Kenya Running Trip: Week #6!

Posted: February 8, 2015 in Robert Brouillette

   

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! 🙂

February 2nd – 8th, 2015

One of my best running training weeks happened and that’s still with me having a lighter start to the week due to recovering from last weeks “10K road race effort” at Eldoret Discovery Kenya Half-Marathon last Sunday. If I was at full strength it would have easily been another highest mileage week PB for sure. So here is how the training week went starting off simply with Monday completely off because it was the day after the Discovery Kenya road race and I was overdue for a rest day. Tuesday I hit up the Kamariny dirt track solo to do a workout of my own which I decided would be a climb of 400M, 600M, 800M, 1K, and a 400M to finish off fast. It was weird running alone on a track filled with dozens and dozens of Kenyan groups so I just had to push myself since I had no one there with me to help pace. The session I described would have been x2 sets but I really just wanted feeling it on that day so I cut the track workout short to save my energy for a better day. I ended up running my fastest 400M at high altitude on a dust dirt track in Kenya of 1:10 and on top of that the track is said to be 8M long and GPS confirms that as well. My 600M was sub 2 minutes, 800M in sub 2:45, and 1K a little slow in sub 3:30 off 200-400M active recovery for the reps. As usual I had 100M on/off sprints x4 both before and after the workout to loosen up the legs.

Wednesday was supposed to be a moderate progression with the morning group but due to some stomach issues that I’ve now solved, I had to drop out and do my own easy run still getting 14K completed. In the evening at 5:00PM I now have a new group for my easy runs where they always run the same 50 minute route that’s considered mostly flat with just one short uphill and a gradual upward incline last couple kilometers at perfect easy progressive pace to get just over 10K. Thursday was one of my best fartlek workouts with a new group that’s smaller then my usual 100 participants at the other place, but this one is more competitive. We did 2:5 (2 minutes easy and then 5 minutes hard tempo) x8 sets. After just the first 2 sets I found myself gaped from the Kenyan pack and in the back with few other mzungu’s (white guys). I worked with one guy first half until I surged after halfway through the workout to find a UK runner named Hugh Torry to help each other finish strong. The first half was gradual downhill and last half was uphill so it made us work that much harder to finish in the same pace as we started but I’m happy to have done really well and finished still feeling strong. This is the first time I could admit to myself that I am confident with my fitness and this isn’t a perfect analysis but I was beating guys that have faster PB’s then me so it’s a good sign I have potential when I race back home.

Since I missed out on Wednesdays moderate run I wanted to make up for it on Friday and let me tell you I was very pleased to have done just that. From start to finish I considered myself with the lead pack to keep them in sight the entire time finishing less than 1 minute behind them on the uphill finish (keeping in mind their moderate is like my tempo effort). Every Friday morning since I’ve been here I told myself I would take the shortcut option that finishes roughly in the same time as the longer option but obviously in less kilometers. This was because in the beginning I truly believed I would never be able to keep the groups pace let alone the lead pack but on this day I forgot all that and just went for it and am excited to do it again next week, with same group, same route, more confidence, but faster. In the evening I joined my usual 50 minute 10K easy run group but little did I know we would take a detour through the forest and to the track to do drills and exercises on the grass for 30 minutes of strengthening. I probably shouldn’t have done this the day before my long run but I haven’t been in any body strengthening type groups in Kenya so I went for it to check it out and see if I could learn anything. It was a lot of fun but I did go to bed with sore legs not even sure if I would still do a long run workout in the morning at 6:15AM.

Thankfully everything worked out and Johana took me to his group to start the 30K run but I had only 25K planned so would take an acceptable shortcut if I could. The first 5K was downhill so the guys were flying at 3 minute low kilometers and I very soon found myself behind the group. I had thoughts of just forgetting about the run and going home because a long run on my own would be mentally tough and simply boring with no training partner.  Then came along a friendly stranger named Patrick Rutoh who would run the rest of the workout with me, stride by stride, never leaving my side and even helping me speed up when I slowed down even a little. He only wanted to do 25K as well and I had a time limit of 1 hour 40 minutes that we also hit bang on. Fastest kilometer was about 3:30 and slowest 4:30 with my last 2K both at just above 4:00/K showing I still had some juice in my legs even as I finished the long run. I’m naturally a mileage/ endurance runner and really enjoyed this. I joke that I would rather run a marathon then do speed work on the track but it really is true. Sunday morning while everyone was either at church or having a rest day from training, I still went to the Kamariny track to do diagonals of 120M for 30 minutes inside the track on the grass. What this workout means is running in a “figure 8” so the diagonal part was 120M hard sprint, and the straight away end zones would be my 80-100M easy jog. To be doing this workout at the end of the week called for some not so fast strides but I got the work in and I’m happy to just have kept the pace consistent at sub 3:00/K for the hard part and work on my form to the best of my ability on the uneven ground.

