Kenya Running Trip: Week #4!

Posted: January 27, 2015 in Robert Brouillette

      3-8-kenya

December 30th to March 26th 2015, I will be living in Iten, Kenya for my high altitude training running hitting up to 160K, enjoying the Kenyan culture lifestyle, eating delicious fresh healthy home-made meals, and visiting around Rift Valley to discover new things. I’m super excited to see what I can make out of this 13 week journey as I prepare for Hamilton’s Around The Bay 5K and then Toronto’s Yonge Street 10K road races this spring back home in Canada! 🙂

January 19 – 25, 2015

This week in my high altitude running I hit another training PB of 177.6K in 13 hours and 41 minutes which beats out my old record of 160.3K in 12 hours 54 minutes just 2 weeks ago. I promise I’m here to focus on speed but the kilometers are naturally coming with my double run days, big workouts, and simply zero excuses for slacking off like I could create in Canada with some many distractions. Monday’s hill focused run was just a straight loop at moderate effort unlike last week where I did short interval hill sprint repeats. This workout I did solo so I tried to remember the route that starts and ends on the dirt trails and goes into the big forest with dozens of different ways. I ended up remembering most of it but I did get lost for some time but I actually found it exciting running circles inside a beautiful forest just enjoying the terrain and scenery. This time I ran 100% of the workout unlike last time here I had to run/walk the uphill’s because I was still adjusting to the altitude and hills just make it that much harder to breath.Tuesday I went to Kamariny dirt track to do a speed session workout for 10 sets of 600 meters hard (1.5 laps) hoping to hit 10K pace with 200 meters active recovery. The first one was my fastest in 1:52 and then I settled into some 2:00-2:05 reps for the rest, however after the workout was all over I found out I was doing 610/620 meters due to the track being a little long. With 100M strides 8 times to loosen up the legs, 3K warm up and 3K cool down, that was the end of the hot dusty track session.

Wednesday was a basic moderate trail run of 17.5K where the leader said before the run “no slower then 1:16:00” and I was happy to finish in 1:14:33 so I was in the clear. Thursday mid-morning was the fartlek with about 100 runners, but my friend told me the workout was 1:2 (1 easy, 2 hard) but it turns out the leader made it 1:3 so I ran this fartlek solo with the speed portions at half-marathon pace. Athletes are always trying to keep up with the lead pack so I made sure to run my own targeted pace as I watched runners drop out to the side of the road as I was one of the last to finish from what I could see around me. I was completely covered in trail dust by the end but that’s the price I have to pay for drafting off the Kenyans to avoid creating a gap. Friday morning moderate trail run with big hill finish is a little faster than Wednesdays run and on a different route so I went 16.3K in 1:10 for the medium loop where the lead group took the bigger loop and got around 19K. In all honesty I’ll never keep the lead groups pace for this day so I’m happy to just keep lowering my time on the medium loop or giving the bigger loop a try as the weeks go on. In the evening I went for my usually evening easy run of anywhere from 40-60 minutes but this time it was special because I decided to start doing post-run strides again since I’ve forgotten about them the last couple weeks. I had an audience lining my 100M strip of path as I hammered hard and they clapped each time I finished a set for some of my fastest ones I’ve ever done definitely sub 3 minute pace.

Saturday morning long run was a little different then the kind of trail route I normally take because Edwin took me 50 minutes down the Rift Valley mountain and then we turned around and ran straight back up trying to match the 50 minute split again. Going all the was down and then halfway back up felt really good but as the hill got steeper I struggled coming to the finish in 1:43:46 for 23.6K (11.8K down and 11.8K up). All my leg muscles were rock solid and sore making my walk a little funny from this long run so I’m due for another Kenyan style massage. To wrap up the training week, Sunday afternoon I was supposed to race Discovery Kenya junior men 8K cross-country (even though I know I’m of age for the senior race of 20 years old+) but I really wanted the shorter faster race. However, due to some complications that led to some negative issues that I won’t discuss, I missed racing at this event. Instead I ended up running a solo 15K easy progression in Mosoriot while I was in that town visiting friends.

