For years the Kenyan athletes have been dominating the athletics world and after spending a month out there – it is easy to see why.
The whole culture is such a huge difference to back home. Running is normal. Back in Dundee, Scotland… running is not normal. You have to persuade people out on a run by claiming they can have a McDonald’s after it or that they can have a big weekend but not feel guilty about it – yet these little kids think running is a completely normal thing to do.
Out on my runs, there were loads of little kids jogging along beside us – no older than 5 years old, no shoes – yet these little kids are strolling! Every single run I did there were always kids joining in, asking my name, what country I came from – a really unique experience.
I would literally have to throw my little brothers Xbox out the window to watch him run outside 2metres to collect it – yet these BABIES were out casually jogging alongside me.
The track in Iten is a completely open dirt track yet it has produced several World and Olympic Champions over the years. Another difference to back home, we moan and complain about facilities and yet these guys have the worst of the worst, yet the talent they produce is far superior.
Early on a Tuesday morning the dirt track was completely invaded with hundreds of kenyans all doing sessions – and when I say hundreds that is no exaggeration. In one separate training group, doing 20 x 1km reps, we counted 58 kenyan athletes. 58!!! You would be lucky to find 5 people willing to run around Dundee’s athletics track on a Tuesday morning – one of them,maybe, being me.
Kenya really has changed my outlook and reinforced that athletics is no longer just a hobby for me – it needs to become a lifestyle if I want to make any serious improvements. Fewer distractions, fewer worries – to try and live a simpler life – the Kenyan Way!
I’d encourage any of you to give it a try too. It all starts with small, simple steps towards getting out there and doing it.