Kenya has the best marathon runners, Here’s why
Kenya’s dominance in the long distance is quite remarkable. The current men’s and women’s records are held by two historic men and women. Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei.
It is impressive to watch them run, they have almost perfect technique and never seem to tire.
Training makes perfect, but in this case, there are a couple of extra factors that make Kenya the most dominant country in the world when it comes to the queen of distance events.
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Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why Kenya is practically unbeatable in marathons.
The country is perfect.
Because of its location and situation, Kenya is practically a mecca for long-distance running. As children, most of them are used to running long distances to go to school or to fetch water, and they do it barefoot, which means that genetically the soles of their feet have been modified to withstand so much pounding on the ground.
Most of the athletes come from the Great Rift Valley area, which is located more than 2000 metres above sea level. This means that when they travel long distances, their blood has more red blood cells and can oxygenate better, which means they can last much longer.
When they enter professionalism or train for it, the conditions in the country mean that they use what they have available to them. This means using the long distances and difficult terrain to create a higher endurance than athletes who have better training conditions.
There are places like Mexico City which is also at the same altitude, and they have produced great runners indeed, many athletes from all over the world take advantage of the altitude of the North American city to train, but they still don’t come close to the level of Kenyan marathon runners which is superior.
According to several trainers and specialists, Kenyans from a very young age are used to eating a light breakfast if they don’t eat breakfast at all, and running long distances makes them burn a lot of calories, and they are in a deficit, which obviously makes them lighter because they have almost no body fat.
In the afternoon they eat a heavier meal, but spend more hours without food until dinner, and also the dinner is light and very early. All this, combined with training, means that they are at a low-fat percentage, which makes them ideal for long-distance running.
Another factor is that because of their natural genetics, they have stronger and longer legs. This gives them an advantage in the stride, which is much deeper and longer than that of the typical marathon runner. But the factor that perhaps most influences their great abilities is lactic acid.
Several studies from prestigious universities have studied Kenyan marathoners and determined that their lactic acid accumulation is much lower than that of the average runner. What does this mean? Easy, more lactic acid means more exhaustion, less lactic acid, less fatigue, and no tiredness.
By accumulating less lactic acid, the runner becomes tireless. It was incredible to see Eliud Kipchoge break the world record and arrive at the finish line fresh. It looked like he hadn’t even run 42 kilometres, while his closest pursuer was about to collapse.
The Kenyan runner is perfect for running. It’s as if he was assembled in a laboratory to be a dominant force over long distances.
All this would be a waste if you don’t even have the right mindset, and that’s what Kenyans have. An all-out mentality. They are courageous from birth and face life with great joy and determination.
The difficult conditions in which they live mean that running is the only thing they have as a tool to help them and their families get ahead. This gives them a special talent and hunger that most runners on the planet do not have.
Entering the professional world for any of them is ideal because it offers them a better quality of life. They know it’s an opportunity they can’t afford to miss, and they don’t lose sight of their goal.
It is not uncommon to see Kenyan runners at the top of races around the world. They are extremely dominant, and the prize money is the motivation. Sporting glory is also very appealing to them, and that is why they prepare like nobody else.
Writing their name in the history of their country is something that sometimes very few can do. They, with their natural ability and unique mentality, can do it. What is even better is that they are not only hysterical in their country, but in world sports.
Superhuman marks and mind
Eliud Kipchoge is perhaps the greatest marathon runner in history. He dared to break the two-hour barrier when he clocked 1:59:40 in Vienna. No one had ever run under two hours before, and Eliud made it look so easy.
He did it days after winning the London Marathon. Sadly, this record was not considered official, but it did give him a Guinness World Records recognition as the fastest ever.
But to be honest, Kipchoge is not far away from officially breaking the two-hour mark and setting the bar high for future generations. His world record is 2:01:39 and no one has even come close.
The Kenyan is also constantly working with his brand sponsor, Nike, to create shoes that help break gears and make athletes more efficient. He is in every detail and tests the shoes that have ultimately helped him break gears and win many championships.
In the women’s field, there is another outlier, Brigid Kosgei. At only 28 years of age, she is already the queen of the moment. Her record of 2:14:04 is one of the best times in history. She has dominated since 2018 and there is no sign of her letting up.
Both are creating a school that will be hard to beat for years to come. Kenya looks set to dominate the long distances for many years to come. Their superior physique, competitive mentality and desire to succeed make them almost invincible.
Kenya is home to elite athletes, and part of the history of mankind, who surrender to their feet for what they achieve in every race. We can only be grateful and enjoy every kilometre they run.
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