Training in Kenya…

Training in Kenya…

Again, I realized that it is a great place to be as a runner and I am learning every day…. For instance, no doubt about that the Kenyans know to push hart, but they are also excellent in adding a certain amount of relaxation in their sessions. And there are many other thinks and conversations, which makes the daily workouts fun and interesting. Of course, I also see the practical thinks if you come to a place twice. Re-running classical loops is somehow coming home and to explore new terrain satisfies my natural character!

During the first week, I often started the first running at 6:15 am in the dawn and I enjoy the quite interactions of other early bird runners. Easy runs along the hundreds of roads and trails around the village during the first couples of days, were substituted by a few two hours runs and step by step integrating more demanding elements, such as progression runs and track sessions within the second week. Running on the famous track in Iten is in particular demanding and specials. It requires a high level of concentration, especially on Tuesdays as different groups do different sessions at the same time and you can hardly get an overview. It is also not flat and even as we Europeans are used to, it is quite bumpy and you have to set every stride consciously. So, keep your eyes open and be present! Another difference is that I am start breathing like all of the big five African animals all together after a few seconds of running. I impress myself, really, I can not listen anything else around me anymore. It sounds as if I would crash in the next seconds…I could pick up a friend saying “welcome to altitude, Mona” – okay, I think, it seems to be normal but it´s clear – training here is though!

MizunoRules

On the other hand is it great if after your own session, you can sit down in the shadow and watch an excellent, if not world class, training of about 30 Kenyans and the almost assimilated New Zealand runner Jake Robertson – a show of pure dedication and impressive performance every Tuesday morning! And it is a great feeling if you start to recognize that in return to the hard work you put in adaptation occurs and tiny steps along the way towards a better performance are recognizable. My motivation is as high as it was during the first day.

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Half way through the first training camp in 2015, I would like to introduce my new official equipment sponsor

MizunoLogo

After few month of using their cutting edge equipment, I am very satisfied and I have troubles to select only ONE favorite shoe out of my three favorites Wave Rider, Wave Sayonara and Wave Hitogami – all have their sweet sites, are extremely comfortable and make training fun.

Thus, with this equipment I am set to

EXPECT MORE!

Sunny greetings,

Mona

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Cross in Iten, Kenya

Cross in Iten, Kenya

Since Wednesday I am in Iten, the running mecca in Kenya at high-altitude (2,400 m/7,900 ft a.s.l.). It is a small village – a quiet place and sweet to stay for several weeks if you have something on. It suits me extremely to focus well. The altitude force you to take the first couple of days very easy in terms of running. Every training is hard out here anyway. So, currently my being is about to build up a personal routine, to rest at fullest, to enjoy great nutrition and to get used to the dusty and bumpy roads as well as to the hilly terrain. And, if something exciting is going on to be there!

So, today a cross race took place downtown! Believe it or not – it was not by far as chaotic as I would have had imagined. In contrast,  it seemed quite organized and following the schedule few days before hand written on a paper and posted at the entrance of the village. However, the race office was still my favorite….a few impressions you can find in my gallery (https://monastockhecke.com/gallery/)!

Cheers,

Mona

Stopover in Zürich..

Stopover in Zürich..

…thoughts from the performance tests…

.in the tram “from 0 to 100 – don´t think, just do it”;

..in the changing room “gosh, how the hell could I manage to take two left shoes?”;

…at the treatmile “why do I like this?”;

and finally on the way home: “confidence and a solid base to build up on!”

Kenya is calling!

Goodbye Arizona!

Since New Year I am in Tucson, Arizona, and joined the last couple of days a scientific workshop of the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (https://www.facebook.com/HSPDP?fref=ts). The great motivation and excitement among all involved scientist created an inspiring atmosphere and the required tailwind to reach the project objectives.

During pretty sunrises and sunsets in the desert I found some distraction from the substantial brain-food and a pleasant anticipation to what is lying in front of me…four weeks training in Kenya in a relaxing environment and ideal conditions to get into shape for new adventures in 2015! And as I haven´t wished it yet…Happy New Year!!!!!

Yours, Mona

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