Elliot Kipchoge and David Bedford : Oxford Union Address


Self-discipline always starts with you, start to examine yourself. It is doing right rather than what you feel like doing. After you have accumulated self-discipline in your mind it can help you save your feelings, get you back on the course. Self-discipline can help you do the right thing in the moment for long term phenomenon. Stick to your priorities. Don’t make excuses.

Once you have decided to do something. There should be no excuses, that’s self-discipline.

Make discipline your lifestyle. Discipline is not a one time event.

Only the disciplined ones are free in life. If you’re in-disciplined you are slave to your moods, you are slave to your passions.

That’s a fact. Best time to plant the tree of self-discipline was 25 years ago. The next best time is today.

Planning and preparation.
To win is not important. To be successful is also not important. How to plan and prepare is critical and crucial. When you plan well then success can come in your way, then winning can come in your way.

Well organized
You should get organized in what you are doing.

Think Positive
You should think positive. That is the driver of your mind. If your mind is really thinking positive than you are on the right track.

Pleasure in what you are doing puts perfection in your work

Team Work
I am here because of teamwork. Remember in sports there is a Hero’s Formula. If you are a hero, then you have a formula and that says 100% of myself is nothing compared to 1% of the whole team. And vice versa 1% of the team is nothing compared to 100% of myself and that’s the meaning of teamwork.

Consistency :
The law of consistency. You should get motivated, it the motivation that actually makes you move. Motivation makes you go forward. In that motivation you should be consistent. What makes you grow is discipline. When you bring motivation and discipline together then you can be consistent. And if you combine all these together – they say if you want – to grow consistency is the key. I am confident in saying that consistency is the key if you want to grow in a new profession, be it sport, be it law all sorts of professions. If you are not consistent you cannot grow, but consistency makes you grow.

Be comfortable being uncomfortable
Be comfortable out of your comfort zone. Accept change. Change is actually important. It is not really comfortable to adopt change but change in life of human being is really important. But change cannot be forced. Everyone has the key to the kit of his change. If you open your kid wide and welcome change. If you close the door and throw away the key then you will not be comfortable. Change is important. We should accept the change in any situation.

Believing in yourself
Personally in believe in what I am doing. To win in a marathon it takes 5 months but when I am in the starting line my mind start to ring what I have been doing for the last 5 months. I believe in my trainings. I treat myself as the best one on that line because my mind is telling me that I am the best and I believe in what I am doing in the last five months. I can run free. I can run free and that’s what actually has helped me to be successful.

Kipchoge’s comments during Q & A’s

  1. Coach gives tips and helps in improving the technique while running
  2. He enjoys training run in Kenya with friends.
  3. Race day strategy depends on the training.
  4. On Life balance:
    We have total concentration in training we call it cocoon concentration. Cocoon concentration is where you think about a sport in a positive way. I am fixed on my sport and on my training and above all I’m really strict in my workouts and all my programs. I am doing it to the perfection. If I miss one, it’s like missing a discussion in class (lecture in class). If I miss a training, I will not even sleep well.
  5. How do you manage pain in the marathon?
    When I have a lot of pain, I try to convince my mind to forget about pain but think about the distance. When I think on the distance, I am trying all means to go to that distance.
    In Marathon you don’t concentrate on the first half. Where the marathon starts is after 30k. That’s when I feel pain everywhere. The muscles are aching and the most prepared and well-organized athletes is really doing well after that. I will go with the pace for 30kms and after that I will change to my own pace and if you are ready and want to follow me then we go together.
  6. Self-discipline: I’m really committed to training. I am at the camp from Monday to Saturday. I don’t miss any chance of training. I don’t miss any chance of fitness. In long run, be it raining or not raining I’m doing it to perfection. When I miss a world record I don’t regret. If I regret and complain it is a sign of self in-discipline.
  7. I think physical training and mental training both are important but you can be physically fit but psychologically poor then you cannot win. I am not running on my legs alone but I am running on my head with my heart and my mind. During the time of training you should be physically fit. Mental fitness actually plays a big role during competition. If you don’t rule your mind your mind will rule you.