Deconstructing Eluid Kipchoge’s Incredible Marathon World Record

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This episode was inspired by awesome email commentary from a devoted listener, Primal Endurance advocate, and accomplished collegiate level runner Jack McGinness. Kipchoge recently ran the Berlin Marathon in 2:01.39, shattering the previous record and closing in on the previously unfathomable 2:00 barrier. Kipchoge’s pace per mile was an astonishing 4:39. Most accomplished runners would be hard-pressed to match this pace for even a half a lap around a track, but Kipchoge can continue at this speed for 26 miles. This is truly one of the most phenomenal athletic performances of the past 100 years. 

What’s interesting about Kipchoge’s story is that, just as Dr. Phil Maffetone predicted in his commentary on the Primal Endurance Mastery Course, Kipchoge has become the greatest marathoner in history by training easier than other elite marathoners. Strange as it may seem, this guy rarely exceeds what we call MAF pace. Oh, Kipchoge runs like the wind, on muddy trails and high altitude in Kenya, but he explains that he tries to never exceed 80% of his capacity, instead of saving his energy for races.  

He is super consistent, super disciplined, but he never trashes himself, never gets sick or injured, and doesn’t even taper for races. He runs 110-120 miles a week with great discipline and joy. Hit some of the links in the show notes and learn how wise and thoughtful he is—far more than just a running machine! You will learn some interesting insights from this show, particularly when you compare and contrast Kipchoge’s eminently sensible approach with the ridiculous Type A chronic approach that is still the norm in America, particularly in the collegiate and high school systems. The cover of the book Primal Endurance says “Slow down to go faster,” and now Kipchoge has actualized this concept.


In the Berlin Marathon in September 2018 this runner came up with a 2:01:39 time. This computes to an average 4:39 mile!! [00:01:36] 

Running is a most satisfying sport.  But you have to do it right. The running community in the past has been doing it disastrously wrong! [00:04:05] 

Doping continues to be common in the running world. [00:06:28] 

What is Kipchoge training method? He never over-extends himself. [00:09:53] 

The only thing that is in somewhat conflict with the primal theory is he has a constant schedule. [00:15:42] 

If you are a person who’s trying to break the three-hour mark or the four-hour mark, just apply these insights to your relative example. [00:20:28] 

The general problem with many American distance runners is too many type A runners who obsess over their workouts and paces and then fail to take care of the little things. [00:21:59] 

Kipchoge is going to change the game. [00:25:43] 



The science of running article analyzing his training


Kipchoge training log



  • Only the disciplined ones in life are free.  If you are undisciplined, you are a slave to your moods and your passions.
  • It’s not about the legs, its about the heart and mind.
  • The best time to plant a tree was twenty-five years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is today.
  • Motivation + discipline = consistency


Check out this episode!

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