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Monday, April 22, 2024

‘Drink a lot of tea’: what can be learned from a Kenyan marathon great

Australian Matt Fox wanted to discover how top athletes became so good. He learnt a lot from runners such as Eliud Kipchoge.

In August of 2017 Matt Fox spent a month in the village of Kaptagat in Kenya training with the greatest marathon runner the world has ever seen. Eliud Kipchoge is the world record holder, the Rio Olympics champion, the man who nearly beat two hours in a staged event in Italy. For Fox, a man fascinated by the training methods of top runners, there were lessons to be learned.

Fox was an elite 800m and 1,500m runner always on the cusp of Australia selection. When he finished running semi-professionally in 2014 he began taking part in marathons for fun. He describes himself as “a fast recreational runner”. This Saturday he’ll be a pacemaker in the Melbourne marathon with his time on his vest. If you want to break 2:50, keep up with Fox, and burn him at the end.

Fox has always been interested how elite athletes trained. He wishes he had a resource to call upon in his competitive days. Now he’s created one – an e-book detailing the training programs of the champions. “I always wanted to know how people better than me were training, eating, sleeping. I wanted to know how they became what they are.”

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