The Truth about Eliud Kipchoge’s Record Smashing Pace

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By Isah Asesa

“Lewis Hamilton inspires me by going at 300km per hour, for 70 laps, and his mind doesn’t get tired. Formula 1 teaches me concentration.

You can’t defer your mind on the road,” these are the words of current marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge when asked about his pace.

Eliud Kipchoge is now running 200km a week as his training steps up – the equivalent of just under five marathons a week.






With three months to go until the INEOS159 challenge, where he will be attempting to run the first sub-two-hour marathon.


Kipchoge’s average speed during last year’s Berlin Marathon was 13mph, an average pace of 2.83 minutes-per-kilometre for each kilometre of the 42.195km race. To break that down further, he ran every 400m in 68.8 seconds.

He covered 30km in 1:26:45, also the fastest time ever recorded for that distance.

Eliud Kipchoge

So, imagine getting on a treadmill, setting it to 13mph, then running at that pace for two hours one minute 39 seconds.

Or imagine running 100m in 17.2 seconds – and if that sounds slow, try it – and then doing that another 420 times without pause.Most of us wouldn’t last more than a minute or two; new marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge is emphatically not most people.

The first time the marathon was run over its current distance of 26.2 miles was at the 1908 London Olympics, when it was won by American Johnny Hayes in a time of 2:55:18.

A lot had changed in training and technology since then, and four years ago, Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto became the first man to go under 2:03, clocking 2:02:57, also in Berlin.

Kimetto took 26 seconds off the previous record, which itself was an advance of 15 seconds – modest increments as the record nudges in the direction of the two-hour mark that many still doubt is humanly possible. In September last year, Kimetto’s compatriot Kipchoge smashed the record by 78 seconds.

It is the largest single improvement on the world record in more than 50 years, since Australian Derek Clayton knocked it down by 2mins 37secs in 1967.

To put all this into some perspective, the average time for non-elite male runners at the London Marathon is 3:48 – more than an hour and three-quarters slower than Kipchoge’s record of 2:01:39.

Recently, Mr Patrick Sang a Kenyan former international athlete who has been the coach of Eliud Kipchoge since 2001 termed Kipchoge who won the Olympic marathon in 2016 as a champion, an athlete who has achieved so much in sport and a person who holds values that every one of us should aspire to.

Kipchoge, 33, has competed in 11 marathons. He’s won 10 and finished second in the other. He has won the Berlin Marathon and the London Marathon three times each, and holds the record for each course.

Joyce Sambu
Author: Joyce Sambu

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