We Had to Make Own Bread - Eliud Kipchoge's Coach Reveals Harsh Training Demands

  • Marathoner Eliud Kipchoge hugs his coach Patrick Sang during a competition in 2018
    Marathoner Eliud Kipchoge hugs his coach Patrick Sang during a competition in 2018.
  • Eliud Kipchoge's coach Patrick Sang has opened up about some tough conditions that athletes go through while training at the camp.

    In an interview with World Athletics, Sang revealed that at some point, they had to manufacture their own bread over differences between the brown and white ones available in the market.

    The coach explained that in his coaching experience, he invites numerous experts ranging from nutritionists to financial management to ensure that the athletes in the camp, who include Kipchoge, get the best training possible.

    In one instance, they spent time with a nutritionist who pointed out that some of the athletes consumed less proteins than required forcing them to adjust their diets.

    A file image of Eliud Kipchoge trainer Patrick Sang
    A file image of Eliud Kipchoge trainer Patrick Sang.
    NN Running Team

    One of the recommendations was for the athletes to consume brown bread as opposed to white bread owing to the former's nutrition content. The athletes, however, preferred white bread.

    "The nutritionist analysed the content of everything we had, and found that the protein intake was too low for our athletes, so we took action by coming up with home-grown solutions without doing crazy things.

    "We now make our own bread that still looks white (as they prefer white bread to brown bread) but is fortified so that it’s healthier for the athletes. We also use fermented milk, which is very rich in nutrients and a great way of taking proteins," stated Sang.

    He further noted that while at the camp, all athletes are expected to partake in all chores in order to expand their life skills.

    Sang explained that it was imperative for the athletes to grow in a wholesome manner so that they can interact with colleagues and fans and not perceived as inaccessible stars.

    "The Kaptagat camp is run by athletes who do everything there, from making the bread to doing the cleaning and the shopping. Clips of Geoffrey and Eliud making chapatti went viral on social media, but those videos weren’t created to show off; this is simply what they do in the camp.

    "The whole idea is to make these athletes an all-around person. We encourage them to have dialogues and interact with each other to grow and encourage the development of different skills. You don’t want to make an athlete who is great at running but then when it comes to social skills they look like monsters or superstars who are out of touch with the real society," he explained.

    Nutrition for sports differs from regular nutrition because athletes require different amounts of nutrients compared to non-athletes. In order to perform optimally, they need to train hard and fuel their bodies appropriately. 

    There is no substitute or supplement for a well-balanced diet. A healthy, energy-dense diet provides the body with the necessary energy to perform their best, while also preventing early fatigue and potential injury. 

    In December 2020, a photo of Kipchoge having rice and beans went viral. The debate centered around his simplicity, his earnings and whether he had a nutritionist to guide him on meals.

    World record holder Eliud Kipchoge spotted eating rice and beans on Friday, December 4, 2020