I ran competitively against Peter while we were both in college. He was at Tufts University while I ran for Connecticut College.
Bromka was faster. In college, he was consistently a Varsity runner for their competitive Division III cross country team. But while he was a very good college runner, I wouldn't say he was a standout athlete.
Things started to change post-collegiately when Peter started running marathons. His first was 2:56 - a relatively pedestrian time by a former collegiate runner (one who was capable of running 25:xx for a 5-mile cross country course).
Soon, he dropped his time to 2:47. And then 2:41. His progression of improvement over 26.2 miles is eye-popping. After that 2:41, he ran:
2:36 2:34 2:29 2:23 2:19 His fastest finish came last December at the 2018 California International Marathon. His official time - 2:19:40 - missed the Olympic Trials Qualifying standard by a mere 40 seconds.
This progression gives Peter Bromka one of the most fascinating stories in marathon running today. It's rare. It's unique. And we just don't see DIII runners flirting with Olympic Trials Qualifying times very often!
I brought Peter on the podcast to talk about this progression and the mental and physical adjustments he's had to make to continue improving.
In this episode, we talk about:
How did Peter's mindset about training and racing change as he got faster? What role does fear play in how you think about breaking certain time barriers? Did he ever think he had reached his physiological limit? What then? What is it about the Boston Marathon that makes it so special (and difficult!)? Peter Bromka is like a philosopher of running. You'll love hearing him wax poetic about the marathon distance and what it means to run it well.