Eliud Kipchoge: I don’t intend to set another world record, I now run as a pastime

Eliud Kipchoge

Eliud Kipchoge.

Photo credit: Courtesy

He is a world record holder and two-time Olympic gold medallist. Eliud Kipchoge has been on the tracks for a long time, has won titles while at it, set and broken his own record, and for this, he very much qualifies to be referred to as an icon. He had a chat with MyNetwork regarding his legendary drive.

At only 38, you’re the G.O.A.T. When do you intend to hang your boots?

I am still here to stay. I’m not retiring soon. I am still around, for a longer time than you’d imagine, perhaps. When the right time comes though, I will shift and do something else. I live a day at a time. While at it, I push myself every day.

What is your advice to the young athletes who aspire to be like you?

The game/tracks, as always, is not for the weak and faint-hearted. Sportsmanship is purely for the strong. There is no shortcut in this field, and that I will say without mincing words. Here, you have to train to be a world champion. You have to train hard for the race to seem easy. Here, laziness is not an option. You have to go out of your way and get out of your comfort zone to be at the top of the game. Remember, nothing comes on a silver platter.

Keeping fit and maintaining an athletic body narrows down to dieting, what is your diet like?

To keep fit, I take natural foods which contain the nutrients that pump energy into my body and keeps me going. Training requires so much energy, which is in plenty in natural foods.

I eat homemade unleavened bread, fruits, vegetables, meat sometimes. Ugali is my favourite accompaniment. It is important to say that I do not take any supplements.

I also stay hydrated; I sweat a lot during training, and that’s why I take a lot of water. By a lot of water, I mean at least three litres a day.

Should we be on the lookout for another world record?

No, I don’t intend to set another world record. I now run as a pastime.

My next marathon, however, is on April 17, 2023 in Boston. I will participate in the race to commemorate the 2013 incident where two bombs exploded near the finish line approximately five hours after the race started, resulting in three deaths and more than 260 injuries. I’ll be doing this for the lives lost and for those who sustained various injuries.

Eliud Kipchoge

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after winning the Berlin Marathon race on September 25, 2022 in Berlin.

Photo credit: AFP

How do you spend your day?

They often say good sleep results in a great morning kick-off. While eight hours of sleep is just enough, I have intentionally decided to sleep for 10 hours, the usual eight at night and an additional two-hour siesta.

I ensure that I rest enough. This makes me active and full of strength during my training hours.

I then distribute the rest of the hours of the day based on several factors such as appointments and family time and farming.

What would you tell your 10-year-old self today?

That no human is limited. I’d tell myself to be courageous, to trust the process, and that the sky is not the limit.

I would tell myself to find courage in the words of the Bible as it is written in Ecclesiastes 7:14 (NIV) that, “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.” In these words, I would remind myself to chin-up and face life with courage, curiosity and determination.

Which books do you read, and why?

I read to keep my mind in the right state. I read inspirational books mostly. The books I read motivate me to explore greater wins than the INEOS record I set in 2019. I have, over time, cultivated a reading culture and it now happens intrinsically that I update my reading list often. Reading clears my mind and gives me practical lessons on how to improve my life. My favourite book is Atomic Habits, written by James Clear.

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You have said that you are not active on social media, is there a personality that you especially follow on social media?

President William Samoei Ruto and English author James Clear are top on my list. I learn so much from them and they inspire me in many ways, one being that you can achieve anything as long as you are dedicated.

How do you monitor your children, especially when it comes to phone usage?

I have three children – two boys and a girl. I or my wife always watch the content they consume online. I just don’t allow them to peruse through every site.

Children are inherently cheeky and may outsmart you sometimes, which is why I’m very watchful of all the content they consume. I have set a specific time when my children can access the phone and play their favourite games. During school days, they are not allowed to use phones because they have to concentrate on their studies.