Eliud Kipchoge: 15 Run Training Takeaways From The Best Of The Best

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Almost every runner who’s at all plugged into the professional side of the sport is inspired by the truly remarkable performances of Eliud Kipchoge.

Kipchoge is probably best known for being the fastest marathon runner in history, and holds the official world record in the marathon in a blistering time of 2:01:39.

Eliud Kipchoge also clocked the jaw-dropping marathon time of 1:59:40.2 at the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria in 2019.

Although not an official marathon world record because it wasn’t an open competition, in this stunning performance, Kipchoge became the first runner to break the two-hour barrier in the marathon.

Clearly, Kipchoge is doing something right in his training, and there must be training takeaways from Eliud Kipchoge that us mere mortal runners can benefit from.

After all, you might as well learn from the best of the best. In this article, we will look at run training takeaways we can all learn from Eliud Kipchoge.

eliud kipchoge running

15 Run Training Takeaways We Can All Learn from Eliud Kipchoge

Ready to improve your training and become a faster and stronger runner? Here are 15 run training takeaways we can all earn from Eliud Kipchoge:

#1: Kipchoge Does Long Runs

It’s not surprising that as the world’s fastest marathoner, Eliud Kipchoge, does long runs.

Long runs increase your cardiovascular and muscular endurance, mental stamina, and train your aerobic energy systems to handle the distance of your target race.

#2: Kipchoge Does Speed Workouts 

Even though he’s racing 26.2 miles (42.2 km), Eliud Kipchoge makes sure to get in a weekly speed workout on the track every Tuesday.

Speed workouts, often called interval training, involve running specific distances at specific paces on the track

They help train your neuromuscular, cardiovascular, and metabolic systems to become accustomed to running faster and at higher intensities.

Kipchoge uses his speed workouts to improve his fitness so that he can continue to improve, run faster, and take home more victories.

He keeps the speed workouts varied, using intervals of different lengths and paces. 

#3: Kipchoge Does Fartlek Workouts

Kipchoge is a big fan of fartlek workouts and incorporates them into the buildups for his marathons, especially in the early build phase.

Fartlek is a Swedish term for “speed play.” Fartlek runs are a form of speedwork, much like track intervals, but has a looser structure and takes place out on a trail, road, or other running course instead of a track.

Rather than having a set distance for each interval, a Fartlek run may go by time or choose arbitrary landmarks to demote the start and stop of hard efforts. 

There is no stopping between intervals; the runner just adjusts the pace between recovery and “on” intervals.

#4: Kichoge Does Core Workouts

Core strength is critical for running, so Kipchoge spends time every week doing core workouts

Need some inspiration? Try a plank like Kipchoge!

#5: Kipchoge Strength Trains

Let’s get one thing straight: you definitely need to run to become a better runner, but supplementing your miles with strength training can make you a faster, stronger, more resilient runner.

Kipchoge spends time in the gym getting in his strength training workouts.

This helps him minimize the risk of injuries so that he can log high mileage workout after workout, week after week.

He focuses on building strength in the muscles used when running, and performs a mix of compound movements with heavy weights and focused exercises on smaller, stabilizing muscles to improve his running form

#6: Kipchoge Takes Breaks

Rest and recovery is an important part of training and should be built into your training program both on a micro level (such as a weekly rest day) and a macro level (a couple weeks off after a marathon, for example).

After buildups leading to a big race, Kipchoge takes time off to allow his body to fully recover before ramping up his training again.

Rest prevents overtraining and reduces the risk of injuries. 

#7: Kipchoge Prioritizes Post-Workout Fueling

Kipchoge takes his post-run fueling seriously, making sure that he gets in a high-carbohydrate snack to replenish depleted glycogen stores.

This helps him recover between workouts so that he can bounce back for a second run on the same day or for the next morning’s workout.

#8: Kipchoge Keeps a Running Log

Kipchoge keeps a training notebook and records each and every workout he does. This allows him to monitor his progress, adjust his training, and keep track of trends and potential injuries.

#9: Kipchoge Runs With Others

Running with teammates or buddies can help push you to be faster and stronger. Running mates add accountability and can bring joy and companionship, prevent boredom, and help you keep going when you want to slow down or stop.

Kipchoge runs with teammates, who provide support during long miles and hard workouts. 

#10: Kipchoge Works With a Coach

Even though he’s clearly a very experienced runner at this point, Kipchoge works with a running coach that he trusts.

Coaches can create the precise training programs you need to reach your goals, taking the guesswork out of training. 

Kipchoge’s coach designs a well-rounded training program with all the key types of workouts Kipchoge needs to be a world-class marathoner, such as long runs, easy runs, speed workouts, tempo runs, strength training, core workouts, hill repeats, fartlek runs, and recovery modalities like massage.

#10: Kipchoge Fuels His Body

Kipchoge treats his body with respect and fuels with healthy foods to ensure he has enough energy on board to support his training.

He follows a high-carbohydrate diet, with whole, natural foods, such as grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits. 

#11: Kipchoge Works On His Mental Game

There’s a huge mental component to distance running. 

Kipchoge works on building his mental strength by reading books about confidence, focus, habit building, and more.

#12: Kipchoge Runs With His Heart

Although you obviously need to be physically fit to run, your mental strength and fitness is also important. 

Eliud Kipchoge runs with his heart and mind. When workouts get tough, he calls upon his “why,” or the reasons he runs (for his children, to represent his country, to help improve the quality of life and conservation efforts in Kenya, etc.).

#13: Kipchoge Is a Student of the Sport

The day you stop learning is the day you stop growing. 

Eliud Kipchoge strives to continually learn about the sport of running, how his body works, training principles, mental tactics, and more.

All of this knowledge can be applied to his training so that he keeps improving.

By reading articles such as this one, you are giving yourself an opportunity to become a better runner by learning actionable advice to apply to your training. 

#14: Kipchoge Has a Positive Mindset and a Flexible Attitude

Who doesn’t love Eliud Kipchoge’s smile? He believes a positive mindset is one of the keys to his success.

Kipchoge also embraces change and challenges.

Kipchoge is full of wisdom in this beautiful video. “I think I identify myself through self-discipline, courageous, taking risks, and I love change. If you love change actually, then you can reason with the world.”

#15: Kipchoge Believes In Himself

Having confidence and believing in yourself can help you reach your running goals.

Eliud Kipchoge believes in his ability to accomplish his dreams and has confidence in the effectiveness of his training program.

Which of these training factors is most inspiring to you? Which ones do you need to add to your current training plan to become a more well-rounded, resilient runner?

How does Eliud Kipchoge inspire you?

If you need some assistance organizing your training plan, check out our training resources to get started. Whether its a 5k, 10k, marathon, or ultra, we have training guides to help you reach your goals

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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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