Kenyan Marathon Training in Kansas

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Can a marathon runner from Kansas City train like a Kenyan?

         Here are some tips for that cultural transition:

 Workout Recovery 

  • Do extra slow warm ups
  • Do extra slow cool downs
  • Do extra slow recovery runs

 Diet and Rest

  • Eat local fresh food
  • Sleep 10 hours per night
  • Nap 1-2 hours per day
  • Spend lots of time off-feet

 Live Simply with No Distraction

  • No TV, internet, cell phones or technology
  • Read or go for walks
  • De-clutter your mind

Train in Tough Conditions

  • Run on soft ground for strength, flexibility and efficiency
  • Overdress in extra layers of under clothes, also wear baggy clothes and heavier shoes

Mental Outlook

  • Believe you can win and a break world record
  • Don’t limit yourself; dream big
  • Don’t complain about life or a workout

Training

  • Listen to your body, back off if you are tired or something hurts
  • Otherwise work hard, increase intensity or duration to point of exhaustion
  • Practice block training: build up for 3-4 months, then completely rest for 2-6 weeks before starting next block
  • Train in groups – ‘iron sharpens iron’
  • Do lots of lower leg drills and stretching with little to no upper body, do some basic core work
  • Add uphill running drill with resistance band 1-2 times a week. 
  • Take Sunday off for studying the Bible, going to church and completely rest

Workouts

  • Run up hills and stride back down
  • Do tempo runs: conservative start, pick up pace to finish at fast pace
  • Do ‘Fartlek runs’ (Swedish for ‘speed play’) http://runners-resource.com/training/fartlek/
  • Do interval workouts, adding repeats
  • Do periodic long runs at a progressive marathon pace
  • Do two runs per day with a recovery run

Kenyan’s Stance on Shoes

  • They go barefoot by necessity, not by choice. 
  • Those in Kenya will wear ANY pair of shoes without complaining, preferring shoes to going barefoot.
  • Those who have run outside Kenya prefer a simple, lightweight trainer given their well-developed feet.

For more details, read:  http://www.runnersedgekc.com/pdf/how_to_train_like_the_kenyans.pdf

Photo source:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/02/sports/iten-a-kenyan-town-made-for-marathoners.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Jogging Your Memory

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Perhaps this expression is more literal than we thought –

       Here’s what it means:

Being in motion makes us smarter, and being smarter allows us to move more efficiently.

       Here’s the scientific hypothesis:

Jogging after prey helped to drive human brain evolution.  A million years ago, we could out-run and out-walk most other mammals over long distances. Our brains were shaped and sharpened by movement. We continue to require regular physical activity in order for our brains to function optimally.

      There are many studies.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/26/exercise-and-the-ever-smarter-human-brain/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 

       Here’s a finding:

Regular exercise, even walking, leads to more robust mental abilities, beginning in childhood and continuing into old age.

 

Picture source:  http://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/jogger.html