Veteran athletics coach explains why Kipyegon will be at the ‘top of the world’ in marathon

Faith Kipyegon smashed the women's mile World Record in Monaco|COURTESY

ATHLETICS Veteran athletics coach explains why Kipyegon will be at the ‘top of the world’ in marathon

Joel Omotto 19:38 - 18.10.2023

Athletics coach Stephen Mwaniki has given reasons why Faith Kipyegon will have a successful marathon career once she makes the switch from track.

Athletics coach Stephen Mwaniki has tipped multiple world and Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon to become a successful marathoner once she shifts to the road due to her track background.

Kipyegon, who has won four world titles (three in 1,500m and one in 5,000m) as well as two Olympics golds, both in 1,500m, is also the world record holder in 1,500 and the mile and has expressed her desire to switch to marathon in the near future.

Early this year, the mother of one revealed how her track rival Sifan Hassan's successful transition from track to road to win the London Marathon, left her itching to have a taste of the same and reiterated that again during a TV interview last week.

“The mile was my first road race towards the marathon, you will see me in the marathon in the future. Watch me in Berlin next time…of course, I will run the marathon, one day, one time,” Kipyegon told Citizen TV.

“When that time comes, I will be on that start line. When I hit that road, I might break the world record.”

Mwaniki feels Kipyegon’s promise to break a marathon world record is not far-fetched as she has the advantage of having started her running career on track which makes it easier to transition to the road.

“For you to have a long career, you start with track. That is where you do what we call building your basic. In coaching, there is something we call training age,” Mwaniki told Pulse Sports.

“There is the biological age and training age. The biological age is how old you are but training age is how long have you been running.

“So, anything you do continuously, consistently you perfect it. It is always good to have a background of doing track and when you start the marathon, you have a good foundation and have developed basic speed.”

The tactician believes what gives Kipyegon an edge is the fact that she is highly experienced having started competing in global championships at 16, featuring in cross-country, before her track career.

“Because you run shorter events, you build the basic speed. For example, if we look at Faith Kipyegon, she has been running for over 10 years and it is just a matter of time after building up her mileage, she will be at the top of the world in marathon,” added Mwaniki.

“It is always good to exploit the shorter races on the track before heading to the marathon.”

The 29-year-old is, however, still not done with the track as she has promised to go for Olympics gold in Paris next year in the 1,500m race in what will be a historic feat since she will be doing it at three straight editions.