Valentijn Trouw believes that the heart drives the soul.
So as Eliud Kipchoge’s manager, he must understand what makes him tick. What motivates him. What makes Eliud push his body to the limits.
And this year, there was just one thing on Eliud’s mind. He wanted to become the first man in history to run a marathon in under two hours.
“Breaking two hours really is an epic challenge but Eliud has thought and dreamed about doing it for years,” said Valentijn.
In 2017 Eliud came closer than ever at the Nike Breaking2 event in 2017.
“That only increased his desire to do it,” said Valentijn.
The record attempt in Vienna fits into his training schedule for the Olympics in Tokyo next year but only just.
“There was a very limited window to bring a sub-2 marathon challenge to life for Eliud, but INEOS have made this happen,” he said.
The performance team and Valentijn’s main job – in the run-up to today’s challenge – was keeping Eliud fit and healthy.
“Prevention is always better than cure so we had to act on any small problems before they became big problems,” he said. “That’s why we all needed to be really sharp.”
Valentijn, who has helped build the careers of scores of Olympic and World Champions, said everyone would be nervous on the day of the race because it means so much to all who have been involved.
“Eliud must think about all the preparation he has done in the lead-up to the challenge and by realising he has given his all to prepare to the best of his ability, he will be able to control his nerves,” he said.