This Sunday, December 3rd, Joshua Cheptegei, who runs for Uganda and the NN Running Team, will run his 26.2 debut at the Valencia Marathon. Joshua has been one of the greatest distance runners of the past decade, with an Olympic Gold, multiple World Championship titles, and two world records to his name in the 5,000m and 10,000m.
Despite his long list of accolades, Joshua is approaching the marathon with patience and humility, since it's a brand new distance for him. "I want to approach this marathon with a lot of respect," he said in an interview with the International Olympic Committee. "I know that there are challenges...and everybody is built differently."
COROS had the exclusive opportunity to chat with Joshua leading into Valencia. Read below to see why Joshua made the move to the marathon, his goals for this weekend's race, and how you can take advantage of preparing for your next big race using COROS.
|COROS PACE 3
|26:11 (Valencia 2020)
|12:36 (Monaco 2020)
|Marathon Weekly Mileage
|140-160km (86-100 miles)
|Longest Run Before Valencia
|40km (24.8 miles)
What motivated your decision to make the move to the roads and choose Valencia as your debut marathon?
I set two world records in Valencia: the 10km World Record in 2019, and I broke the 15-year-old record in the 10,000m in 2020 of Kenenisa Bekele. Valencia was for me of course the best choice, because in my opinion it’s a venue that has proven to be highly successful for both track and road.
Do you feel you've accomplished everything you can on the track, or would you like to continue racing on the track even as you do marathons?
I'm not done with the track. I've run for 10 years at the highest level on the track and cross-country. I see the switch to the marathon as a new adventure, which I am really excited about, and I look forward to seeing what the roads can bring me as a new challenge.
How is training for a marathon different from a 10k, both from a training perspective, and an emotional perspective?
My mileage is around 140-160k (86-100 miles) per week and the longest run I've done is 40km (24.8 miles). During the marathon training I really learned a lot, for example on hydration and also the high milage. The long runs used to be tough. But now I’m learning to accept that it's going to be a part of my life in the next years. But I keep in mind that I want to enjoy the full marathon and I'm very curious to see what happens after 35km, because that feeling is totally new for me. The road isn't new, because I raced 10km, 15km (world best 41:05) and half marathons (59:21 PB).
As Joshua transitions to longer distances on the road, he explains that getting used to proper hydration and higher mileage were new challenges.
What are your top 3 tips/words of advice for a runner transitioning to the marathon?
Long runs, consistency and joy!
What are your favorite features of the COROS watch?
I really like the COROS watch, because it has a really good battery and GPS connection. I have never worried about my watch failing me when training or racing.
COROS Insights: The COROS PACE 3 has 38 hours of continuous GPS use, lasting 24 days of daily use. At only 30g, the PACE 3 is extremely lightweight, but delivers next-generation technology with Dual-Frequency GPS, which improves accuracy in major cities during marathons. Whether you're training or racing, you don't have to worry about missing out on valuable data.
What are your goals for Valencia? Is there a time you are looking to achieve?
I'm not looking at running fast times, because it is still a totally new distance for me, and I'm still learning also in all the training. What's most important for me now is to learn for the future, and the best for me would be to finish on the podium. The track taught me to become patient. My successes came from consistency and patience. I will approach the Valencia Marathon in the same way.
How does COROS elevate your training, and keep you dialed for race day?
I enjoy the features of the watch that describe your potential race times and base fitness which helps you to see how good your level is at the moment. I always try to beat those potential race times in races.
COROS Insights: The COROS Race Predictor helps athletes like Joshua prepare for major race days by getting an accurate estimation of predicted race times in the 5,000m up to the marathon. The data is based on your past 6 weeks of training via your COROS watch and the COROS app. With this race predictor, you can plan your race strategy accordingly. COROS also helps you prepare by tracking your Base Fitness over time. Base Fitness is a rolling 42-day average of your Training Load, which is essentially how much stress you're putting on your body via exercise. As you increase daily training load and recovery properly, your Base Fitness will increase, allowing you to plan for peak race day. Athletes can monitor these metrics to ensure they're on track before their next big race!
COROS wishes Joshua good luck this weekend. As an official sponsor of the Valencia Marathon and the NN Running Team, we are proud to support Joshua and his team as they push the boundaries of human performance.