NELSON MANDELA INSPIRES ELIUD KIPCHOGE
28 July 2019
A quote by the late former president Nelson Mandela acts as a reminder to world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge of what he is trying to achieve as part of the INEOS1:59 Challenge; in that this is not just about himself, but it is about inspiring others and instilling in people a belief that nothing is impossible.
In this article courtesy INEOS159 Kipchoge reflects on both his physical and mental preparations for the Challenge ahead, how his training programme differs from his Nike Breaking2 attempt and on life in Kaptagat and Eldoret.
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in way that little else does. It speaks to yourth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once was despair.” – (Nelson Mandela)
“This is one of my favourite quotes, and it hangs on a poster by my bed at my training camp in Kaptagat as motivation. It acts as a reminder of what I am trying to achieve as part of the INEOS1:59 Challenge; in that this is not just about myself, but it is about inspiring others and instilling in people a belief that nothing is impossible.
In terms of my training, the body feels good, the loading phase is going well and I’m looking forward to the weekly track sessions to be introduced into the programme shortly.
As I explained in my previous diary post, this period of training is all about preparing the body for the next more intensive training phase. My job is simply to make sure I finish each training session in a good time and a good way, and I’ve been pleased with how my training has progressed.
The challenge is still some months away and I am confident that not only my physical preparation, but my mental preparation is on track.
Ahead of the 5000m final at the 2003 World Championships in Paris, Patrick told me to treat myself as the best athlete. At those championships I beat Kenenisa Bekele and Hicham El Guerroui, two legends of the sport, to win gold and from that day on I’ve always entered any race believing I will achieve my goals. Nothing has changed over the past 16 years and the INEOS1:59 Challenge is no different.
I guess the feeling I have is a little like a successful lawyer entering court in that he believes in his heart he has done the best preparation possible and he walks into the building thinking he is a winner.
Life in Camp
Life in the camp is going well. I share a room with my good friend Augustine Choge, who will be one of the pacemakers as part of the INEO1:59 Challenge. It is nice to know somebody I have shared a close friendship with for the past 15 years will be helping me in my challenge. Some of the other guys in camp will also be working as pacemakers and their enthusiasm for the project is nice to see and motivates me further.
“While the fundamental training program is the same for the INEOS1:59 Challenge as it was for Breaking2 (in 2017) there are some differences – one of which is the introduction of two exercise workouts a week to strengthen my core stability.”
In fact, it is not just the guys in the camp who are excited for the challenge. Driving out and about in Kaptagat and Eldoret I’ve seen many people with INEOS1:59 stickers on their cars as the whole of Kenya is seemingly getting behind the project. This is inspiring to see.
Difference to Breakin2 attempt
While the fundamental training programme is the same for the INEOS1:59 Challenge as it was for Breaking2 (in 2017) there are some differences – one of which is the introduction of two exercise workouts a week to strengthen my core stability.
My long time physio and good friend, peter, introduced them in the countdown to the 2018 Berlin Marathon and I really feel the benefit. I now feel less strain on the hamstrings and with a stronger core this makes myself and the other athletes in the camp less vulnerable to injuries.
In many respects, however, there is nothing overly complicated about my training regime. There is certain simplicity to what I do and I’m confident that this will prove the recipe to success in Vienna.” – (As told to Steve Landells)
Images: Courtesy INEOS159
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