Kipchoge has completed his first training block at home in Eldoret (which reportedly included " gym work, aerobics and jogging") and will now head to his training camp to begin the real work.
Kipchoge says the main benefit of camp is allowing him to focus "with no distractions" and to train with his team. "For me, running with others is so important. You can run alone, but I believe that you cannot do the same level of work. Unless you are a genius, I think it is impossible to train on your own and achieve the same level of results."
In a short Q&A, director Martin Desmond Roe talks about the National Geographic/Nike documentary which gives a behind the scenes look at the Breaking2 training and science. It premiers on September 20th. Roe says he saw Eliud Kipchoge do a 40K training run where if he added on the last 2K he would have ran a 2:08 marathon.
Roe: "I really wanted to see this as an opportunity to tell these guys’ stories from their point of view without using too many voiceovers or too many experts. I think that a lot of times with these elite distance runners, their English isn’t necessarily amazing, and so they’ll go up and clock in some astronomically amazing time in the marathon and they’ll have the interview afterward, which is usually a little awkward, especially after Berlin when you have someone speaking in German to someone speaking Kalenjin. So I really hope this can be an opportunity to let these guys talk for themselves and tell their own stories."
"I watched him do a 40K as his training run, and if he had done the extra 2K he would have clocked in at a 2:08 marathon, and this is at altitude as part of his training."
Kipchoge: “The world is now 25 seconds away. It was very difficult for me to take off all of those minutes, so it’ll be easy for them to take off 25 seconds.”
"In short, Nike took everything electrifying about major urban marathons — the daring (and at times foolish) pacing, the fierce competition, the vocal crowds, and the beautiful and often challenging courses — and exchanged it for 17 rigidly paced laps on an eerily quiet Formula One track."
"This footage of the athletes’ preparation—interspersed throughout the stream of the marathon itself — recalled the gloriously overwrought training montage of Rocky IV. In this case, though, Nike seemed to be asking its viewers not to identify with Rocky Balboa as he runs through frozen Siberian streams and hauls his brother-in-law Paulie through the snow in a dogsled, but instead with Ivan Drago, who trains joylessly on machines provided by Soviet apparatchiks."
From the special shoe development which started in 2014 all the way through Eliud Kipchoge's near miss, Caesar tells the inside story behind the Breaking2 project. A great read with lots of interesting insights like the fact that Kipchoge couldn't sleep the night before the attempt he was so nervous and that the shoe designers joked that it would be "great" if their shoes were banned -"Just by opening an orange box you have an advantage? That’s the holy grail.”
Tucker estimates that the the pace car with the large clock as a windshield reduced drag saving Kipchoge 1:30 to 2:00 over the marathon distance. Overall, Tucker estimates "Kipchoge is probably good for a 2:02:15 to 2:02:30."
*Good Read #2: A Much Longer In-Depth Post-Race Analysis By Tucker Tucker says, "If the sub-2 hour marathon is the Mount Everest of human endurance performance in 2017, the Eliud Kipchoge has reached the ledge just beneath its summit."
“My mind was fully on finishing within two hours, but on the last lap I lost 10 seconds and the time escaped. It has been hard, it has taken seven good months of preparation and dedication. This journey has been a long challenge, but I’m a happy man to run a marathon in two hours. We are now just 25 seconds away. I believe in good preparation and good planning. With that, these 25 seconds will go. I hope next time people believe it is possible.”
The lineup of 18-pacers includes Bernard Lagat, Chris Derrick, Andrew Bumbalough, Sam Chelanga and Collis Birmingham.
Talking about the pre-race hype, Paul Snyder writes, "Nike is pretending to rest its hopes on one of these three men traversing 26.2 miles in a time of 1:59:59 or faster. ... But sub-two or not, Nike’s already won."
It won't be because of Nike's new 4% shoes as the IAAF technical committee apparently ruled that the shoes are legal.
Nike’s VP of Special Projects, Sandy Bodecker, actually has 1:59:59 tattooed on the inside of his wrist.
"The Nike Sub-2 runners are going to start way too fast. They pretty much have to. ... Hence, according to the laws of human physiology, they will bonk badly."
There is talk of Nike's 4% Vaporflys and some comments from Ross Tucker on how much optimised conditions are worth, but we really liked the quote from World Half silver medalist and 59:10-man Bedan Karoki: “For me breaking two hours is not possible. Running a half marathon in under an hour is hard enough – after I do it I am sick – so to run the same again for me is much too difficult.”
Most doubt Eliud Kipchoge will actually break 2-hours, but even if he doesn't, the hype is still a win for Nike, especially if he breaks Dennis Kimetto's 2:02:57 and they can call it a "world best."
Let's hope so as Nike's which features a "spring plate” has already been worn by Rupp, Kipchoge and Flanagan in the Olympics.
Kipchoge claimed that Tuesday's run, which featured the runners getting fluids handed to them by a guy on a moped, pacers jumping in and out and the runners ingesting core-temperature pills, was only a 60% effort. Yeah right.
Caesar has been running with and observing Kipchoge as part of the Breaking2 project and has found that Kipchoge runs his easy days surprisingly slow and is never 100% all-out in workouts. Geoffrey Kamworor said the best advice he could give was, "Work hard. But not every day.”
*Part 1 Of Caesar's Monthly Updates: "Think Exercise Is Hard? Try Training Like A Nike Super-Athlete"