What Can you Learn from a 2:04:11 Marathoner?

Eliud Kipchoge - 2014 Chicago Marathon Winner

By: Trey Brush

This past weekend Eliud Kipchoge won the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2 hours 4 minutes and 11 seconds.  Yes, those numbers are correct.  It is a case where those can be just numbers and it is really hard to put that into perspective.  Imagine this, go run 1 mile in 4 minutes and 44 seconds.  Most of us could not get anywhere close.  Now try to do that for 26.2 miles.  At 23 miles into a marathon imagine getting rid of your competition by running a 4:33 mile just to seal the deal. 

So what can I learn from this?

What you can’t learn is to run a marathon in 2 hours and 4 minutes?  When it comes to elite athletes it becomes very hard for us to learn because it is hard to relate.  However, I think there are a couple of very good lessons we can take from Kipchoge and apply to our training.

I think the biggest thing we can learn is just how important confidence is. Kipchoge was asked before the race about his competition.  He had some serious competition in the field.  First you had one of the greatest track athletes to ever run coming off of a win in the Paris Marathon this past spring.  He also had other countrymen from Kenya who were ready to pounce.  Kipchoge almost dismissed the competition and believed he was the one to beat.  I am not trying to say that we believe we are going to win our next race, but I do think there is something to be said about this confidence.  He followed the training, he did his workouts and he knew it prepared him to run his best race.  I think the same thing can apply to us if we do the things we need to do, it will bring us where we need to be on race day.  Standing at the start line we need to be full of confidence that we are ready to run our best race.  Think about the things you need to do that will bring you confidence on race day.  Getting through those tough workouts are the things that will bring you confidence. 

The other thing we can learn from Kipchoge he told us after the race.  He said running and winning this race is all about preparation and planning.  It is a simple process.  We follow the process.  I believe that success in these races is mostly mental.  The training does great things for our legs and our lungs, however I think the greatest growth is probably in our heads.  Being ready for a race means being at the start line full of confidence that we are prepared and ready to run the best race we can.  Being ready for a race is not about the big things.  Success is just a series of small events added up together.  Me completing a marathon is not about just running a 23 mile training run.  It is about doing the small things day after day after day.  Those series of small decisions is what will get your ready for race day.

What is your plan and preparation?  How is your confidence?

Trey is a runner and coach with a desire to help create change in others.  He lost 80 pounds on his journey from a watcher in life to a doer.  His passion for running and creating change led him from the couch to marathons and ultramarathons.  He is a husband and the father of 2 boys living in Jefferson GA.  You can follow Trey on twitter @RunOnPurpose