A change of coach has ushered in a renewed resolve in Reuben Ramolefi’s quest to excel in the 3000m steeplechase.
Since February, Ramolefi shifted and now trains under renowned Kenya middle and long distance coach Dan Muchoki. Over the past 22 year Muchoki has groomed countless Kenyan world champions, Olympic medallists and world record holders.
“In the past my race pattern consisted of starting fast, coasting in the middle of the race, before injecting a surge of speed at the finish. Now all that has changed since I begun training under Muchoki,” Ramolefi began.
Ramolefi holds the South Africa record in the event in a time of 8:11.63 which he ran at a IAAF Golden League meeting in Monaco in the vicinity of the IAAF Headquarters two years ago. He explains why is supremely confident of improving his national record this year.
“With Muchoki we are working on all other aspects where I am lacking. These are my speed endurance, muscle strength and strength in speed,” says Ramolefi. He admits is going has en very hard.
On the morning of the Yellow Pages meet in Tshwane (25 February), Muchoki put me through the toughest endurance training session I have ever had in my career. I was glad to rest when I was over,” Ramolefi recollects.
What happened next stunned him. “Coach told me that in the evening I would run the 3000m steeplechase at the Yellow Pages meet. I left speechless,” says Ramolefi.
“I prayed to God and went to sleep. All I wanted to do in at the meet hat evening was to run under nine minutes. To my surprise I won the race in 8:43.80. Now last week at the national championships I clocked 8:14.06,” says Ramolefi with a smile that light up his face from ear to ear.
“Muchoki is working on polishing up my speed which is my strong point. That gives me the confidence to start out strong and hold on to the finish. This is a big plus for me,” says Ramolefi.
So far Muchoki is satisfied with Ramolefi’s progress. “He is different from some of the South African athletes I have trained. There are some who I show the way. Then they go talking to other people and do what they like,” says Muchoki.
“I have nothing to prove to anyone. My track record speaks volume. Either an athlete follows my guidelines or they can go and work with whoever they want. I am a serious coach and will only work with those ready to learn,” Muchoki declared.
Filed under: 3000m Steeplechase