The secret of Kenyan runners

The secret of Kenyan runners

04.08.2021

Fifty years ago, no one would have thought that African track and field athletes would become the best in the world at running. Today, every second person knows the names of great athletes. Patrick Makau is recognized as the world's toughest runner (2011), Eliud Kipchoge ran a marathon in less than 2 hours (Vienna, 2019), Noah Ngeni became the record holder in the 1000 m race (1999). The list could go on and on, as every year Kenyans receive awards for best performance in various sporting events.

Fifty years ago, no one would have thought that African track and field athletes would become the best in the world at running. Today, every second person knows the names of great athletes. Patrick Makau is recognized as the world's toughest runner (2011), Eliud Kipchoge ran a marathon in less than 2 hours (Vienna, 2019), Noah Ngeni became the record holder in the 1000 m race (1999). The list could go on and on, as every year Kenyans receive awards for best performance in various sporting events.

Kenyan gold

 

For a long time Kenyans did not enter the international sports scene. And suddenly, in 1988, at the Seoul Olympics, African runners became the overall champions and record holders of the competition. All but one of the gold medals were won by Kenyan track and field athletes. They were the best in the middle and long distance heats.

Since then, athletes from Kenya have become regular participants in prestigious sports competitions. Today, African runners are the fastest, toughest and most decorated in the world.

Where do champions come from?

Since the early 2000s, sports camps began to appear in Kenya. They trained national representatives to compete in international competitions. The most famous training camp is located in Itena, a small town in western Kenya.

Every day athletes go out for a run. Warming up and good company are prerequisites for training. Kenyans believe they can't achieve success without a partner. That's why more experienced athletes train together with beginners.

Kenyans prefer interval training: long-distance running alternates with short jogging. If you want to win a marathon, you not only have to do interval running, but you also have to conserve energy at the beginning of the run and accelerate toward the end. This methodology will help you reach the finish line at any distance.

Despite the fact that Kenya's training camps are considered some of the best in the world, the infrastructure of sports bases is quite modest. The Kenyan's favorite and most comfortable training ground is a rutted dirt road. Running on the soft, grassy ground is much more pleasant and comfortable than on the asphalt.

In addition, running on mid-mountain roads increases the number of blood cells and thus the body is more quickly saturated with oxygen. Running on mountain roads increases endurance and improves the anaerobic threshold, so Kenyans can easily cover any distance on flat terrain.

The power of tea

Nutrition plays an important role in the success of Kenyan runners. Athletes follow a high-carbohydrate diet, based on carbohydrates (rice, spaghetti, ugali corn porridge, chapati wheat flatbread), legumes, meat (poultry, fish) and fiber (vegetables, greens, fruits).

Athletes don't take supplements and advocate natural ways to keep their bodies toned. Kenyans love local tea and drink it in large quantities. Before training, athletes indulge in green tea without sugar, which quenches thirst, improves concentration, and enhances endurance. After workouts and races, athletes are sure to drink 1-2 cups of black tea with milk. This drink helps quickly recover from strenuous exercise, relaxes muscles and calms the nervous system, helps neutralize free radicals and strengthens cell structures, and has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system.

Anyone can achieve success in their favorite activity, including sports. Work for results, the right approach to training, faith in yourself and persistence will help to conquer any peaks!

If you want to be as enduring and fast as Kenyan athletes, train with love and drink Kenyan tea!

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