SECRET TO SUCCESS

Eliud Kipchoge on freedom, simplicity and power of the mind

In Summary

• At the Berlin Marathon last September, Kipchoge set a new world record of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds.

• For nearly 300 days a year he lives and trains away from his wife and three children at a simple training centre in Kaptagat, Elgeyo Marakwet county.

World Marathon record holder Eliud kipchoge during the Laureus Sports Awards on February 19, 2019.
World Marathon record holder Eliud kipchoge during the Laureus Sports Awards on February 19, 2019.
Image: COURTESY

Eliud Kipchoge's eyes light up. He points to an electric blue band he is wearing on his wrist, where four simple words are written.

"No human is limited."

It could sound like an inane Instagram post from a social media influencer. Coming from the greatest marathon runner of all time it feels anything but.

At the Berlin Marathon last September, Kipchoge set a new world record of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds, an incredible run that took 78 seconds off the previous best. It was the biggest single improvement for over 50 years.

Such a seismic step forward was no surprise. The Kenyan 34-year-old had served notice of his capabilities on 6 May 2017 when he ran 2:00:25 in Monza as part of Nike's Breaking2 project.

Nobody in history has gone closer to breaking the magical two-hour barrier.

That time is not considered a world best because pacemakers who could swap in and out were used, but while the record books have ignored it, the world at large could not possibly turn a blind eye.

If you have that belief - pure belief in your heart - that you want to be successful then you can talk to your mind and your mind will control you to be successful.
World marathon record  holder Eliud Kipchoge

Sixty-three years to the day since Roger Bannister's historic four-minute mile, running had been changed forever. The conversation had shifted from 'if' a two-hour marathon was possible to 'when'. For Kipchoge - the once-in-a-lifetime athlete responsible for shifting the sporting axis - the burning question is, how?

His answer lies in the power of the mind.

"The mind is what drives a human being," Kipchoge says. 

 

"My mind is always free. My mind is flexible. That is why I wear this band on my wrist. I want to show the world that you can go beyond your thoughts, you can break more than you think you can break."

Success in the world of marathon running is a lucrative business. Having won 10 of the 11 marathons he has entered since switching from track to road running in 2013, Kipchoge is a multi-millionaire.

However, money is not the motivation. Kipchoge believes that "living simply sets you free".

For nearly 300 days a year he lives and trains away from his wife and three children at a simple training centre in Kaptagat, a tiny village in the Kenyan highlands.

He is known as the "boss man" by his training partners but that doesn't stop him cleaning the toilets or doing his share of the daily chores.