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How to Run a Faster Marathon with Bill Callahan

By February 21, 2019April 14th, 2022No Comments
How to Run a Faster Marathon with Bill Callahan

In this episode of the Extramilest Show I Interview Bill Callahan, he lives in Whitesboro, New York. His entry into running was later in life as his running wife, Lindsey, got him into it. For years it was just a local 15K a year with minimal training. After his father died in 2011, he ran his first marathon in 2012 to raise money for cancer research. He again ran a marathon (NYC) in 2013 just because he got in.

Fast forward after more down years again and in 2016 he got going and serious on running!! He found HR training and set out to go for Boston and accomplished it! He has since ran Chicago, Boston and Berlin and is chasing the Abbott 6 Start Medals! With 2 young boys, demanding job and busy home life, it’s not easy, but he manages to run six days a week and over 2000 miles / 3218+ km per year the last two years and plans to do more this year! It’s now his go to hobby and he is constantly trying to get others hooked!

Bill Callahan and his wife / coach Lindsey after the Hudson Mohawk Marathon. His first sub 3 and Boston Qualifier.

He has improved from 3:40 to 2:53 with more training volume, low HR training and more racing experience. In today’s episode we take a deep dive into his training and racing experience with a lot of great info on how to become a stronger, faster, healthier athlete.

The Extramilest Show on iTunes

Question of the day, what was one of your key takeaways from this conversation. Please let me know in the comments!

LINKS from this episode


  • How Bill’s wife Lindsey got him into running via the Boilermaker 15k race. [4:36]
  • Bill’s first marathon experience in 2012 in 3 hours 40 minutes [5:55]
  • How Bill’s training and racing has evolved over the years, his key learnings [9:30]
  • Bill’s initial experience with low heart rate training [12:25]
  • The improvements Bill noticed over a 5 month period with HR training [13:35]
  • The importance of consistency in training + variations in your running terrain , flat, up hills, down hills, etc [15:45]
  • Bill rotates 4 different types of shoes, different drop levels and weights  [16:36]
  • How Bill’s training and racing has evolved over the years, his key learnings [8:05]
  • How Bill and Floris use Strava as a tool for note taking, this helps decide what training volume is best for him [21:00]
  • The importance of Bill’s routine before race day [26:00]
  • How Bill overcomes tough spots in his races [31:30]
  • Recounting the race where Bill ran his current PR, his race and nutritional strategy [35:45]
  • Bill’s logistics with gels and salt pills [39:55]
  • Bill explains his strategy behind doing monthly pace runs, pretending it’s the first part of a race. [42:10]
  • What a typical training week looks like for Bill [44:30]
  • Importance of a proper cool down after a workout and race [48:00]
  • Bill’s thoughts about stretching [48:40]
  • How Bill has been focusing on improving his running form to become a faster athlete, focusing on arm swings [56:15]
  • Importance during Marathon running to run the corners smart, shortest route [57:45]
  • Floris’s pre-race strategy to get in good position early in a coral and stay warm [58:30]
  • Boston Weather expectations, you can’t control what you can’t control, Plan B, C, D and E! [1:01:09]
  • Bill’s advice for athletes on How to Run a Faster Marathon [1:03:00]

Bill and I had a lot of fun recording this. Hope you enjoy today’s episode!

Additional Marathon Stats by Bill

  • 1) Vermont City Marathon in Burlington Vermont – May 27, 2012 – 3:41:16. Was in the high 50s to low 60s at start and into 70s (F) during race.
  • 2) NYC Marathon – Nov 3, 2013 – 3:22:37. My Garmin had 50 degrees F and 17 MPH winds at start. It got colder and windier as race went on.
    Started HR Training in 2016
  • 3) Mohawk Hudson River Marathon Albany NY – Oct 9, 2016 – 2:58:51. My Garmin had 52 degrees F and 10 mph winds at start.
  • 4) Chicago Marathon – October 8, 2017 – 2:58:32. My Garmin had 57 degrees F and 10 mph at start and it got into 70s(F)  during race. Moderate Level Conditions posted for race
  • 5) Boston Marathon – April 16, 2018 – 3:01:04. My Garmin had 39 degrees F and no wind listed at start :). Gusts 30-40mph were reported. I’m assuming it took 6-7 minutes off everyone’s times.
  • 6) Berlin Marathon – Sept 16, 2018 – 2:53:45. My Garmin had 61 degrees F and got into 70s F during the race. Winds were light but picked up to higher single digits. I’m curious what Kipchoge would’ve run if it was 40-45 out!!

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