By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge believes a
perfect start to his marathon career in Hamburg is the key to
his success in the ultimate distance.
However, he said
that it was tough and difficult for him to cope with the
pressure of an elite athlete on the track than it is in road
racing, something he attributes to experience and self-belief.
“When I first moved
to the marathon, the pressure was big at the beginning. But I
tried to relax before a race and keep my mind free. I won my
debut marathon in Hamburg - that was key. I won that race and it
gave me a new belief,” Kipchoge told IAAF in Eldoret in a recent
believes he has what it takes to take the world record to his
name, having only lost once in Berlin in 2013, when he returns
to the German capital on Sept. 24.
Kipchoge, who is
also the world’s fastest marathon runner, has enjoyed a dazzling
career for the best part of 15 years.
Kenyan long distance star says that learning to cope with a high
level of expectation is his greatest obstacle.
challenge of my career has been learning how to handle the
pressure. In my younger days, I used to struggle. I couldn’t
sleep before races and I couldn’t eat on the morning of my race.
I used to find the tension before a race really hard. I used to
put myself under too much pressure and the tension built up,” he
But lack of
inspiration and competition in 10,000 and 5,000m races on the
global championship circuit pushed Kipchoge to tilt over to the
road racing and has done well in the marathon distance since his
debut in 2012.
“I transferred to
competing in the marathon that I learned to handle the pressure
better. The tension is still there; but now I can eat before a
race when I used to get very nervous,” he added.
Kipchoge puts his
success and sobriety down to his coach Patrick Sang, the former
“My coach told me
about the importance of the mind and I put in a number of
techniques to support that. One of them was trusting that I had
the best training behind me but the other was believing that I
was the best. In terms of trusting in my training, I aim for
consistency and I treat the sport professionally,” he added.
But like any
athlete, his worst nightmare will be unforeseen injury. “I have
been lucky in that I have not had too many injuries. I’m serious
about looking after my body. I do stretching. I’m careful about
massage. For a month of every season I carry out gym work. I do
the maximum I can to build up good conditioning.”