Nike’s Breaking2 team head to Africa
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Nike’s Breaking2 team head to Africa

Last month, Nike announced that they were trying to break the two-hour marathon barrier this spring. This is a huge deal in terms of not just sporting but human performance, and now preparations for their athletes’ attempt are well under way and they are heading to a part of the world synonymous with long distance running.

The Nike website states that their Breaking2 attempt ‘challenges the perception of what is possible in sport, resets the expectations of product and enables Nike to gather incredible athlete insight.’ And this is certainly the case, if successful, they would shatter a limit that people though was unsurpassable.

The global sporting apparel company made the claim in December, stating that three of their athletes would be undertaking a special tailored program, using Nike’s resources and expertise, to attempt the phenomenal feat. So, with speculation and intrigue bubbling away, Nike are taking their team of experts to link up with the runners in Africa.

The team, which is made up of experts in many areas such as biomechanics and apparel, are heading out to Kaptagat in Kenya, to meet Olympic champion, Eliud Kipchoge, who is out there training for the sub-two hour attempt. They will then go to Ethiopia to work with two-time Boston marathon champion, Lelisa Desisa. From there they will then head out to Madrid to meet Zersenay Tadese, the current half-marathon world record holder.

For a while now, Nike has had these three runners training with their GPS watches and heart-rate monitors, uploading their daily information each night for analysis by the Nike’s NXT Generation Research team. From here, the analysts and coaches meet to take insights to the athletes.

Alex Hutchison has done an in-depth feature on the Breaking2 attempt in Runners World. He has reported: ‘From their analysis of the athletes’ training so far, they’ve found that each of these three very accomplished runners approaches their training in a very different manner, both on a day-to-day level and also in how they organize the ebb and flow of training over weeks and months. So Nike won’t be trying to shoehorn each athlete into one master plan; instead, they’ll be offering whatever insights and feedback they can to support what the athletes are already doing.’

Dominion holds Nike in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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