In non-running news I have been stuffing my face full of all sorts of fruits when I can but usually after my evening runs. Once I stop my watch after a run I will have a fruit in my hand within a minute which could be a banana, mango, orange, pineapple, avocado, etc. I had one unique fruit which was a fat red sweet banana which is different on the outside with red versus yellow peel but the inside is identical looking with the red one a little sweeter. We finally got power back this week after going 1.5 weeks with none at all and that was on top of our well going dry, taps in the house not working, and stove out of gas. We were literally living the “African way” of having no power, no water, no gas, eating little, living cheap. Life wasn’t as rough as you would think, sure we struggled a little from time to time but it’s not always about the material goods you have that makes life any better or easier. I did a lot of things manually which is tiring on the body but I learned some new things like how to take care of myself for once.

Silas came over to give me a 1 hour full body sports massage in the evening after that morning long run and did it ever feel good. My muscles were rock solid when he started massaging me and after a couple of times seeing him my legs are loosening up and the therapy is less painful. I definitely owe my success this week, my increased fitness, and being injury free due to him. Plus I’ve been eating his home-made peanut butter from Uganda with my bread or left over ugali and oh boy does it taste so freshly amazing unlike that chemical filled factory made PB back home. Sundays are always so lazy to the point where I actually had nothing at all to do, so some of the boys and I headed to Kerio View to sight see the Rift Valley from the top of a cliff which was beautiful. Well that wraps up the details of my week in Kenya and I look forward to an action packed week to come up next.

Running Training

Monday
Rest day after Eldoret Discovery Kenya Half-Marathon
(10K race effort only)

Tuesday: https://www.strava.com/activities/250176633
AM = 6K/ 25:23/ 100M x4, track, 100M x4
(track – 400M, 600M, 800M, 1K, 400M)
2.7K/ 15:16/ warm up & walking back cool down
PM = 10.3K/ 51:36/ easy + hill sprints x6
Total: 19K in 1 hour 32 minutes

Wednesday: https://www.strava.com/activities/250176640
AM = 14K/ 1:14:49/ easy
PM = 10.2K/ 50:12/ easy
Total: 24.3K in 2 hours 5 minutes

Thursday: https://www.strava.com/activities/250650291
AM = 13.7K/ 56:00/ fartlek 2:5 x8 (easy: hard)
6.2K/ 27:30/ warm up & 2.9K/ 16:34/ cool down
PM = 10.3K/ 50:03/ easy
Total: 33.1K in 2 hours 30 minutes

Friday: https://www.strava.com/activities/251145228
AM = 18.5K/ 1:19:24/ moderate
PM = 9.2K/ 49:56/ easy & 2.1K/ 13:55/ cool down
(30 minutes of drills and exercises in between)
Total: 29.8K in 2 hours 23 minutes

Saturday: https://www.strava.com/activities/251357776
AM = 25K/ 1:43:12/ moderate long run
3.4K/ 18:10/ cool down
Total: 28.4K in 2 hours 1 minute

Sunday: https://www.strava.com/activities/251867728
AM = 7.1K/ 30:00/ 120M diagonals x 30 minutes
3K/ 16:51/ warm up & 3K/ 16:44/ cool down
Total: 13.1K in 1 hour 3 minutes

Week’s Distance & Time: 147.8K in 11 hours 35 minutes!

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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Comments
  1. James says:

    What’s the purpose of all these altitude stints? Are you trying to go pro or just taking a break after college to explore the world? I don’t want to sound like an asshole but if you’ve spent 4 years doing altitude training stints and your PBs are still the ones listed on the side of your page, you might want to try something different because you’ve got a very, very long way to go in order to be competitive even at the NCAA D1 level, let alone the international stage.

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