Last September 16 was an incredible day for Nike ambassador Eliud Kipchoge as he won and beat the men’s world record by 78 seconds in Berlin. The 33-year-old from Kenya clocked two hours, one minute and 39 seconds, beating Dennis Kimetto’s mark, also set in Berlin in 2014, by one minute and 18 seconds.
When asked if this was the perfect race, Kipchoge said, “Yes, it was. I was alone on the last 17 kilometers, but I didn’t think at all about the fact that I was alone. I just thought that I have to keep up this pace until the very last kilometer.” He added, “I was sure I would be able to set up a new record after 30 kilometers… but I didn’t expect the time of 2:01. I hoped to just be able to run under 2:02:57.”
His plan was simple: keep a high pace and run the first half between 61 and 61:15 minutes, which he did. When asked if he ever feels stressed or nervous before a race, Kipchoge responded, “Well, tension is there. If you don’t have tension then you have no chance at this, no chance in the race.”
Kipchoge used the Nike Vaporfly 4% during the race, a shoe he worked on to develop with Nike. In the interview, he mentioned that the shoes were important, but he firmly believes that it’s also about the runner.
steady and consistent training, passion and self-discipline
According to Kipchoge, the three characteristics that a runner needs are steady and consistent training, passion and self-discipline. To him, self-discipline is about focusing and living a simple life. “Of course, training is important. But more important is the passion you put in it. You have to strongly believe that you are able to make it and be able to run this distance. That’s the magic of a marathon.”, says Kipchoge. He added, “Marathon is life. And if you really want to be happy, then you have to enjoy life. That’s why I smile. I enjoy running the marathon.”
When asked about how he is looking to push his limits, Kipchoge said, “I don’t believe in limits. When I train, I try to listen to my body and challenge it to go beyond barriers when the moment is right.” He adds “I think no Human is limited. Everything is possible, and records are there to be broken.”
“I think no Human is limited. Everything is possible, and records are there to be broken.”
So what’s next for Kipchoge? “My plans are a blank piece of paper. I normally go by one plan at a time and my plan was to run the Berlin marathon. Now, I will take some time to myself now for recovery. I have a family, so I spend time with them. I like reading some books to get some stories from around the world. That’s what keeps me when I’m in recovery.”
Kipchoge will be taking part in the Olympic Games as he has no plans of retiring from the sport that he so dearly loves.