Maintaining peak fitness is a very thin line to tread. Often when you are in the best physical shape of your life, you’re also most susceptible to picking up an injury or illness.
I was really looking forward to the prospect of spending a gruelling three weeks up in the high altitude of Kenya with some of the GB team, particularly after starting 2017 with a PB over 10k in Doha, Qatar. However, after a brief illness, probably due to the early morning flight the day after the race, which disrupted my first week of acclimatisation, I slowly got back into the swing of things. Flights are my nemesis. I’m always at a constant battle to stay healthy after long flights.
Even though this is my fourth time to Iten, it continues to inspire me every time. The simplicity of life here is eye opening and I love how relaxed you become in this environment. It’s also amazing to see so many athletes from all over the world, come to Iten to get their own Kenyan experience. As well as the GB squad, we’ve trained alongside athletes from all corners of the world and levels of experience, from fun runners to Olympic medalists. Iten has a constant buzz around it.
Running in Kenya is so tough. So tough that every year, I forget just how tough! Easy jogging becomes a chore and tiredness becomes your shadow; following you around every single day.
After a disrupted first week, training picked up much better than I could have expected. It’s been the best training block I’ve ever put together in Kenya and so I’m excited to see how that translates into some races once I get back to the UK. It’s also the first time, in four years, that I’ve been healthy and fit – they rarely come hand in hand for me! So, although the indoors isn’t a focus of mine I think it would be silly to not take the opportunity and make the most of being in my current condition.
First up, I have the British Championships in Sheffield this weekend. It will be a tough race to throw myself into as I only get back from Kenya the day before. I’m racing both the 3,000m and 1500m which is very rarely done as there is less than an hour between them both. But for me it makes sense to double up and treat it as a tough, training day. After that, I will race the Birmingham Indoor World Tour, again over the 3,000m. It’s exactly a week later and by then I should be fully recovered from Kenya and ready to run some PB’s.
It’s been hugely inspiring to see so many Scottish athletes running fast times recently. From Laura Muir, to Andy Butchart to Callum Hawkins and everyone else in between – it’s been a crazy few weeks for Scottish Athletics! It definitely creates an environment where everyone is striving to reach their own personal bests and hopefully it will continue to inspire the next generation of Scottish Olympians.