Re-inventing the marathon after 2425 years

Dear All, I have just posted my article on the ‘Marathon Revolution’. This is a new methodology from the Netherlands, meant to make the marathon and running in general ‘sustainable’.

I have planned to run the 2017 Barcelona on Mar 12th. I will start training on Dec 2nd, following the 100 day schedule. I will use the Hexoskin gear to track my HR and HRV, among others. I will publish couple of items along the way, to comment on both the Marathon Revolution methodology as well as on the Hexoskin gear and API.

Any thoughts or tips? Feel free to share.

Best, Marcel.

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Hi Marcel - that was a really interesting piece. I was disappointed the book isn’t in English yet, hopefully it soon will be.

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Last Tuesday, I gave a presentation at the Amsterdam Data Science Meetup, about the Marathon Revolution and other ideas to re-invent the old-school Marathon.
Here’s the link to the slides:

And to the Meetup:

(Copy and paste, I couldn’t manage to make a link out of it)

Feel free to share and add some other QS ideas.

Very interesting slides Marcel!

It could fantastic if there was an app notifying us, when the risk of injury was high!

A question to slide five - What are you thoughts as to why clubs are decreasing in popularity? Are runners becoming more self-interested and les social?

I look forward to reading your thoughts.

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Lars, thanks!! We’re working hard on creating the building blocks for such an app and validating them, with trainers/coaches, runners and athletes. Clubs in The Netherlands and e.g. Denmark are suffering from a decreasing number of members. Some identified reasons (1) Popularity of apps - which leads people to think they do not need anything else (2) Rise of free apps and intelligent devices / cool dashboards, which creates a perception that clubs that charge a fee (in the Netherlands about EUR 150 per year) are expensive, without clear benefits (3) Social trends that promote individual activities, which create the perception - especially with younger generations - that clubs are old-fashioned / for old people (4) the increased focus on (one-time) events (like NY Marathon) the decreased focus on (life-time) way-of-life engagement.

I hope this helps. What do you think?


Thanks for your comprehensive answer Marcel!

I guess an app like that is all about gathering enough data to draw behavioural patterns and conclusions, which can be used as guidelines. You probably already know the app, which on the basis of your health data can predict e.g. a heart attack. So the same is absolutely possible for an app targeting runners and the like.

Very interesting reasons regarding the decreasing number of members! I have for instance ever been a member of a club due to reasons number 1 and 3, but as the same time I find it thought-provoking that the western world seems to be so self-centred and deselect social activities. I have no data to underpin this fear, but I fear that in a few years the only social activity is at work and in the supermarket. The rest of the time we live in a self-centred bubble behind a screen.

But again, this is only a layman´s fear.

Kind regards
Mikkelsen (programmer at MONEYBANKER)

Thanks, Lars! Laymen, like all Homo Sapiens and other living species, face many fears, both realistic and imaginary (;-0.

PS: Pls let me know if you would like to co-create or contribute, ok?

Yup, you are absolutely right Marcel :wink:

It could be very interesting to take part somehow, at least I would very much like to be a test user, when the time comes

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Ok, let’s link up via LinkedIn, ok? Can you send me an invite? There is still only 1 ‘Marcel van der Kuil’

Hi Marcel - I am relatively new on the forum, and stumbled upon this thread by accident. I am a huge marathoner myself and is therefore curious as to how your 2017 experience was? :slight_smile:
Also, I highly agree with your statement in the PPT - “The human body and mind: Made to move” - we were born to run and as you mention “the best and cheapest way to self-medicate, stay healthy and enjoy life”

Is the book out in English yet?

I look forward to your response.
Best regards (keep it up)
Thomas (Owner of Walletform)

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Hi Thomas, thanks! The book is still waiting for a publisher and a go from the author, helas. Any ideas how we could push this forward? PS1: just finished a great runing race today, relay with 9 friends, 100km! PS2: I just posted my slides and paper regarding 'DIGITAL COACHING OF RUNNERS USING HRV’:

Marcel, What is your opinion about risk of injury to joints from doing lots of long races. I’m inspired by your work but want to be carefully.


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There are several studies (not all of which were sponsored by Nike :slight_smile: ) that show that long-term running doesn’t appear to cause joint damage–provided you avoid traumatic injuries. Traumatic injuries are often caused by runners pushing themselves too hard too fast and not giving their bodies enough time to adapt. Hence the interest in HRV as a convenient (but incomplete?) metric that tells you when your body is falling behind in adapting.

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Gary, thanks, great question! Joints tyically suffer with high intentisity (e.g. on the tracks, on a surface that gives a different/harder bounce) or with high duration (e.g. on asphalt). A best practice is to crosstrain. e.g. with core stability (e.g. squats are great/ easy), biking or swimming. Cross training helps you to avoid the common pitfall of monomanic exercise which seem to give a quicker path to overtraining issues. Additional tips: different shoes for different terrain, train of soft terrain at least once a week, avoid overweight (should be a low risk in your case), check hr/hrv patterns on regular basis, to see if your recovery process can handle the training load. PS: sorry for the late reply.

Eric, thanks for joining the discussion. The risk of joint issues depends on age (I’m 52), bmi (I’m currently a litrle below OK) and overall ‘loadability’ - pushing yourself after two days of hard work and not a lot of sleep is not a good idea in my case. Indeed, HR/HRV are still fairly new metrics and there’s still much to learn. However, HRV seems to easily ‘work’ for people, because if helps them to reflect and define ‘actionable items’. Would you agree?

Haven’t been able to get much use out of HRV metrics, perhaps because any variation in my daily routine (or even just a slightly different breathing rate) can mask small signals, and large changes seem obvious to me. Could still be interesting for long-term trends, but would probably have to combine it with a bunch of more subjective metrics.

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Eric, thanks. We have just done a pilot project with a group of 20 runners to look at ways to benefit from HRV data, from the runner and coach’ perspective. This was easier than we thought, I have shared our findings via the QS18 folder, maybe this helps.

I missed your talk but saw the slides; my impression was that you concluded that you couldn’t do away with the subjective metrics and rely on the HRV measurements alone?

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@marcelvanderkuil, great stuff! Really dig it. Is the book out soon?

Best regards
Oliver (Owner of