The absolute best, unbeatable advice for marathon running. You’re welcome.

Alexei Sorokin
2 min readFeb 19, 2022

In the last six months, I ran my first sub-three-hour (2.57) marathon and a sub-eighty-minute (1.19) half marathon.

In both races, I overshot my targets. For the marathon, I just wanted to get under three hours. For my half marathon, I was thinking 1.22. In both cases, I was faster by minutes.

Is there a secret?

Yes. Hold your breath.

Can it have something to do with the function of mitochondria? No. Mitochondria is awesome but I forget its exact role, without googling.

Tapering? Kind of, but no really.

Interval training? Important, but not the magic secret.

Mileage? Well, everyone runs some or many miles in preparation for the marathon.

No sex or masturbation before the race? That must be it, mustn’t it? Hm. No.

Cold shower before the race? No.

Shaving armpits and pubic hair before the race? Important for sure. Increases your pace per mile by a millisecond, especially if you’re hairy. Important, but not a deal-breaker.

Praying before the race and asking God to get under three hours? I haven’t tried.

Wearing a necklace with a small picture of Kipchoge? Definitely helps a little on mile 18.

Following a sub-three marathon Facebook group on Facebook? Gives your mental strength for sure. Dreams and goals are self-fulfilling. Doesn’t guarantee though you’ll have a perfect race.

Putting Vaseline on your nipples and some other intimate places? By all means, you should. Look at how my nipples suffered during the marathon. They sure hit the wall. Important, but still not critical. During my race, I told my nipples to stop seeking attention and they had to shut up.

Are you ready for the secret?

It’s the shorts. Wear bright shorts.

For my marathon I wore:

For my half marathon I wore:

Bright-colored shorts give you superpowers in running. The magic doesn’t work if you wear underpants. No underpants!

You’re welcome.

You can follow my running without underpants on Strava

Alexei Sorokin

A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day. More here: