the second above statement because runners typically wear a timing chip so their finishing time often varies from the official race clock by a few minutes based on how long after the race started that person started the race.
i.e. He could've started 4 hours later than the first wave.
"He ran every race, he never walked. He ran at a rate of 10 kilometers per hour"
The man ran 6:13 miles...in a marathon...each day, for 365 days in a row.
And he calls that a slow pace!
 Update: It's actually 6.2 miles per hour (the equivalent of a 9:40 mile), - still not too slow. I apologize for confusing miles per hour with mile times].
[BTW, what he did is insane and probably very dangerous for most people to attempt. The odds of getting injured/sick/suffering long term health consequences are high.]
I really don't think he's setting a dangerous example, because most people trying to emulate him would find that something gives--joint, muscle, whatever--before it got to the point of danger.
Even as an ultrarunner, I find this mind-blowing.
The physical limits of humans still keep on progressing.