Daily Routines

Eliud Kipchoge: Daily Routine

On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.

Regarded by many as the greatest marathon runners in history, Eliud Kipchoge will tell you that his success over the years has come from the simplicity he has ingrained in his lifestyle.

There’s no state-of-the-art technology or nutrition secrets powering him on those 5,000 metres runs; it’s just that he’s cut out most things in his life to focus solely on being the best marathon runner he can be.

I don’t have extra money to actually make my mind go haywire. I am a human being and I stay as a human being. Money stays away. I’m not working with money; money is in the bank. I want to live a simple life.

Eliud Kipchoge: The humble home life in rural Kenya behind remarkable athletic success | BBC

Born in Kapsisiywa, Nandi County, in Kenya, the legendary marathon runner was unwittingly training for his future career when he was still a young boy running to and from school every day. In addition to that, he would also help out his family by going on 40km round bike trips to collect and sell milk from farmers.

By 2002, at the age of 18, Kipchoge made it through the Kenyan trials for the 2002 IAAF World Cross Country Championships junior race. At the event held in Dublin, the runner finished fifth in the individual race but won gold as part of the Kenyan junior team. A year later, he won his first individual world championship title at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships – Junior men’s race held in Switzerland and set a new world record in the process.

Since then, he’s racked up a number of remarkable achievements, which includes winning the gold medal at the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games and holding the marathon world record with a time of 2:01:39 which he set at the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

Athletics is not so much about the legs. It’s about the heart and mind.

The Simple Life of One of the World’s Best Marathoners | Runner’s World

Eliud Kipchoge’s training routine & diet

Kipchoge’s simple daily routine is what enables him to focus on being the best marathon runner in the world. During training camp for an upcoming marathon, the Kenyan runner will depart for the Great Rift Valley Sports Camp in Kaptagat, in the southwestern part of Kenya, about 30 kilometres from his home in Eldoret where he lives with his wife and three children.

“Our life here is simple, very simple,” he told the BBC. “Get up in the morning, go for a run, come back. If it is a day for cleaning, we do the cleaning, or we just relax. Then go for lunch, massage, the 4 o’clock run, evening tea, relax, go to sleep. As simple as that.”

Even though he lives close enough to be able to go back home, Kipchoge chooses to live in Kaptagat during training camp. “Being away from the kids is really hard as they all want to see Daddy,” he explained to Runner’s World. “But I stay in training camp because of my memory of being motivated. We share ideas and show the young guys that it’s good to live together.”

On a typical day in training camp, Kipchoge starts his running routine at 5.45am. He trains twice a day, six days a week — Monday to Saturday — and aims to get in between 200 to 218 kilometres each week, although not every day is the same.

“I try not to run 100 percent,” he explained in an interview with Outside magazine. “I perform 80 percent on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and then at 50 percent Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.”

Twice a week, Kipchoge will also work on his strength and mobility, focusing on improving his glutes, hamstrings, and core muscles using exercises like bridges, planks, and single-leg deadlifts. The focus with these workouts isn’t to get stronger, but rather to prevent injuries.

“The idea is to create a very basic balance in the body,” says Marc Roig, the physiotherapist who oversees the routine. “We know the important part is running, so we want to complement it a little bit and avoid any negative interference.”

Kipchoge is also meticulous about documenting his training, logging every session and all the details in a notebook — a practice he began in 2003 and still does to this day. “I document the time, the kilometres, the massage, the exercises, the shoes I’m using, the feeling about those shoes,” he said.

When it comes to his nutrition, like everything else in his life, Kipchoge keeps it simple. In addition to drinking a generous amount of water (three litres) each day, his diet is mainly made up of homemade bread, local fruits and vegetables, meat, and ugali, a dense maize-flour porridge.

He also doesn’t take any supplements. “I’m not having any problems with my body so I don’t need to supplement,” he told Runner’s World. “Growing older you don’t recover as fast, but all-in-all I’m doing well.”

In between training sessions, he’ll take an hour-long nap and also spend time doing chores around the training camp — whether it’s cutting up vegetables for the dinner, doing maintenance work in the garden or scrubbing the toilets. Once the day is done, Kipchoge usually heads off to bed no later than 9pm, getting just under 9 hours of sleep each night.

I think being in the camp is something good for us. We are away from our families so that brings one focus. It is only running.

Eliud Kipchoge: The humble home life in rural Kenya behind remarkable athletic success | BBC

Before you go…

Check out more daily routines from Barack Obama, Arianna Huffington, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and plenty others.

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Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.