My name is Brooks Wheelan, I’m a comedian, and about three months ago I bet my friend $500 I could run a solo marathon with no training under four and a half hours. Two days later, slightly hungover, I ran my marathon in 4 hours 16 minutes and 20 seconds. I also hurt myself. End of story? Nope. Now I’ve been using the ASICS Runkeeper app to properly train for marathon number two.

The final countdown

I’m a few days away from running my marathon and I can’t believe I’m saying this, I might actually be able to do it. I’m giving myself an outside chance of running a sub 3 hour and 30-minute marathon (pace of 8:00 min/mile). I know that’s not incredibly fast, but 11 weeks ago I hadn’t run a single mile in over 6 months because I had sidelined myself with IT Band Syndrome. Last Friday was my final “long-run” before I started tapering down and I ran 14 miles at a 7:46 min/mile pace with plenty left over after. I can say without question that by following this plan and only skipping one small run (I’ll get to that later), I have gotten into the best shape of my adult life.

I am really lucky, I decided to be the guinea pig in this weird experiment and put the ASICS Runkeeper™ app to the test. Really, what I’m doing is a human trial on myself. Test 1 was an idiot (me) running a marathon with no training. The result: 4 hours and 16 minutes plus completely destroying the test subject’s knee. Test 2 is next Monday where a smart person (me) runs a marathon after training correctly for 12 weeks. Results: TBD.

Getting Started

Over the past 3 months, I’ve lost 20 pounds and feel really good about myself, all in the middle of a global pandemic that sidelined my entire profession of stand up comedy. Small things like being held accountable to run 6 days a week has really helped during this wild time. It didn’t matter what was going on in the world I had to run almost every day. And some days it was a lot. I’ve logged over 300 miles in 11 weeks and had fun doing it. This whole thing unlocked some athletic DNA that had gone dormant in my body after I stopped playing competitive sports in high school. It’s been so great to train correctly because my joints would always give out before my lungs in the past, but now that they’ve been built up to run long distances so I can really blow out my lungs. I forgot how great it feels to push yourself to a limit you didn’t think you could get to.

All this happened because I stuck to the training plan. The only day I missed was a 12-mile day on Saturday the election was called. I gave myself the whole day off to breathe a long sigh of relief and enjoy a few refreshments. Other than that single day, I stuck to the plan. I remember in the early stages 9 miles was a long run that I could barely get through. Now, two months later, I’m like “sweet, a 14-mile day! That’s nothing.” Because compared to 20 miles, 14 ain’t sh*t. I just went back and looked; on October 11th I ran 9 miles in 1:20:08 (8:54 min/mile pace) and that run killed me. A little over a month later on Nov 19th I ran 8 miles in 00:59:58 (7:30 min/mile pace) and felt great. Check my stats over on the Runkeeper app. I’m not lying.   

The bottom line

Staying on a game plan works. I did nothing different except run every day I was supposed to. I didn’t change my diet, I didn’t drink less, I just held myself accountable. Hell, this whole experiment has been so fun and encouraging it has me wanting to train correctly WITH the proper diet and nutrition. Maybe after this one, we go for round 2? What do you think Runkeeper? Want to try and help me train for my next marathon? Ok, maybe I’m getting way ahead of myself because first, we gotta finish this test. On Monday, December 21st, starting at noon PST the results come back and I’m excited.

Follow his journey and train with Brooks in the Runkeeper app.