Marathon Talk Episode 10: Mary Ngugi

Mary Ngugi is not only an accomplished marathoner, but a force of nature, a catalyst for change, and an inspiration both throughout her racing and beyond.

Having launched Nala Track Club, she’s creating opportunities for young girls in Kenya with the potential to achieve similar success.

We hear from Mary on the podcast this week, as we also take a look at the stellar elite field for London, Tokyo’s record-breaking run next month, and how much race pace you’re really sacrificing by missing out on training sessions.

In this episode of Marathon Talk:

  • 0:00 - Martin & Deena catch up and share their experiences with unique run plans and strength training
  • 13:43 - Rounding up news on the recently announced elite field for April’s TCS London Marathon, and Tokyo’s Guinness World Record-breaking run next month
  • 21:10 - Training Talk: New research on how much impact a run of consistent missed sessions can have on final race pace
  • 29:05 - Mary Ngugi’s inspiring interview, discussing her start in distance running, advantages of training as a team, and remarkable activism work with Nala Track Club & Women’s Athletic Alliance
  • 1:01:00 - Closing out with celebrations for two important, special birthdays

Episode highlights

“A royal flush is a progressive paced run, where you run each mile faster than the last.” - 4:25 - Martin Yelling

“My conversation with Mary Ngugi stuck with me - she’s so inspiring. Here she is making the best of her own career, but her purpose is so much bigger.” - 01:05 - Deena Kastor 

“There are 11 women with PB’s faster than 2:20 in the London Marathon - they’re dubbing it the ‘Battle of the Best’.” - 17:20 - Martin Yelling & Deena Kastor 

“If marathoners in this research missed more than 28 consecutive days in their training, their finish times increased by over 8%!” - 24:10 - Martin Yelling 

“I believe it’s better to start these organisations while I’m still running, because I still have a platform. The girls can relate better, because they see me as an athlete.” - 35:05 - Mary Ngugi

“One of the biggest problems in Kenyan athletics is that there are almost no female coaches. That’s a challenge for the girls, you’d have nobody to run to if there’s issues that only a female can deal with.” - 38:10 - Mary Ngugi

“I hate training alone! Sometimes I’m in the UK and have a session alone, and I dread it. You need someone to push you and encourage you.” - 42:55 - Mary Ngugi

“I’ve raced Boston against Edna Kipligat twice in the last two years, and I respect her so much. I’ve learned so much from her having raced against her.” - 50:05 - Mary Ngugi

Episode keywords Marathon talk, abbott world marathon majors, marathon running, distance running, marathon, marathon training, endurance training, berlin marathon, boston marathon, chicago marathon, tokyo marathon, six star finisher, mary ngugi, nala track club, women’s athletic alliance, tcs london marathon, mo farah, marathon research,

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