With Kipchoge, our Biowearables are Running With a Fast Crowd

First human to break 2 hours over 26.2 miles uses Abbott's glucose sport biosensor to prep for Berlin and Tokyo.

You don't have to be a world class marathon racer to benefit from our sports biosensor.

But if you are the world class marathoner who was the first human to record a sub-2-hour time over 26.2 miles, hello Eliud Kipchoge. It’s nice to see you again.

Kipchoge (who went 1:59:40 in 2019) used our biowearable — the world's first glucose sport biosensor1 — among his training regimen for Tokyo where he won his second consecutive gold in the marathon.

Three months before the Games — delayed by COVID-19 — got underway, the world-record holder (officially 2:01:39, set in Berlin in 2018) won the NN Mission Marathon in Enschede, the Netherlands, with a time of 2:04:30 in an April race against a field of elite runners only.

Kipchoge's NN Mission time is ahead of the Olympic Record of 2:06:32, set in 2008 in Beijing by fellow Kenyan Samuel Kamau. He's the first runner to win four Abbott World Marathon Majors, a series of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world: Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City.

"I am learning how my glucose levels relate to my running performance and have already started to see how quickly small adjustments can make a big difference," Kipchoge said. "I am honored to work on this project, which hopefully will help athletes around the world to better understand the relationship between nutrition and performance to help them improve."

How It Works
Our biowearable is a small round biosensor (approximately the size of two quarters) worn on the back of the upper arm. For up to 14 days, the biosensor provides real-time glucose values through a mobile app1 and wrist readers.2 

Your body stores glucose as fuel ready to be burned as you need. Once you're exercising, your glucose will go up for a time. But later — and especially so in endurance exercise like marathoning and as glycogen stores are depleted — glucose will begin to lower.

How and when that's happening in your body is key to helping achieve your best performance.

And our biowearable technology is key to knowing the how and the when.

Tracking correlations among glucose levels, dietary choices and individual athletic performance gives users an understanding of their glucose data needed to help them from being feeling run down as they're running down the competition.

"We are exploring a shift in timing of pre-race and race-time carbohydrate fueling to net maximum benefits," said Valentijn Trouw, performance director of NN Running Team and Global Sports Communications. "Abbott's biosensor enables us to build personalized nutrition plans based on glucose data in order to deliver peak athletic performance and a competitive advantage."

Helping the Best Get Better
Kipchoge won the men's marathon in Rio in 2016. With the latest technology, Kipchoge was looking for a repeat win in 2021. And that's what he did.

Our biosensor was there every step of the way helping Kipchoge train for his return to the top step of the podium.

"We've utilized our breakthrough sensing technology to help world-class athletes like Eliud and everyday athletes alike live up to their optimal potential," said Duncan Williams, divisional vice president, Abbott Biowearables. "Our technology will help make glucose monitoring commonplace in athletic performance training and enable athletes to fuel their peak performance."

Said Kipchoge: "Physically, I am fit. Mentally, I am fit. I'm ready to go for the next challenge now." 

Abbott is the title sponsor of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, a series of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world: Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, Virgin Money London Marathon, BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and TCS New York City Marathon. Click here to learn more.

1Biosensor is designed to work with compatible partner mobile apps.
2The biosensor is designed to automatically stream glucose data every minute, via Bluetooth® wireless technology, and it is designed to work with compatible mobile apps and wrist readers (wrist readers are currently in development).

This story was originally published on April 26, 2021. It was updated on October 15, 2021, and on March 8, 2024.