WHY WisdomRunning?

I believe that:

  • Everybody can complete a marathon, consecutively improve their PBs, and achieve health and well-being goals by running, regardless of age and physical shape.
  • A running coach, a treadmill, or the latest carbon-plated trainers won't run a marathon instead of you. Your running success depends solely on your actions and decisions.

So, WisdomRunning.com is your ultimate do-it-yourself source for running wisdom. The mission of WR is to show you the shortest path to achieving your running goals on your own.


I learned the hard way that the "Just Do It" attitude doesn't work. Moreover, it can get you to the point where running becomes a hard routine that doesn't bring joy anymore, and you struggle to continue just doing it. For many, it often ends with overtraining, injuries, and ultimately quitting.

The time, effort, and patience are vital to get what you want from running. However, you can fast-track to the desired running results and avoid mistakes by following the advice and example of those who have already achieved what you strive for.

Learning from the best elite athletes isn't suitable for beginner and intermediate runners because an untrained body can't stand the same or similar load and lifestyle. Moreover, professionals are often biased because a few brands pay for their living and training.

The best role model for non-professionals are those more experienced with running but who haven't forgotten the obstacles and mistakes of their recreational running past. And that is precisely the type of advice and wisdom you can find on this site.

WHO am I?

My name is Alex Roven (Oleksii Gorovenko). I'm a non-professional long-distance runner who likes to set running goals and enjoys overachieving them. I've been training consistently since 2018, ran six marathons, and here are my personal bests so far:






7:25 / 4:37



6:44 / 4:11



6:13 / 3:51



6:05 / 3:47

Here is my running bucket list and progress:




Sub 50 min 10K


27 May 2018

Sub 2h Half-marathon


4 Oct 2020

Complete a marathon


21 Nov 2021

Sub 4h Marathon


09 Oct 2022

Marathon in <3:30


24 Sep 2023

Half-marathon in <1.5 hours


08 Oct 2023

10K in <40 min


17 Dec 2023

Half-marathon in <1:25

Sub 3h Marathon
(Boston time qualifier)

(ETA: 07 Apr 2024)


My running journey

I started to run in my late 20th when professional athletes usually peak. I wanted to introduce a health habit that hopefully should have replaced some of the bad ones I had and felt guilty about. Also, my wife and I were planning a baby and wanted to conceive a healthy one. Finally, I wanted to become the world's best father and a worthy role model for our kid.

I'm a doer and go-getter type of person. I started to run regularly (I wanted to form a lasting habit), increased the speed and distance gradually (as every faster runner suggested), and went out in any weather (bad weather is just another excuse). Until an injury or a disease made me quit. As you may have guessed, I started and quit running many times.

Despite rookie mistakes, I was making progress. I ran my first 10K in an unbelievable 49:01.

That motivated me to train even harder, inevitably leading to more struggle, injuries, quitting, and starting over again. Everybody around seemed to get a hang of it, but not me.

In 2020, I ran my first half-marathon in 1:51:51 — the longest distance I had ever run. It inspired me to train for a full marathon, which I apparently could finish within 4 hours — a good marathon time in the running community. Boy, was I ever wrong!

Next year, I ran my first marathon in Cyprus — an island country in the Mediterranean Sea. 4:11:30. The first few miles, I ran at a decent 8:25 pace (5:15 min per km). However, I hit the marathon wall, and the last miles took me around 11:15 minutes (7:00). A typical rookie mistake.

In 2022, I ran my next marathon in Lisbon, Portugal, in a desirable 3:57:40. Like in my first marathon, I experienced cramps after the 18th mile (30th km). The weather was scorching, and the course had many steep hills, but I was happy with the result.

I was progressing but doing something wrong because the VDOT chart suggested that my half-marathon and 10K times corresponded to the desired 3:30 on a marathon. The knowledge from the Internet articles and YouTube videos was not enough. So, I transitioned to books.

After Lisbon, I was training hard, and the wisdom I grasped from books made me train smarter and more efficiently. I've optimized my diet, gear, fuel intake, running technique, training program, and tapering strategy.

For my third marathon year, I planned to participate in 2 marathons: one in Spring and one in Fall. However, I ended up running four instead.

1/4 Seville, Spain — an underestimated golden-label marathon with an extremely flat course, convenient weather, and an affordable admission fee. 3:40:07 — I sliced 17 minutes off my previous marathon in a matter of 4 months. The books seem to be working. So, I doubled down on them.

2/4 Berlin, Germany (unplanned) — my first marathon major. 3:14:12 — minus 36 minutes from my previous PB in just six months. Ideal weather, route, and organization. Finally, I got the hang of it and crossed the sub-3:30 marathon from my bucket list.

3/4 Athens, Greece — the marathon destination where it all started. With over 1250 feet (380m) of elevation gain and loss, it was the most challenging course I ever ran. Runners usually don't go there for a PB. 3:29:36 — I delivered precisely to my goal. I thought this would be easier for me.

4/4 Valencia, Spain (unplanned) — another golden-label course and probably the best December marathon destination in Europe. I wasn't ready for a sub-3 marathon, but I wanted to get as close to the 3:00 mark as possible. 3:22:38 — my body wasn't ready for another PB during the 4th marathon in 4 months. However, it was a decent result anyway.

My next big goal is to run the 2024 Paris Marathon (April 7) in under 3 hours to meet the Boston Marathon time qualifier. Stay tuned.

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