Talkback: Kenya Training Diary: Day Two

9 messages
01/05/2012 at 21:36

The passage on their diet, "His runners only drink water when they’re training, they don’t take supplements or use sports drinks but instead follow a simple diet" needs further discussion.

That is fine when you are sleeping, resting, running and eating, but we mere mortals have to work for 8 hours a day as well. I for one would not attempt training without supplements etc as the additional calories needed need extra minreral, vitamins etc just to process them. I think that the passage should carry a warning "Do not try this at home yourself" !!!If you dtect a little jealosy her, you are quite right.

01/05/2012 at 21:50

I don't understand - are you saying that you require more calories, vitamins and minerals than a full time Kenyan long distance runner?  And that this is an argument for taking supplements on top of eating normal food?

01/05/2012 at 22:01

I am saying that I would need more calories on their schedule than they do simply because 8 hours of active work on top of it requires lots more energy. I do realise that most people should be able to get the extras they need from a balanced healthy diet, but mine is not, so I take no chances!

I would love to follow their way of training, but I have to work as well. The great Gtreta Weitz managed it , but how many of the Kenyans would manage achieve the same if they had to work 8 hours a day?

cougie    pirate
02/05/2012 at 10:01
Depends on the job I guess - but I reckon it wouldn't take much speed off them.

There's a lot of money to be made from supplements. So that's a lot of persuasive advertising.
02/05/2012 at 10:16

Really?  A journalist posting an edited article that needs further discussion?  You don't say!

As for drinking water when training, well, drinking sports drinks whilst training is antagonistic to many parts of physiological endurance development.  And the single example of the simple diet appeared to me to be high in carbs and highly nutritious.  But really, you'd be hard pushed to find a manual labour job that's more nutrition intensive than the Eldoret training camp.  They exercise three times a day, some days including intensive gym sessions, not just jogging around the countryside.

More worth focussing on is the point about slowly building ability over time.  At least you won't find a quick-fix to become a world-beater from Jimmy, even if the writer decides to focus on the one, example session.  (And probably end up at the physio fairly shortly...)

02/05/2012 at 17:27

"Kenyan runners rarely become injured because they build endurance gradually."

This isn't true. The runners that are prone to injuries drop out of the training camps and return to their villages. What is left is the cream of the genetic running pool. There are no secrets to their training that can help you if you don't have superior genes too. Not all Kenyans are good runners. Most are not. Most don't make it through injuries or lack of talent.

03/05/2012 at 09:22
Mike Bulcock wrote (see)

"Kenyan runners rarely become injured because they build endurance gradually."

This isn't true. The runners that are prone to injuries drop out of the training camps and return to their villages. What is left is the cream of the genetic running pool. There are no secrets to their training that can help you if you don't have superior genes too. Not all Kenyans are good runners. Most are not. Most don't make it through injuries or lack of talent.


It is true.  The runners that have made it to the training camps have been running miles a day since they were pre-teen.  Likewise they don't simply appear at the camp.  The camps are usually in early to mid-March, and are preceded by a training plan that begins lightly in September but by October the runners are on three workouts per day.  That's five months of prep before the camps.  Big base!

There are no secrets to their training.  All of their training can help you, whether your own genes are superior or not.  Trying to extract secrets from their training, and then using only those sessions, will probably injure you.

03/05/2012 at 11:34
Stephen Leach wrote (see)

That is fine when you are sleeping, resting, running and eating, but we mere mortals have to work for 8 hours a day as well. I for one would not attempt training without supplements etc as the additional calories needed need extra minreral, vitamins etc just to process them.

I don't take supplements or use sports drinks - does this mean I'm not a mere mortal in your eyes?
03/05/2012 at 19:31

The "mere mortals" only refers to the fact that most of us have to earn a living and train when we can. The Kenyans, and other elites, can make running their way of life because there is a system in place to support them.

I Know that you can get everything you need from a balanced diet, but as I have said before, mine isn't balanced or very healthy either!


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