05 March 2021, a cold day in Germany. But soon I will be running again in the sun and pleasant temperatures. My plane towards Kenya takes off and a new chapter begins for me. I have prepared this step for a long time and today is finally the day. My move to Iten - "Home of Champions" - is imminent. From now on I will train most of the year in Iten, under almost perfect training conditions at 2,400m altitude.
The journey to Iten, Kenya
The trip was very relaxed, except for a little stress in Egypt, and I arrive tired but happy at the airport in Eldoret on Saturday, March 6. Normally it would now be another half hour by car to Iten, but this time my driver Albert and I make a detour to the track in Eldoret to watch my coach Thomas and his training group train. Here I get the first glimpse of what to expect in the next months. The guys and girls are damn strong and I will have a hard time keeping up. But that's what I'm here for, to improve and push my limits. I also really like the feeling during the session, the focus is different compared to the sessions in Germany.
Adapting to the altitude
The first few days I train quite casually and usually only with one running session a day. There is a lot to do anyway, so I usually walk around for three to five hours in the afternoon and thus automatically adapt to the altitude. Compared to my flat running routes in Germany, the hills in particular are more of a challenge than I thought. At home I have trained a lot in the hills in preparation...?! The training is not much fun the first days, but I have to go through this process of adaptation. And I am happy that it is getting a little bit easier every day. But before I can train completely with my trainer's group, I have to be patient and do at least some of the easy runs on my own.
You want more insights from my daily life in Iten? Then take a look at Youtube (Manuel Viehl) or Instagram (@manu.viehl). I look forward to seeing you there too!