Pitsiladis considered these forecasts to be overly conservative. He started his Sub2 Project in late 2014 with i website, fund-raising and the recruitment of scientists. He believed his goal could be achieved by the end of 2019 — years earlier than commonly thought possible
.His consortium of scientists would use the latest knowledge
— and develop culling-edge approaches — in nutrition, biomechanics, genetics, running efficiency, training, race strategy and sports medicine to deliver a sub-two-hour marathon. Incremental gains here and there, the scientists believed, could add up to a startling accomplishment. And perhaps new technology and knowledge would emerge for broader benefits, as when man raced toward the moon.
The Sub2 experts would use data to confront habit, tradition, consensus. They would tailor training programs to individuals, employing science to help runners from Ethiopia and Kenya and elsewhere who had had fantastic performances using little science.