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• Eliud Kipchoge shoots for the stars

Speaking on a crackly phone line from his training camp in Kenya on Wednesday, Kipchoge said breaking the two-hour barrier in the Austrian capital in October is “more important” than world or Olympic titles or big city marathon victories. “It’s like the first man to go to the moon,” he said.

Kipchoge is the reigning Olympic champion and holds the official world record with 2:01:39 set in Berlin last year. He also clocked 2:00:25 at a Nike-backed Breaking2 attempt in Monza, Italy, in 2017 and the 34-year-old reckons he can improve by the necessary one second per mile to run 1:59-something when he attacks the barrier at the Prater park in Vienna during an October 12-20 window of opportunity that organisers have created.

Kipchoge, however, answered questions about his own preparations only during what was his final interview before ‘race week’ itself in October. “My main focus is to show that no man is limited and the main way I can do that is by breaking two hours,” he says.

Kipchoge’s preparations include rising at 5am every day and he is currently logging about 200-220km (120-136 miles) of running per week, plus regular gym workouts. Core stability sessions, incidentally, are one of the things he has added to his schedule following the Breaking2 attempt.

Kipchoge says he will arrive in Vienna about one week before the attempt and jog on the course to familiarise himself with it. Is he not curious to see the course any earlier? “I prefer to stay in Kenya and concentrate on my training,” he says. “This is my priority.”

Read More on: athleticsweekly
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