Kenya Running Trip: Week #8!

Posted: February 22, 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 190K, 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 16th – 22nd, 2015

This week of running training went amazing with little to no problems at all compared to my rough time last week. I can’t jump into my daily recap without mentioning I hit another weekly PB of 185K in 14 hours 28 minutes at 2637 elevation gain, making this my third time breaking my mileage record on this trip alone.

Monday I went to that mountain that I haven’t visited in a couple of weeks to do hill sprints with my friend Silas of Uganda to do 120 meters hard up with very slow walking back down to repeat 10 times. The total workout was 2.5K which can look deceiving but the quality was all there and this was with a 2.5K warm up and guess what, 2.5K cool down. In the late evening it rained so hard, the biggest storm I’ve ever seen, and this was the first time it’s really rained in all the time I’ve been here so I guess the sky was saving up all that water for one big rain fall.

Tuesday I went to the track solo for 400 meter repeats 14 times off 200 meters active recovery on the now nicely compact dirt track due to the rain washing away all the extra dust. My hips were sore as soon as I woke up for this session due to the mountain sprints yesterday so I was a little worried with how this workout would go. The first rep was probably one of my fastest 400 meters ever but my GPS watch glitched and I have no idea what my time was, how unfortunate. As usual this track is not perfect so it’s about 410M which makes me feel better when my times are already looking good to my standard. For the rest of the sets I hit between 1:13-1:19 for 1 lap which is great compared to my first Kenya track session where I was hitting 1:20-1:22, however that was with 100M recovery and 10 more sets than here. Anyways, I’m happy with this run for now, I seem to be getting quicker each time so I’m making good progress.

Wednesday was a moderate 18.3K where I broke 1:20:00 with the lead group going noticeably faster than past weeks which made it difficult for many of us so I ran most of it alone since there was no chase pack and just me since everyone else dropped out.

Thursday was a fartlek session back with the old group of 150 members where they were doing 1:3 x13 for 52 minutes so that’s 1 minute easy recovery jog followed by 3 minutes hard and repeat till the end. Due to the large number of runners all trying to start together in one big blob and all trying to be in the lead pack crowd, I just purposely started in the back and decided to work my way up as the workout progressed. The first half was with the women’s pack but after a while they were falling off the pace and breaking apart so I went solo for a while until I started to fade myself after a triple threat of hills had its toll on me. So I went out strong and faded which is completely normal and typical so I didn’t expect anything more than a solid effort till I ran out of time and the session was over. I have never dropped out of a workout whether it be Kenya or back home in Canada so seeing all these Kenyans not completing workouts daily is tempting but I know they are running their heart out until they can’t run anymore while I’m more of a conservative runner who goes from start to finish. On my cool down I passed New Zealand Olympian, Zane Robertson, who is the 3rd fastest non-African to run under 1 hour for the half-marathon which he did just a few weeks ago.

Friday was another moderate 18.3K run but this time I was faster even with the big hill followed by gradual uphill finish in 1:18:00 which is my fastest time on this route and would be almost the same time as last weeks lead pack but this week they were much quicker. I liked how I started out slow and built the pace so that I was doing all the passing and never getting passed myself meaning I’m starting to learn how my body is reacting to this Kenyan climate and environment so I’m pacing myself better now.

Saturday I accidentally slept in past the 6:00AM long run group start so I ended up going solo for 25K or 100 minutes, whatever came first. Ironically I ended up doing both together so 25K in 1:40:30 not on purpose but that’s just what my fitness on this morning allowed me to do with conditions considered. It was the same route as last week but with a harder ending since I made one small wrong turn, the sun was nice a hot making me go shirtless for the first time this trip, and the trails rocky, dusty, and hilly as usual. The first half was net downhill and then uphill last half, allowing me to rock some 3:30’s and 3:40’s in the beginning but closing off the workout just trying to keep 4 minutes low giving me a 4:01/K average. I really thought I would be able to dip under 4 minutes but I guess ill just have to do it next week, no worries (hakuna matata). The combination of my CEP compression socks and New Balance 890v4 shoes really made the run that much smoother and everything came together nicely in the end. In the evening Silas came over to give me a 1 hour sports deep massage the first time I’ve had one of these hard massages and Africans in particular don’t go easy like all the masseuse I’ve seen in Canada. Back home I’ve experience professionals who rub your skin ever so gently because they are scared that if them loosening up my muscles hurts I won’t come back. But in Kenya there is no going easy if you want to see results, and quick results at that, so they dig deep into your legs and release all those tight muscles and make you good to go for the upcoming running week.

