I have been running long distances at a competitive level for some 30 years now. Personal bests include 1500m in 3:57 min., 3000m in 8:31 min., 5000m in 15:11 min., 10000m in 32:17 min., 3000m steeple chase in 9:14 min. All these personal bests were reached in the late 1980s when I was a undergraduate at the University of Freiburg with plenty of time to train.

Michael Strube

When I started to work on my Ph.D. (around 1993) I had to reduce the amount of time spent on running. Since then I run twice a week. I still do the odd race, mostly 10k and half-marathon. But I also like to run a marathon once in a while. Right now (2005) I am still able to run 10k in about 36 min, the Heidelberg half-marathon, which is quite hilly, in about 1:28 hour.

Michael Strube
Marathons:
1984  
Berlin, Germany 3:01h
1997 Philadelphia, USA 3:07h
1998 Philadelphia, USA 3:04h
2001 Frankfurt, Germany 2:56h
2003 Maximiliansau, Germany       
3:03h
2004 Chuncheon, South Korea
3:09h

Now, if anyone is interested in knowing how to run a marathon in 2:56 h with two times training a week, just take a look at my training log (PDF) which covers the four months preceding the Frankfurt Marathon 2001 (Warning: This training is not for the faint of heart!). The log is written in a kind of German, but if you are a runner, you'll be able to make sense of it.