Outside of my running workouts, I created an unusual Kenyan snack where I took their famous ugali (Google it if your unsure), cut it up into slices and made peanut butter with honey sandwiches. They are slowly trying it but I love the combination because when ingredients are limited you get creative. Justin Lagat, ambassador for “Kenyan Athlete – Say No to Doping” dropped by to present me with a shirt and calendar so I could show my support for the issue. I am and will always be a clean athlete, no banned performance enhancing drugs, just me and my hard training is all I need to be happy and succeed at my sport. Mid-week my IT band on the outside of my right knee started bothering me after a workout just like it did back in Canada. I hoped this was just temporary, would go away, and leave me alone to train. Being stubborn I did not stop training and thankfully to a 30-45 minute massage from my good friend Edwin, all the issues went completely away and I was back to full shape by my next run.

I’m using my shoes so much that I have almost literally ran right through one of my favorite pairs within the first month of being here because the trails are so rough and like I’ve mentioned before my mileage is naturally high. This year for my trip I brought 3 main training shoes which are all by New Balance of course: 890v4 (moderate, tempo, and long runs), 1600 (road race, track, and fartlek workouts), 880v4 (easy runs), and my 5000 cross-country spike for any cross-country races only. In just 3 weeks I can tell I have lost a lot of healthy weight and gained some muscle to the point that random people are telling me I look strong and fit for when I go back to my home country to compete.

To end the week I went to Mosoriot for part of Saturday and Sunday to visit Laban Rotich (former 1500M Kenyan Olympian) and his wonderful family, as well as Sokkin Academy School to hand out gifts to all. The Rotich’s are always great hosts to me and always have big smiles on their faces and are grateful for any kind of present I may give them. The school had a gathering of about 100 students to receive my small gifts, but before that I had to give a speech to introduce myself and tell them of my intentions in Kenya which is of course is as a Canadian running athlete. There are way too many children in Kenya and I wish I could give everyone a gift but I can’t so I just have to remember the little things that I do will make a difference and will always be remembered by that person.

Running Training

Monday = strava.com/activities/243077222
AM = 19.2K/ 1:23:54/ moderate hilly
PM = 10.8K/ 56:41/ easy
Total: 29.9K in 2 hours 20 minutes

Tuesday = strava.com/activities/243507238
AM = 10.1K/ 44:22/ track 600M x10 with 100M strides x8
(3.1K WU in 16:07 + 3.1K CD in 20:24)
PM = 11.3K/ 55:04/ easy progression
Total: 27.6K in 2 hours 15 minutes

Wednesday = strava.com/activities/243922476
AM = 17.5K/ 1:14:33/ moderate
PM = 10.8K/ 53:50/ easy
Total: 28.3K in 2 hours 8 minutes

Thursday = strava.com/activities/244516361
AM = 8.6K/ 36:03/ fartlek 1:2 x12
(4.3K WU in 19:52 + 4K CD in 21:05)
PM = 7.9K/ 40:18/ easy
Total: 24.8K in 1 hour 57 minutes

Friday = strava.com/activities/244918504
AM = 16.3K/ 1:09:58/ moderate
PM = 12.2K/57:28/ easy + strides x6
Total: 28.5K in 2 hours 7 minutes

Saturday = strava.com/activities/245180405
AM = 23.6K/ 1:43:46/ long run in Rift Valley mountain on street
(50 minutes down and then back up hill trying to keep same split)
Total: 23.6K in 1 hour 43 minutes

Sunday = strava.com/activities/246543135
PM = 15K/ 1:08:16/ easy progression
Total: 15K in 1 hour 8 minutes

Week’s Distance & Time = 177.6K in 13 hours 41 minutes!
(New PB for highest mileage, most time, and biggest elevation gain ever, once again on this trip)

You can find a complete list of all my GPS detailed runs from Canada and Kenya on my STRAVA profile here:
http://www.strava.com/athletes/4446950

             

Thank you for reading my Kenya adventures, keep on running, and I’ll be back with another update next week. Until then I’ll be posting daily at http://www.facebook.com/RunnerRob4Life & http://www.twitter.com/RunnerRob4Life.

If you have any feedback or would like to see something in the next installment of Runner Rob’s “Kenya Running Trip,” just feel free to give me a shout. I’m having fun keeping myself busy with these reports.

#TYS10K #CantWontStop #ENDURrob #TrainHardWinEasy #MenAtWork #CanadianMzungu #YoungWildFree #KenyanWay #MakeExcellentHappen #ItsPossible #Runday #RunForLife #1Sport1Love #LongMayWeRun #HeavyInTheGame #RiseAndGrind #TheShoeMustGoOn #ItsPossible #ThisIsMyDay

Robert Brouillette 😀

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