Sunday morning I went 1 hour by feel without any time or distance goal, just easy, relaxed, stress free jogging. But in the evening the real fun began for one of my best feeling workouts and after the big week I’ve had too. It was 30 minutes of 120 meter diagonals on the inside of the track on the grass. I would jog the end zones easy and sprint the inside diagonals very hard and repeat that a bunch of times until the time was up and switching directions halfway to change things up. I ran it with my 400 meter and hurdler specialist friend, Silas Okello, so I was a little intimidated to do short distance fast stuff with such a talented track guy from Uganda, but after the second half I was absolutely flying and getting faster and faster as the sets kept going on. Unfortunately I was feeling so good on this particular workout that the 30 minutes came around before I could even reach my full speed potential and I didn’t want to keep going or I would really be testing my body after the 185K mileage personal best I did this week.

In non-running news, there is not a lot but what did happen was I was a very responsible Canadian that walked over 2 kilometers with a banana peel just so I wouldn’t have to litter like a majority of the Kenyans do here. There is always garbage everywhere, it’s disgusting, but that’s their lifestyle since there is no garbage cans anywhere so they feel they throwing garbage on the side of the road is their only option. When I was in Eldoret (comparable to Toronto) I was jaywalking across the busiest intersection and slipped on some loose gravel and face planted the pavement, luckily not in the path of any cars, but I did rip a hole in my expensive Parasuco jeans. Now to save the best for last, I met and got pictures with Florence Kiplagat, who is the women’s world record holder of 1:05:09 at the Barcelona Half-Marathon just last weekend, beating her own time from last year at this same race. Well there you have it, my best week of training in my entire running career with some fun along the way.

Running Training

Monday: https://www.strava.com/activities/255707615
AM = 2.6K/ 22:23/ 120M mountain sprints x10
2.5K/ 16:08/ warm up & 2.5K/ 18:16/ cool down
PM = 10.3K/ 50:10/ easy
Total: 17.9K in 1 hour 46 minutes

Tuesday: https://www.strava.com/activities/256082446
AM = 10.7K/ 45:14/ track 400M x14 + 100M sprints x8
(1:xx, 1:13, 1:15, 1:14, 1:15, 1:15, 1:16, 1:18, 1:17, 1:18, 1:19, 1:17, 1:18, 1:14)
3.8K/ 20:04/ warm up & 2.3K/ 15:06/ cool down
PM = 10.3K/ 50:03/ easy
Total: 27K in 2 hours 10 minutes

Wednesday: https://www.strava.com/activities/256536300
AM = 18.3K/ 1:19:59/ moderate
PM = 10.3K/ 51:24/ easy
Total: 28.6K in 2 hours 11 minutes

Thursday: https://www.strava.com/activities/257186521
AM = 12.5K/ 52:00/ fartlek 1:3 x13 (easy: hard)
4.3K/ 19:27/ warm up & 3.7K/ 19:11/ cool down
PM = 10.5K/ 50:04/ easy
Total: 31.1K in 2 hours 20 minutes

Friday: https://www.strava.com/activities/257344836
AM = 18.3K/ 1:18:15/ moderate
PM = rest/off
Total: 18.3K in 1 hour 18 minutes

Saturday: https://www.strava.com/activities/257713768
AM = 25K/ 1:40:36/ long run
1.4K/ 7:49/ cool down
PM = 7.8K/ 38:31/ easy
Total: 34.2K in 2 hours 26 minutes

Sunday: https://www.strava.com/activities/258485697
AM = 11.3K/ 55:58/ easy
PM = 7.9K/ 31:00/ diagonals of 120M for 30 minutes on grass
4.7K/ 25:46/ warm up & 3.9K/ 21:14/ cool down
Total: 27.8K in 2 hours 14 minutes

Week’s Distance & Time: 185K in 14 hours 28 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 weekly recaps.

#BeSuperior #RoadToTYS10K #MzunguPower #CantWontStop #ENDURrob #TrainHardWinEasy #MenAtWork #CanadianMzungu #YoungWildFree #KenyanWay #MakeExcellentHappen #ItsPossible #Runday #RunForLife #1Sport1Love #LongMayWeRun #HeavyInTheGame #RiseAndGrind #TheShoeMustGoOn #ItsPossible #ThisIsMyDay

Robert Brouillette 😀

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