Even for the greatest, running life can be a struggle.
The world’s fastest marathoner Eliud Kipchoge admits that he’s had to dig deep to find the strength to keep going.
Kenya’s Double Olympic men’s marathon champion says he often turns to the millions who have been inspired by his runs, his grandeur achievements, and his motivating quotes.
“I struggle with motivation, but I try all the time to get inspired by fans messages around the world,” Kipchoge said on Wednesday (6 April) during a webinar organised by his NN Running Team to mark five years of the athletics management group.
“I have been inspiring people around the world and [the thought of this] is what sometimes gives me the energy to jump out of bed and do the necessary.”
Marathon man Kipchoge on how he keeps focus
As amazing as his athletic accomplishments are, the world record holder has always been forthright on how much sometimes his passion hurts.
“In the journey of life, there [are] ups and downs. In marathon, there [are] a lot of challenges, ups and downs. There is pain in training, pain in running,” he shared on the documentary titled Kipchoge: The Last Milestone that focused on his successful attempt to become the first person to run a marathon in under two hours.
The 37-year-old champion cemented his position as the greatest distance runner of all time, by becoming the first man in 40 years to win marathon gold at successive Olympic Games, when he won at Tokyo 2020 in 2021.
And, as he targets an unprecedented third Olympic marathon title at Paris 2024, Kipchoge gave a sneak peak on how he manages to stay focused on his staggering racing goals.
“[When I am running] Many things are always crossing my mind from West to North, East to South, but I try to block them and concentrate fully on the road, concentrate fully on the task ahead and finishing the race,” the Kenyan, who enjoys his long runs, offered.
“After training for four months [for a race] I know that the only way to block what’s in my mind and concentrate fully is by making my mind easy and block any [distracting] messages coming in.”
During the hour-long webinar, the NN Running Team shared insights from the their management, physiotherapist, nutritionist, and Patrick Sang, the lead coach at the simple Kaptagat training camp.
“Running is a team sport. It is no longer an individual event as people think,” four-time Olympic medallist Kipchoge said.
“When NN formed the running team we discovered that the team is especially important especially in marathon running, helping each other both physically and mentally.”
That team was formed in April 2017 by Jos Hermens, who assembled the some of the best distance runners in the world, led by the two fastest marathoners, Ethiopia’s triple Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele, and Kipchoge, to train in structured training camps.
It’s a concept that the man who has won 14 of the 16 major marathons in his career claims has made him a better runner. Kipchoge also explained that during the pandemic he found it difficult to go back to training alone due to lockdown restrictions.
What next for Eliud Kipchoge in 2022
Kipchoge He opened his season on March 6 running the fastest time ever in Japan of 2:02:40 to win the Tokyo Marathon.
Since then, he has tapered down his training, focusing more on the gym sessions despite not ‘liking the weightlifting’ bit, but he’s enjoying working on his core muscles.
The huge Kelly Clarkson fan has not yet decided if he will do a marathon towards the end of the year, but has just added a new sport on his bucket list.
“I am bad at swimming. I don’t know how to swim…that’s on my bucket list…”