These Idiots Are Running the LA Marathon: Analyzing Paul and Ryan’s Training

By Stephen Kersh

March 21, 2019

The Los Angeles Marathon will be run this Sunday, March 24th. It will run “from the stadium to the sea” and while I’m not sure which stadium race organizers are referring to, I’m pretty sure the sea is the Pacific Ocean. Thousands of Angelenos will rush into that big ass swath of brackish water, cleansing themselves after an arduous 26.2 through all the smog the Valley has to offer. What an amazing sight it will be, no doubt. And while swarms of discombobulated marathoners finishing their race in the sea appeals to my most human sensibilities, what really gets me going about the LA ‘thon is the race-to-the-finish-line between my two jelly-boned pals and CITIUS MAG stars Ryan Sterner and Paul Snyder.

To finish a marathon is a phenomenal accomplishment. The athlete, presumably, put in months of training, stayed healthy, and then managed to combat the unavoidable GI distress on the way to the finish line. Two thumbs, way up, fella. I’ve been following Ryan’s training over the last few months and one thing is clear: the marathon has put the fear of god in him.

As someone who suffers from the Jelly Bones, Ryan is constantly on the precipice of some sort of bone-related catastrophe. He knows this and he respects it. It’s a beautiful sort of restraint that almost no runner employs or can even imagine. And yet, Ryan has given an equally beautiful middle finger to restraint over his training block.

His fellow soft-boiled-egg-boned buddy Paul is a much more talented runner than Ryan. I do not feel bad saying this because it is based in fact. Paul was one of the best high school runners in the Great State of Texas during his tenure in San Antonio and he went on to run a 14:07 (5,000-meter) and 8:14 (3,000-meter) as a Columbia Lion. Ryan used his time in college to piddle around Boulder, while avoiding ever going too deep in the well or he’d pass out from the altitude.

Anyway, Paul decided to join Ryan at the LA Marathon. Which is interesting because where Paul is a decidedly better runner than Ryan, Ryan has been putting in more marathon specific training and he may just have the leg up. We shance (shant doesn’t rhyme with chance, so just let me use shance) leave this to chance, though. Let’s take a peek behind the curtain and check out their respective Strava profiles.

ryan and paul strava analysis

They got fucking lost. This does not bode well for the ‘thon. Luckily they’ve got months to learn to navigate.

ryan sterner's 12 mile run strava

This appears to be a 12-mile run with a 6-mile tempo at around 6:25 average. His title “Oh my god” makes me believe this was difficult for him. 12 miles is not a half marathon.

paul snyder track workout

Paul did a track workout. It takes Paul about two track workouts to get in sub-15:30 5K shape. He’s gaining ground on Ryan.

ryan sterner digging his own grave strava

Ryan is back with more inspiring positivity and a 14-mile run. “Nearly barfed at mile 11. Will spend the rest of the day in an Iron Lung.” But he got in 9 miles of sub-6:20 pace. Things are looking up for our couch-to-marathon kid.

paul snyder easy run strava

What Paul is seemingly doing is running the pace of Ryan’s workouts for his normal pace. This is a “flex.” *immediately reaches for my juul*

ryan sterner five mile run strava

Our shining ray of light disparages his sub-6-minute average, but I see it and respect it. His map looks like a crude version of one of those feet with wings that kid on your cross country team in high school has tattooed on his ankle. (Editor’s Note: Chris has these tattoos on his ankles.)

paul snyder law and order svu shoot

Damn that’s actually tight.

paul snyder injuries citius mag

Yikes! Looks like Paul’s Jelly Bones are knocking on the door, demanding why he’s running so dang much.

ryan sterner stephen kersh running

It’s true. I hosted Ryan for his 48-hour altitude camp. He was fine until he wasn’t. With a few miles to go he turned into a huge baby and demanded we stop. We didn’t stop and he ended up with a nice long effort. This bodes well for our beaming optimist.

paul snyder returns

He’s back.

jellybones boys strava

He needs new friends.

paul snyder strava workout east river

Paul’s second workout. He is now officially in better shape than Ryan.

ryan sterner long run strava

This is actually a very smart thing for Ryan to do. He’s about a month out from the big day, and put in a solid 2-hours of running. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: things are looking up for this guy.Paul Snyder LA Marathon Strava

Let it be written, on March 3rd, 2019, Paul Snyder has officially entered the gauntlet. With a helluva nice long run to boot.

And on Ryan’s side, somehow we went from this…

ryan sterner long run strava

To this…

Ryan Sterner's abandoned long run

Uh oh.

paul snyder long run

And just like that, Paul is in 2:35 shape. Congrats on your last long run.

ryan sterner last long run citius mag strava

Well holy shit. He just needed a fresh pair of lining in his running shorts. I know for fact Ryan has two pairs of running shorts, so adding a third to the arsenal has seemingly kept him in the game.

The marathon is now only three days away. After looking at their respective training, and trying to really toss some science at it, I have made the following predictions:

Paul Snyder: 2:42

Ryan Sterner: 2:45

What happened was the fellas were running together for most of the race before Ryan could sense Paul was feeling much better, at which point he said “Paul, for Pete’s sake, go on and get after it a bit.” Paul ran a great last 10K and was waiting with a firm handshake for Ryan as he crossed the finish line and proceeded to complain about severe spleen pain.

Stephen Kersh

Former collegiate runner for University of Portland and Georgetown, currently a professional runner weighing sponsorship offers from no one. Enjoys using the internet to message Scott Olberding and Paul Snyder about bad story ideas. Does not assume he will work at Citius much longer due to the bad story ideas. He once gave a TED Talk titled "Twitter: How We Are All Just Shouting into a Vacuum" to his best friend and his girlfriend on the beaches of Connecticut.