03 February 2020

Marathon legend Paula Radcliffe believes shoe technology will lead to marathon runners breaking more records

Marathon legend Paula Radcliffe is believes marathon runners will continue to break records as shoe technology advances, despite the recent controversies. 

Radcliffe, 46, held the record for the fastest female marathon of all time for 16 years, before Kenya's Brigid Kosgei beat her time last year at the Chicago Marathon. 

But World Athletics recently released a new set of regulations on shoe technology after the Nike Vaporfly, which Kosgei wore during her record-setting performance, sparked debate.

However, those specific shoes have since been given the seal of approval by the governing body. 

The controversial footwear was also worn by Kosgei's compatriot Eliud Kipchoge, who ran the first sub-two-hour marathon last year. 

Radcliffe told Champions UK: "Things are improving all the time. There's been a lot of talk about the advancement in shoe technology and the better physiological understanding of how best to fuel the body during a marathon.

"One of the biggest reasons that the shoe technology has come on so much is not the plate they talk about but the foam, and the fact it saves energy in your legs. 

"The hardest thing in a marathon is getting to 20 miles and finding that your legs are dead and you can't get any more return back from them. It’s hard to keep them moving and that's part of the skill - keeping your body moving. 

"Whereas now, people are getting to 20 miles and their legs are still fresh because they're not getting hammered by the concrete."

However, in the women's marathon she believes the two-hour barrier will not be broken any time soon.

She added: "Not legally and without rockets on their feet! I just think the physiological differences between the male and female bodies mean that, yes maybe over ultra-endurance events women may actually be better, as they have greater endurance, maybe better powers of concentration over a long time, and certainly more fat stores as well, which is important for long endurance events. 

"I don't expect World Records at all at the Olympics, I think it will be championship-type racing but yes, you always get some surprises. You will get the expected big names there, but the Olympic Games usually throws up some surprises. Sometimes it is just about what happens on the day."

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