Recently, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya destroyed the world record in the men’s marathon by over 1 minute running 2 hours 1 minute and 39 seconds. Savage. (Highly recommend you read up on Kipchoge as he is the Zen Master of distance running and has much wisdom to share).
The 33 year old has also been racing at the international level since he was 18 years old, a long career no doubt. Out of the last 9 marathons he has run, he’s won 8.
He must train like a mad man each day, right?
Nope. According to a recent NYtimes article, Kipchoge says that he “seldom pushes himself past 80 percent – 90 percent, tops – of his maximum effort when he circles the track for interval sessions, or when he embarks on 25 mike jogs.”
In today’s social media age with everyone clamoring over the next person for attention, that quiet philosophy speaks the loudest. Can’t really take great selfies after easier workouts. No one will know how well you train with no pictures of torn hands.
But as (I hope) we all know, great performances aren’t made on social media. They are made in the gym. Day in and day out. And to get better every day you need to understand that your training can’t be hard all of the time. It must ebb and flow in intensity. Like Kipchoge, you need only go deep in the well once and a while. Until you really want to TEST and see where your fitness is, keep each day’s training focused on moving well, modulating the session’s intensity to a hard, but sustainable level, and making sure you care for yourself with good food and stress reducing activities outside of training.