I have been wanting to do this one for awhile.
After watching Kenenisa Bekele walk off the course with less than 2 kilometers to go, and a definite sub 2:07, I read the comments by both Jos Hermans, his manager and Renato Canova, a prominent and out spoken coach. Hermans noted that Bekele does not respect the distance. That seems to be a fact. Canova noted that, for Bekele to be successful at 42.295 kilometers, he must radically change his training. I think the fact is buried in the hyperbole.
The fact is that Eliud Kipchoge lives like a monk when he trains. Months of work, consistent food, sleep and training. Mo Farah goes to Ethiopia or Kenya to do his work.
While both Kipchoge and Farah may make their success seem easy to come by, it is not. Kipchoge came up through the ranks, in cross country, track and finally, road runniing. It took Kipchoge several years on the roads to become, as Paula Radcliffe and Steve Cram are fond of saying, “the zen master of the marathon.”
Mo Farah’s win in Chicago was both brilliant and dominating. He turned it off until 35km and then, let the field have it. His move, with 800 meters to go, was gut wrenching, but Farah has the racing touch. He is the warrior monk of the marathon.
What will Kenensa Bekele do with the mararthon? Contrary to what Jos Hermans said, Bekele may have it the talent, but not the desire to do the work to deliver a fast time.