Here’s a way to keep in shape while in space: run a marathon. That’s what UK Astronaut Tim Peake will be doing tomorrow as he orbits above the Earth on the International Space Station.
Peake, due to return home in June, will be running on one of the ISS’s treadmills. He’ll start at the same time as the runners on the ground, and will run the 26.2 miles required, held down by straps. According to the BBC, he’s already done “some half-marathons on the ISS treadmill and longer distances.”
He will be part of a running team - Team Astronaut, with counterparts on the ground running the race. They’re raising money for a charity, The Prince’s Trust, which supports disadvantaged youth in England.
The team on the ground will be noticeable: they’ll be running in space suits in an attempt to break a world record:
Moreover, should I complete the marathon in this replica suit in less than 4 hours and 30 min, the Guinness World Records will recognise this as a new World Record for the ‘Fastest Marathon by a Man Wearing a Replica Space Suit’, so this is precisely what I shall be attempting on April 24th – my colleague Libby Jackson from the UK Space Agency will be attempting to set the female version of this record.
(Side note: there was a world record for running a marathon in a replica space suit??)
The astronaut noted that he’s not attempting to beat his prior time in the London Marathon - which he ran in 1999, on the advice of his flight surgeons, who want him in healthy shape for the return to Earth.