Conway in Kenya: Learning from Canova and Kiptanui

February 26, 2024

In a recent interview with Run Republic, Turlough Conway, Irish Mountain Running Association (IMRA), shared his fascinating experience of meeting and chatting with the legendary Moses Kiptanui and renowned trainer Renato Canova (pictured) on a trip to Kenya last year. Kiptanui, an Olympic gold medalist and the first man to break eight minutes in the 3000-meter steeplechase, left a lasting impression on Conway as he shed light on the mental aspects of setting and achieving goals in the world of athletics.

Conway delved into a discussion about Kiptanui's mindset as he ascended through the ranks of competitive running. Conway was keen to understand if Kiptanui simply realised his talent and went with the flow or if he had a specific goal in mind. Kiptanui emphatically stated that his sole focus was to become an Olympic champion.

Kiptanui's determination and commitment to this goal were evident as he took measured and incremental steps to reach the pinnacle of his sport. The key takeaway from Kiptanui's journey, as conveyed by Conway, was the mental importance of having a well-defined goal. The focus on achieving a specific objective, such as becoming an Olympic champion, played a crucial role in shaping Kiptanui's training regimen and overall mindset.

According to Conway, Kiptanui emphasized the profound impact that a set goal can have on an athlete's mental approach to training. Having a clear and ambitious objective imprinted in one's mind can significantly enhance focus during training sessions. While not guaranteeing Olympic success for everyone, setting an attainable goal and maintaining unwavering focus can lead to improved dedication and performance in training.

Conway shared his insights, stating that individuals who aimlessly navigate from one task to the next without a higher objective might find it challenging to experience significant improvements. Kiptanui's wisdom highlighted the transformative power of a well-defined goal, influencing not only an athlete's training routine but also the smaller details that contribute to overall performance.

Moses Kiptanui's background in the army was another aspect that Conway explored. Kiptanui found that the strength gained during his service proved immensely beneficial, particularly in preventing injuries. Conway highlighted Kiptanui's retrospective acknowledgment of the positive impact that his military training had on his durability as an athlete.

Kiptanui's unwavering focus on a set goal and the mental importance of such objectives serves as inspiration for athletes and individuals alike. Conway shared that the experience of meeting these two athletics legends was truly unforgettable and was priceless wisdom and company to be in the presence of.