Having spent a month out here in Iten, Kenya staying at Lornah Kiplagats' 'High Altitude Training Camp' (HATC) the benefits have become apparent. Iten is where the majority of the best Kenyan athletes either originate or base themselves and seeing how they live and train is fascinating.
Training up here is hard. Situated at 2400m and surrounded on all sides by hills, there is no such things as easy running. The first few 'easy' training runs were anything but and just making it back to camp was an achievement. Slowly, I have adapted to the conditions and have managed to get a real consistent and quality block of training in.
What has become apparent since and perhaps more telling than the tough conditions, is the focus that the Kenyans put into their training. There are very few distractions up here and life for many of the best athletes in the world boils down to eating, sleeping and training. This is conducive to good training and performances and is something that I have been able to emulate while up here.
I am now in the closing stages of the camp and am easing down for a few weekends of racing including BUCS XC and then the British Indoor Champs over 3000m. Hopefully the hard work pays off!