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05
January
2021

On Camp with Eliud Kipchoge

Eliud Kipchoge: Training back at his home base in Kenya

 

We take a look inside Eliud Kipchoge’s Kenyan training camp; spartan accommodation, high attention to training, British breakfasts and remaining humble.

  

 

A battered sign welcomes you to Kipchoge’s training home since 2002: "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." 

Kipchoge explains his journey started earlier than that, like many other local boys running to and from school. "You don't know you are running because it is a must”. 

His training camp complex in the Kenyan village of Kaptagat, 8,000 feet above sea level, was started by Kipchoge’s coach, Patrick Sang, the same year that Sang gave a young Kipchoge his first training program. 

Set in lush, green gardens it is strikingly quiet. Travelling here can take 3 flights followed by lengthy public transport journeys. It is like a sanctuary, miles away from city life but at any given time you’ll find 30 or so athletes who come here to train. 

"Our life here is simple, very simple," he says. "Get up in the morning, go for a run, come back. If it is a day for cleaning, we do the cleaning, or we just relax. Then go for lunch, massage, the 4 o'clock run, evening tea, relax, go to sleep. As simple as that." 

 

  

 

 

Valentijn Trouw, Kipchoge's manager and confidant thought the training complex would not be used by one of the world’s most famous runners: "It was in our mind that when somebody was established they would live outside, but then athletes said no, we want to stay." 

Things have remained simple, slightly back to basic, Rockie style. Minimum distractions and maximum focus on the most important thing; running. Kipchoge lodges in the spartan accommodation, amongst the other runners whilst his wife and 3 children stay at their family home a short distance away. The only concession is his single room. 

The resident cook prepares the meals in her spartan kitchen; like the training, the menu is rigid.  The breakfast of choice for the camp’s main athlete? "British breakfasts are the best in the world." Fried bread, black pudding, eggs, beans, sausage … and with a touch of French cuisine, croissants for dipping. 

Kipchoge says: "I think being in the camp is something good for us. We are away from our families so that brings one focus. It is only running. We value running as like our office. It's something we have to take care of, work for, have passion for and respect for." 

Kipchoge regards himself as a leader; leading his team throughout training and racing. “It's better to be a leader than a boss. That is why I do my share of the cleaning. That is how to show the way to young people. I am trusting that I am leading them in a good way." 

Patrick Sang reflects on how the young Kipchoge transformed himself into an Olympic and World Champion: "He has never missed a session. Not one." That consistency is arguably Kipchoge's most remarkable quality. 

Physio Peter Nduhiu says: "Eliud makes it easy for me to work on him. If he feels an issue, he will come to me straight away after a run before even going back to his room and we can nip it in the bud.” 

Kipchoge keeps things simple and remains focused. Nduhiu adds: "If it was any other guy to break the two-hour record, there would have been a carnival. But what did Eliud do? He came back to camp, had a cup of tea with the team and just started again. 

"People were mad - they asked how can he do that? Who does that? But Eliud is quiet - that is it. You will not disrupt his schedule. He will not allow you to."

 

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Categories: All topics, Athletics, Running

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