Week 3 from Kenya

The Kenyan Experience group departed on Thursday leaving a pretty small group of us remaining at Lornah’s. It was great fun spending time with the group, including meeting the host Adharanand Finn, author of “Running with the Kenyans”. They packed in a lot of running and excitement into two weeks. A few of the guys ran the Lewa marathon on Saturday, which is a pretty tough event as you have to contend with warm weather and elevation. I’m told that if you’re lucky the helicopters keep the lions a safe distance away.

A fellow guest of Lornah’s, Emmett, helped me plan out a training schedule through July. I’ve learned so much about training in such a short time it’s hard to keep it altogether. One thing I’ve learned is that most of us recreational runners run way too fast, particularly on LT sessions. Emmett, who is also a professional coach, tested my lactate level immediately after my tempo session, and it read 3.3 mmol, within the prescribed 3-4 mmol range for a tempo session. Once up to speed, my heart rate sat between 155-160 bpm during each of the 5 repeats of 5 minutes. If asked to, I could have done another two repeats without too much difficulty. A lot of my prior tempo sessions felt like racing near the end. No good. It will be nice to do less and get more in return. Work smarter, not harder!

Another big takeaway is to do as much training as possible on dirt or grass. Aside from about 2k on Sunday, all of my mileage has been on the amazing dirt trails throughout Iten. I have noticed significantly less impact on my body. When I get back to Calgary I will explore options for long runs that include more trails. Fish Creek, Bragg Creek, others?

I’ve noticed a huge increase in altitude adaptation this week. For example, my long run today was ~20km at an average pace of 4:52/km, with a corresponding average heart rate of 142bpm. Furthermore, there was at least 200 meters of climbing on the return of my out-and-back towards Eldoret. While still a tough place to run, the hills of Iten are looking a little bit smaller.

The regional races were run Saturday, again at Kamariny track. It was really wet on Thursday and Friday and the track was a mess. The best excitement was in the steeple chase which featured a real bang up at the first barrier. I shared a video on Facebook. The most comical race was the 110m hurdles, also posted to Facebook.

Running for the week ending June 28 (total = 94km):

  1. Monday: 9k easy; core class
  2. Tuesday:
    • 14k: 4 sets of (5 x 200 at vo2 max, about 42 seconds each)
    • 7k recovery PM
  3. Wednesday: 14k easy; core class
  4. Thursday: 5k easy
  5. Friday: 13k of 5 x 5 minutes at Lactate Threshold (155-160 bpm HR). Paces were 3:51, 4:01, 3:57, 3:55, 3:56/km; core class
  6. Saturday: 6k easy AM, 6k easy PM
  7. Sunday: 20k (139 bpm out to Eldoret, 144 bpm back), 99 minutes total

One thought on “Week 3 from Kenya

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