Develop a GOAT Mindset: 10 Lessons Athletes can Learn from Eliud Kipchoge

Develop a GOAT Mindset: 10 Lessons Athletes can Learn from Eliud Kipchoge

I have a confession. What does it take to develop a GOAT Mindset like Eliud Kipchoge?

I wrote this article for selfish reasons. 

I’ve recently been struggling with running. It’s normal to have days when you don’t feel like running, but for me, it has become a daily feeling.

So, I started looking for an authentic source of inspiration. 

And what better source than the marathon GOAT Eliud Kipchoge.  The first man to run a marathon in less than two hours. 

Over the past few days, I’ve watched several of Eliud’s interviews, rewatched some of his most prolific races, and read multiple articles about him.

Here’s what I learned. 

Limits are Only in Our Mind

Eliud Kipchoge quote

If you’re like most, your dreams and aspirations are mainly based on what you’ve previously seen others do.  Very few people dream of the impossible. 

Eliud is one of these people. He doesn’t believe in limits. He is continually trying to do the impossible.

This belief in achieving the impossible has pushed him to achieve new levels of excellence, including being the official Marathon World record holder as well as being the first man to run a marathon in sub-two hours.

Don’t let societal limitations prevent you from achieving success. Whether it’s in athletics or field sports, adopt the Eliud Kipchoge mindset, and you’ll become a household name. 

Remember. No Human is Limited. 

No man is an Island

Eliud Kipchoge quote

Teamwork is essential for success in any sport. Whether it’s in athletics or field games, you’ll always need people to support your journey to success. 

Eliud understands the value of teamwork to his success. 

This was most evident during the historic INEOS 1:59 challenge, where he enlisted a team of 41 elite athletes to help him achieve the impossible. 

Despite being a naturally talented athlete, Eliud still trains with a team of elite athletes and coaches to ensure he achieves his absolute best.

He also appreciates his team and gives credit where credit is due. 

If you’re struggling in your athlete journey, maybe it’s because you want to do everything alone. Look for great people to help you improve yourself, and you may find yourself achieving feats you thought were impossible.

A great team is one that supports and cheers for you as you succeed.

Remember, if you want to walk fast, walk alone, but if you want to go far, walk together. 

Good Things Take Time

Eliud Kipchoge quote

I’ve always wanted to become a star athlete. However, I’ve recently noticed that I’ve become quite impatient with the journey to success. 

This microwave mentality is typical among many millennials. It could be the reason why I’ve been having trouble running.

Eliud doesn’t believe in instant gratification. It has taken him years of practice and discipline to achieve success as an athlete. 

He started his athletics career in the 5000m races. He had a string of disappointing performances in the half marathon and also failed to make the 2012 Kenyan Olympic team. 

However, he continued training until he became the greatest marathoner alive. 

In any sport, you need to be patient and willing to go through the process if you want to become great.  

Embrace Simplicity

Eliud Kipchoge quotes

Like most, I’ve always wanted to live the flashy life of an athlete. The big house, the attention, and the flashy cars always come to mind when I think of my life as an elite athlete. 

However, such is not the case with Eliud Kipchoge. 

Unlike most athletes, Eliud lives a moderately simple life. Despite his enormous success, Eliud has managed to remain humble.

During training, Eliud maintains a frugal lifestyle. Despite his multi-millionaire success, he still participates in all domestic duties at the famous Kaptaget athlete camp. 

You don’t need to have fancy new Nike sneakers, or a world class training facility to become an elite athlete. 

Simplicity may be what you need to focus on what matters. And that’s growing your skill as an athlete.

Plan and Prepare

Eliud Kipchoge quote

Ever heard of the law of the farm?

To become a successful farmer, you have to plan, till the land, plant, fertilize, water, then harvest. Farmers don’t wait until its end of summer to start preparing the ground. They work all through.

The same goes for elite athletes. They don’t lay around all year long, then hit practice hard, a month to a major tournament. With an elite mindset, you’re preparing all year long. They take time to strategize and plan their training programs.

Eliud Kipchoge firmly abides by the law of the farm.

Several months before any marathon, Eliud and his coach sit down and come up with a thorough training regimen. This planning session allows them to strategically organize training to ensure Eliud is at peak performance when competing

And the results prove it. 

Take the example of the farmer, plan your workouts, stick to them, and when it’s game time, the results will show. 

It’s Not Always About the Money

Steve Jobs said it best….

“You should never start a company with the goal of getting rich. Your goal should be making something you believe in and making a company that will last. “

The same goes for sports. 

Don’t get into a sport, for the money.

Although money is good, it’s not the best motivator. 

Like Steve Jobs, Eliud doesn’t do it for the money. When asked why he was undertaking the INEOS 1:59 challenge, he explained that he wanted to inspire more people to start running; for their health and fun

Eliud has a genuine love for running. He uses his passion to encourage millions of people globally. 

And that’s why he’s the GOAT. 

If money is your primary motivation, you need to change your perspective. It’s not always about the money.


I’ll be blunt on this one. How many times have you missed:

  • Your run just because there was a little drizzle?
  • Practice because you went to a party the previous night?
  • Because of Netflix?

For me, it’s more times than I can count on both hands.

Why’s this?

Because I lack iron-clad discipline.

The same goes for you.

The reason you’re not succeeding is because you allow bad friends, Netflix, social media, and junk food to slow down your progress. 

Eliud Kipchoge’s success is mainly due to his tremendous discipline. 

When training for a marathon, Eliud runs an average of 125 miles per week without fail. To achieve this, he has to spend several days a week away from his family. He puts in the time and completes his weekly training. 

This self-discipline is the reason why he’s the most decorated marathoner.

If you say you’re going for practice, don’t be a slave to your impulses. Do what you said you’ll do when you said it.  

Embrace Change

Eliud’s path to being a marathon legend has required him to make various changes. 

He started his athletics career in the 5000m track race, where he became the World champion and Olympic silver medalist. He then moved on to the 10km race and half marathon, where he experienced a string of failures before moving on the marathon. 

Making these changes allowed Eliud Kipchoge to become the household name that he is today. 

After failing to break the two-hour barrier at the Nike Breakingtwo challenge, Eliud made several changes for his second attempt. He and his team welcomed crowds to cheer during the INEOS 1:59 challenge. 

If you fail, don’t give up. Maybe all you need is a change of strategy or environment to achieve success. 


  • How do you know if you’re making any progress in your workout?
  • How do you know which areas you need to improve?

The answer…

By tracking every workout.

Eliud Kipchoge has a notebook where he logs in every training session. This allows him to know how much time he has left to train and which areas he needs to improve on.

Keeping a log also acts as a source of motivation during competitions. By remembering how much hard work he’s put, he pushes himself harder to ensure he wins. 

Embrace Positivity

Develop a GOAT Mindset: 10 Lessons Athletes can Learn from Eliud Kipchoge

This is something I noticed after rewatching several of Eliud’s races. 

Whenever Eliud is hurting, he smiles. I first noticed this after the commentators mentioned it during the INEOS 1:59 challenge. 

Even in painful moments, Eliud looks within for the much-needed positivity. 

If you want to be successful at anything, you’ll need to master the skill of positive thinking even when things get tough. 

Over to You

I told you this article was for selfish reasons. 

By researching and writing it, I’ve learned what I need to do to get back to running and succeed. 

I hope it has the same effect on you as it did me. 

Whenever you feel discouraged, come back to this article, or ask yourself: What would Eliud Kipchoge do?


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