By Remaining A Student, Eliud Kipchoge Has Mastered The Marathon

By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2018 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

LONDON (19-Apr) -- At 33, Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge's marathon career is already the stuff of legends.  In nine starts, he has won eight times, including twice here at the Virgin Money London Marathon and at the 2016 Rio Olympics.  He has run sub-2:05 six times and sub-2:04 twice. And, although not recognized as an official world record, he ran 2:00:25 for the standard 42,195m marathon distance at the special Nike-sponsored Breaking2 exhibition race last May in Italy, the fastest-ever time in history.  He has twice won the Abbott World Marathon Majors points series and pocketed $1,000,000 from those awards alone.

Canadian Viewers Can Watch The 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon Live On FloTrack!

As he makes his final preparations for Sunday's marathon here, Kipchoge offered no training secrets in response to the media's questions, but one: he never stops learning.

"I am still a student," he told reporters solemnly, "and I am doing the work the student is required to do."

Under his long-time coach Patrick Sang, Kipchoge has learned to embrace not only the simple hard work required to be one of the world's best-ever distance runners, but also to apply an intelligent approach so that every ounce of work leads to improvement on the field of play.  At the Global Sports training camp in Kaptagat, where his primary training partner is reigning TCS New York City Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, Kipchoge uses a combination of sweat and science to extend his five-year reign as the world's top marathoner.

"With a combination of talent, science and technology, everything can be perfect," Kipchoge intoned.  "Success is not depending on hard work (alone).  Success is depending on the skills provided by the coach (and technology)."

While Kipchoge, nor his coach, would provide details of his training program, they did say that it was highly specialized, and depended heavily on a level-of-effort approach, not simply piling on the kilometers.  Sang asks his athletes not only to complete a workout, but not to exceed a certain effort level in doing so.  That's the only way to know how much fitness has been gained so far, the coach said.

"Overall I think he trained well for this specific event," Sang told Race Results Weekly in an interview.  He continued: "I think, generally, any specific session has a target as far as the effort put in.  So, if an athlete is supposed to put in a sixty percent effort, or seventy percent effort, for a specific session, and they actually do it at that level, or less effort, that is a good indicator that you are going in the right direction."

Sang said that Kipchoge sometimes uses a heart-rate monitor, but they also have other ways to measure effort.  He said they get all the feedback they need on his race readiness through this process, and that he doesn't need to send his athlete to a tune-up race to test his fitness like other coaches do.  This has the further benefit of keeping Kipchoge at the camp where he can stay focused and get all of the rest he needs.

"That's why you have Eliud saying I don't really need to go to a test race," Sang continued.  "If you are doing, for example, using a heart-rate monitor, (or) we use other steps like hard, medium, easy.  If a session that is supposed to be done at the medium level is achieved exactly at that medium level, that would mean you are on the right track towards your goals.  Most of the athletes, and it's a big challenge, when you say medium they end up doing the level of hard.  So, when you go to hard, where do they go?"

For Sunday's race, Kipchoge faces a power-packed group of challengers led by Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, whose 2:03:03 personal best makes him the second-fastest marathoner ever on a record-quality course.  The other contenders are defending champion Daniel Wanjiru of Kenya (2:05:21 PB), Guye Adola of Ethiopia (2:03:05), Abel Kirui of Kenya (2:05:04), and Ghirmay Ghebreslassie of Eritrea (2:07:46) the 2015 world champion.  He will also have to contend with four-time Olympic track gold medalist Mo Farah (2:08:21) who will be running in only his second marathon.

"I think Mo Farah will have a good time on Sunday," said the always respectful Kipchoge.  "Think he will run a good time.

Although a wealthy man, Kipchoge has kept his life simple so that he can stay focused on training.  He doesn't own any outside businesses, except for a 60-acre farm where he keeps animals, including 20 cows.  His training partner Kamworor says his humility and dedication are what makes Kipchoge great.

"Eliud trained very well," Kamworor told Race Results Weekly in a text message.  "He is self-disciplined, focused, determined, and a very humble and respectful guy.  He values running as the number one activity in his life and he does everything as expected.  So, I am so sure he will deliver a great result."

Asked if he ever takes a break from training, Kipchoge flashed a smile.

"Sometimes I take a rest, maybe on Sunday," he said.  "Not every Sunday.  I don't know.  I need to go through my diary."

How To Watch The 2019 DIII NCAA Cross Country Championships Live

null

FloTrack will provide exclusive live and on-demand coverage of the 2019 Division III NCAA Cross Country National Championships. The DIII NCAA Championships will take place on Nov. 23 in Louisville, Kentucky. The broadcast will begin with the men's race at 10:45am EST, followed by the women's race at 11:45am. Sign up today to watch all three NCAA XC Championships live and get access to all of FloTrack's pre and post-race coverage. A subscription also gives users access to MileSplit and all of the events and premium content across the network of 25 FloSports sites.

How To Watch The 2019 DII NCAA Cross Country Championships Live

null

FloTrack will provide exclusive live and on-demand coverage of the 2019 Division II NCAA Cross Country National Championships. The DII NCAA Championships will take place on Nov. 23 in Sacramento, California. The broadcast will begin with the women's race at 1:00pm (EST) and the men's race at 2:15pm. Sign up today to watch all three NCAA XC Championships live and get access to all of FloTrack's pre and post-race coverage. A subscription also gives users access to MileSplit and all of the events and premium content across the network of 25 FloSports sites.

Seven Lingering Questions Ahead Of NCAAs

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The NCAA fields are set and for the most part we have a good idea of who will be contending for the team and individual titles in Terre Haute. But several crucial questions still remain.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

ENTER HERE: 2019 FloXC Fantasy Challenge

2019 FloXC Fantasy Challenge: Final Round, NCAA Championships (POINTS WORTH QUADRUPLE!!!)

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Play FloXC Fantasy & Win A Trip To The 2020 NCAA XC Championships

This year's season-long FloXC fantasy league will give you a chance to compete against the FloTrack staff and be in the running to win the ultimate prize: a FREE trip to the 2020 Division I NCAA XC Championships!

2019 FloXC Fantasy Standings

Here are the current standings for this year's 2019 FloXC Fantasy league. The winner this year will receive a free trip to the 2020 DI NCAA XC Championships! After three rounds 'You've Kurgat to be kidding me!' is our current leader with 1,133 points.

2019 DIII NCAA XC Championship Qualifiers

Below are the team and individual qualifiers for the 2019 DIII NCAA XC Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, per NCAA:

2019 DI NCAA XC Individual Qualifiers

Here are the individual qualifiers for the 2019 DI NCAA XC Championships per the NCAA:

Great Lakes Champ Aaron Bienenfeld To Skip NCAAs In Favor Of German Champs

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

University of Cincinnati senior and 2019 DI NCAA Great Lakes XC Regional champion Aaron Bienenfeld has elected to skip next Saturday’s NCAA XC Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana, in favor of the German U23 Cross Country Trials, according to his school’s athletic website.

2019 DI NCAA XC Official Team Qualifiers

Here are the official 2019 DI NCAA XC Championship team qualifiers: