Its not easy to be a Kenyan runner

Scholars may strongly disagree with me, but according to my experience and not by study, I know better and deeper than them when it comes to running, because it’s what I eat and breathe, running is my life and I know it like the toes of my feet. I’m going to be brutally honest with you, for I’m extremely baffled and find it hard to believe what I read in the running magazines and books, how coaches and trainers say this and that is the best and efficient way to train to become a better or accomplished runner, others waste their precious time debating whether running barefoot or with shoes will make you a better runner. We may say our ancestors walked and ran barefoot for thousands of miles and years without getting tired, but in my perspective I have been there. I walked and ran to school barefoot from the dawn to the dusk of my younger years where I grew up in Kenya; I was fast yes but not that fast compared to the runners who wore running shoes.

When we met in races, I could win the first race of the heat, but the next day because of the speed you are running with, it makes your feet roughly brush through the ground, and in couple of hundred of meters, blisters begin to form. So when I remember those moments and think about what people say about running barefoot, I’m convinced someone is out of their mind or they just want fame or money, for me in my realm of life only an idiot will dare run a marathon barefoot and hoping of winning it, heh I’ve been there, and I’ve done that, and what I will tell you, it doesn’t work. if you think I’m kidding, do this, remove the tires from you car or bicycle and ride or drive it as hard and fast as you can and see what happens.

As a runner whose dreams was savored through running I will tell you this – Running is a sacred religion that saves many lives, I am and many of Kenyan runners are living proof of it.

Running should not be spoiled by those who are up to no good.

Running is good for your health, so don’t mess with it doing crazy things, because some followers are doing it the crazy way.

Running can lift people, bring them through the bad and difficult days, It is because of running I live to rejoice every day.

Running is the only description your doctor doesn’t have to prescribe for you.

Running can bring you joy and many friends.

Running can change your whole attitude about life.

Running does not limit your dreams, it helps you realise them with training and real experience.

Running may make people around you call you crazy, but those who run with you will love you madly.

Running teaches as about love, endurance and determination in life.

Running may require your commitment and energy, but its the best thing you will ever honor.

Running may not seem to be easy on you, and the distance may drain your guts, but you got to keep on running, for sometimes wonderful things happens out of horrible situations.

Running is the best thing you can do when you are in fear, but where you are running to determines your destiny.

Running away is for cowards, fighting the challenges is for winners.

Running is in your blood, don’t be afraid to be ugly in it, unleash your inner beast from the cages of your soul by running hard, for it is that makes you beautiful.

Running is a very serious thing to those who know the deeper meaning of it, only have fun in the air that you breathe while passing those who are in front of you, enjoy setting records of your own and breaking them when you are ready, the reason I say running is a very serious thing is because many of us who love to run, can’t go a day without running, we wake up at ungodly hour before the birds open their eyes just to run and make ourselves better, we all have a reasons why we are running, but waking up very early in the morning leaving the warm comfort of your bed – to torture yourself is nothing like fun.

Running is like having sex with your loved one, there will be sweat and noises, the heart will beat like an african drum, you will breathe like a hippo giving birth, but all that doesn’t matter, having organism is the real victory and joy, when you are running, don’t mind how you are sweating, breathe or your heart rate, if its out of the rhythm, try to bring it down, your organism in running is reached when you clinch victory or run a pr, this is the deep joy and satisfaction of running, not running barefoot.

Running may be your way of having fun, but for others from the land far, far away running is their way out to live their dreams and become greater men and women, some have even become legends, for most of the Kenyan runners this is about our life being ahead of us and you run at it because you never know how far you can go unless you run, you never know what you can achieve unless you run, not just run, but running to win.

Where I grew up there was no concrete roads or pavement, so we walked and ran through the thick forest and bushes and dirt roads. Even our track was grass and dirt, we called it soft ground because it didn’t cause any damage to our legs, but here in America roads are made out of hard concrete, and the weather here sometimes makes it hot or cold, so it is not wise for any sober athlete to train or race on it without proper shoes. And even if you dare, on the day after, I guarantee you this – your feet wouldn’t be the same and they won’t like to get into any shoes. because they’re barbecued.

 In Africa our lifestyle is completely different from American runner’s, in the small village on the outskirts of the town of Eldama Ravine where I hail from, people expect more from me than I expect from myself, and all this is because of poverty. I have my own family to look after, and in my culture and as a human, an Orkoiyot warrior monk and a friend to everyone, as a responsibility in life I must be a mentor to everyone around my village. Some will come with their problems to me, like school fees, or one of their child is sick, just because I’m a runner and they know I make money by running and winning races, they expect me to help them, and if I have something, it will be very hard not to give it to them so they can save what they need to save. for me in this kind of life is very hard, because sometimes I don’t win a race, sometimes I don’t even finish a race because of some jinx called frustration or injury, once you get in a plane and fly out of Kenya, and come back people think you have come to change their world, if you try to tell them you didn’t win or get paid, they will totally not believe you, they will start asking questions like why did you lose, why did you not finish, what were you doing or racing for, believe you me people in Africa who don’t know about the hard life and struggle that is in western culture – do think that life here abroad is cozy and money is easy to get like a shake of a hand.

Every time I train I think beyond myself, I think about them and how I can make their life better so they would cease to ask for my aid, but no matter how much I try, its impossible to keep someone from knocking your door.

I share the same fate with most of Kenya’s runners and that is ”Running from poverty”.

Most runners from my tribe didn’t finish school and some didn’t even had a chance to go to school, and because of that finding a job is hard, when I say ”Hard” I mean the possibility of getting hired for a decent job doesn’t exist!

It comes to a point in their lives, when their spirit is broken and their hopes of becoming something vanishes, just like that, and running is the only door they see it can change their lives and maybe even make them become their family breadwinner.

In my tribe, we often motivate ourselves by looking further beyond the guy who has become a champion in what he does, we say quietly to ourselves ”If he made it and I’ve known him before he had anything, I too can become like that and achieve something” Once you engraved this hope in your heart, I tell you no discouragement or anything will root it out from you no matter how many years it takes.

Often you still don’t make it, that’s why if you go to Kenya in a town called Eldoret or Iten, you will find an army of runners running up and down, trying to get fast just to live their dreams, some even don’t have a programme, but overtraining doesn’t wear them out. The tiredness they will feel by the end of the day means to them that, they are getting better in what they do.

Often people ask me how many miles do you cover per week, what do you eat, do you think running barefoot can help my run. And to be honest I came to find out that running with a watch that keeps track of my miles and heart rate affects my training, I like to keep it real by running in hours or in minutes, forget about the heart rate, how do you expect to improve while you are setting limits on yourself? For me I’d rather die doing something that means something in my life than die being afraid of it.

Here is the difference between a Kenyan runner and an American runner- ”It is what they are running for”. Most American runners will tell you they are running for fun, and some will say they run because they love it, but for a Kenyan runner is far from that, even for me. I hate running but I love what it does for me when I win or make money out of it.

We run because we want to make our life better, we want to help our siblings get better education, we want to have a big house and everything good that comes with it – that will make me happy when I’m old till I die. Heh no one wants to die poor! We run with a sense that I want to own something, something bigger that people thought I will never own, and to show them, you go out and win a race and come back home and build a building so everyone can see, respect and be inspired by you.

And with this burden at our back, we find ourselves with a lot of pressure and guilt to overcome, we have nothing to do but devote ourselves into nothing but training 3x a day, eat and sleep. Running becomes a god that you worship, and your faith dwells in a belief that if you plant everything right, you will reap abundantly, so everyday a sacrifice is and must be made.
There is no other way or shortcut but to train hard without holding anything back for later, and all you think of so you can make it to the top is to train more than anyone else, train till your ribs become like guitar strings. Ignore the pain, never quit, even when it rains there is no excuse for not training, for this is a battle of life, and when in a race, you run because your life depends on it.
It only takes big race to change your life, that is only 10,000$ U.S, that is close to 1 million in Kenyan shilling! It doesn’t matter how many races you will run, even if it takes one to run three races a week, A Kenyan runner will do it and make sure he stays to the bitter end till he wins it all, it’s all mental, physical requires the will of pushing and courage. but most of all, we look at what that money can do for us, that money awaits you at the finish line, why not die for it!
So in case you wonder why Kenyan runners are always on top when the dust settles in every major races around the world, it’s not because of the finish line, it’s because of the pressure behind them at home and what they know they must achieve to make their life better.

One of the greatest secrets is that one must train with a hunger for winning, whether it’s road races, track meets, cross-country, or the Olympics it simply does not matter. Kenyan runners find themselves proficient at all types of running and at any distance the race happens to be. It’s almost as if they have an endless supply of speed and their endurance is remarkable. There are many differing opinions on why the Kenyans have such a gift for running.

Some say that it’s because they grew up at a high altitude and as a result they have highly developed lung power. Training at altitude plays a role in our talents and for our endurance running backgrounds, but it was ingrained at a very young age and our bodies have grown accustomed to the rigors and pounding of hours and hours of running per day.

Some have said it’s because Kenyan runners have been genetically gifted with the ideal body structure for running, but I disagree because I believe training is what makes us different from one another. No one was born with talent, its something we came to find early in life and use it to shape our destiny.

Most of Kenyan runners they will tell you there is no rest when you are training to become a champion, even when you are confident in yourself, we believe when you take too many days off from training, someone somewhere in the world will be training and on the big day when you meet up with him, you will lose to him, and for a Kenyan runner losing is a very bad thing and it will hurt or haunt you, and your friends will laugh at you.

Reasons like these is why Kenyan runners are on top. Because our training regimen is nothing short of legendary!

However there is also a danger by believing too much with your heart. The average runner will train too much and ignore the necessity for proper rest and recovery time. But this does not seem to be the case for any Kenyan runner, which seems to make sense because in order to run at the level they do, the Kenyan runner must be able to withstand an incredible amount of stress on their bodies from the training necessary to always be at the top on race day.

So for an American running with a person like this, it won’t be easy to win races like Chicago or the Boston marathon, but I think Ryan Hall has 100% of winning the Boston marathon if he learns how to stay with the pack and do later in the race what he does early in the race. North America has so many great talents but they don’t know how to nourish it and reap from it, for some of them fear the other lions in the pack and end up running a long race of chasing the left over of the carcass, and I tell you this that is not a healthy spot you want to be in.

I honestly think and strongly believe if the U.S. establishes a training camp for long distance runners where they do nothing but sleep, eat and run, like we Kenyans do, by 2014 we will all be viciously fighting for first place and not 2nd or 3rd. There is a greater inspiration in the national emblem ”the American bald eagle” an eagle is a bold creäture, when it hunts, often it finds its own prey, it takes time for it then attacks it and the more it took time to prepare means it will never miss its target, as a runner try to be like the eagle, target your prey, prepare for the attack then dive for it, and you will be flying with victory in your hands… for American women ”yes” victory is very close to them, but they still need to sharpen the edge of their talons. I am saying this because American woman can run harder than a Kenyan woman, but the thing is, something little is missing, not passion but something that drives them, something like a greater purpose behind of why they are running to win.

You know most of  Kenyan runner don’t have a job, and because of that running is what pays their bills, some of them they are sponsored by their parent or sibling and it becomes a debt, because they expect you to make it, so you can give back, and when we look at an American runner, the money he makes from running is not enough, so they are forced to work to balance life. When we go back to running again, it doesn’t like stress, but it loves those who rest and are of peaceful mind. We must not try to compare one another because we are separated by miles and lifestyle.

By not judging anyone I will tell you this, don’t say I must train like Kenyans to beat them, the thing is we are beatable and for one to try to adjust to our lifestyle will be a walking to treacherous path and unfamiliar territory, for we were born from suffering to face adversity of poverty, which you do not know. My advice for you is don’t just do your best and dream of being like the best, but do your best to beat the best, go train hard and smart, measure yourself with the Kenyans and if you can’t beat them, try to find your weakness and the reasons you were beaten and perfect them. Then go back to the battle and sacrifice everything you’ve got, for victory belongs to the one who wants it the most, the one who prepared well for it, not by only running and lifting weights but also in training and in diet. It doesn’t matter what country one is from or how accomplished one happens to be, spending unmeasured amount of time perfecting yourself to fulfil your goals is what it takes, and also remember a sound diet is an essential component to success.

Where I come from we have a simple diet that does wonders for fueling and propelling the one who does his best in discipline and in training to the top of the running world. Something important to consider is that even from the youth of any Kenyan runner, they ate adequate calories to fuel their hunger for running.

Dont eat as if is Armageddon is coming tonight, for goodness sake, cut the crap, cut the belly and start eating like an athlete whose seeking victory, don’t be afraid of what people will say to you when you are skinny, to be an athlete you have to eat, look and talk like one.

Running is not football or any other sport, as a part of a tribe blessed with runners, proper nutrition to increase endurance and sustain stamina and aid recovery became ingrained into our eating habits at a very young age.

We do not have fast food joints at every crossroads in the village to tempt us. When it comes to eating the food must be properly cooked without a hurry, and tea is like our Gatorade 24/7.

For many North Americans, a good running diet is something they might adopt when they decide to take up the sport later in life, but it’s seldom the eating habits they grew up with. Mostly the American diet is made of fast-food and the life of partying maybe doing more harm than good.

As a runner, my advice for you is eat healthy, cook at home, not by grabbing something at the fast-food store because its easier to get. To become a good runner one must keep his weight down to be swift, people complain about injuries and stuff but yet they forget to look on their wight, often in my experience, when I’m over my normal weight, when I try to train, i often end up with an injury, so as you can see causes of injury often comes from our weight and type of shoe that we wear;  about the running barefoot craze that everyone’s talking about, here is the thing before you ask your coach, friend or anyone else – have you ever seen any runner who has ran a marathon under 2:10 barefoot? Have you ever seen any runner running a 5k under 14 minutes barefoot?, I will answer for you ”No”.
Be careful on what you fall for or what people say about shoes, your legs are not like theirs, we were created different from one another, for some this kind of shoe may work for them and for you may result to an injury, The giant shoe makers like Nike no longer make sure to satisfy runners; these days it’s all about fashion and flashy colors. We runners of today have been made to become like fish, the shoe company will lure us with a bait that we think its good but truth be told it’s just a trap, and we end up getting hurt with a shoe that doesn’t even last for 400 miles. Runners today are like fish trapped in a pond – this pond is called running!
My advice for you is don’t be the fish but be the fisherman and go out there and find good shoes that absorbs the pounding from the ground, something that doesn’t leave you with shin splints after a long run, something that is not too heavy nor too light, something comfortable and with a great response.

And when in a beginning of a run try not to storm like a thief who’s being chased by dogs, the slower the start the better you will be in the end, if you look at any Kenyans they start at a stumbling pace which it will gradually increase, and finished substantially faster.

Contrast that with most recreational runners’ practice of starting out the door at the pace they think they should be running that day, and maintaining roughly the same pace throughout the run.

Think of a pot of water coming to a boil-there’s no one instant where you can pinpoint when it started to get hot, but in the end the result is undeniable.
The same thing happens when you allow your muscles and cardiovascular system to ease into action-as you gradually warm up, you’ll up your pace without really noticing it. Towards the end of your run, you’ll be moving quickly and comfortably, and will be teaching yourself how to run fast but relaxed.
Finishing faster than you start is also good practice for running negative splits in races.And when going gets tough that pace that you find it unbearable, that hill that seems so hard, that pain that you feel, the person ahead and behind you feels it too, and when you meet the hills, strike them with all the force in your heart and you must never be afraid of throwing up or getting a heart attack! We must not fear that which we love.
Running is not easy, and triumph of any kind is never savored by those who speak of excuses, but only by those who speak with actions.
Fear not to unleash your inner self, for it is a profound gift you must never hide from others to see, the human body is engineered for strength, power and endurance, and if pushed over the limits it can accomplish the extraordinary, the ultimate test of will – will arise, where one who gives the most of determination will shatter others and others will be force to submit to defeat, when the stakes are highest, and the pressure is beyond unbearable, in the peak of the battle one will be forced to give up, the body or pride, A champion is the one left standing. If you want to be the one standing, you have to be prepared for it, don’t show up in a race and see a couple of Kenyans and say, why did I come here, I should have stayed at home, when going to a battle you mustn’t fear your enemy, for they fear you more than you fear them. Just do your best in every event for it’s what you always wanted to do.
You may be thinking that all Kenyan runners were born with perfect running technique. the answer is No!
It is something treacherous and heart-rending process of achieving molecule by molecule in training, overcoming the very tough peaks of the course the treacherous path of the Great rift valley that we believe it can bring out the best in us, while forcing and teaching our body to get used to kind of pain and its uncomfortable moments, and after every training it is a tradition one must do 10 or more minutes of flexibility, range-of-motion and form drills. Working daily on various aspects of the running motion helps Kenyan runners keep that long, flowing, seemingly effortless stride they’re so often envied for.
Here is the most important thing about running that people don’t know and some coaches fails to apply it to their athletes – running is a combination of four things…
1 – Flexibility.
2 – Endurance.
3 – Strength.
4 – Speed.
Without combining these four ingredients into your body, don’t call yourself a runner.
These are the pillars of running, PR and Victory are achieved by those who build their body with these four pillars, and for you if you want to experience something new in your career or effort, it’s never too late to try.Train away from the concrete and even if it’s possible become enemies with it, but only face each other during the day of the battle which is the race day. Your pace and type of training must not be the same as yesterday.
In two or three times a week try to do speed work, hill repeats once a week, strength training, stretching before and after every run for at least 15 minutes, warm up before and cool down for at least 10 minutes, always stay hydrated, get whole body deep tissue massage once or twice a week, do fertleks and diagonals, these kind of training will transform you to something you never thought you can ever achieve, Diagonals are session consists of running quickly from one corner of a soccer field to another, jogging along the goal line to the opposite corner, striding from corner to corner, jogging the straight, and repeating.
 On the fast sections, the emphasis is on quick, graceful turnover and running relaxed while near top speed. These workouts improve your running form at all speeds and greatly enhance your finishing kick in races..
To easily incorporate this practice into your routine, pick a handful of drills to do most days after your run. Key examples are high knees, quick feet, butt kicks and skipping. In just five minutes, you can do two sets of each, 30 to 50 meters at a time, and greatly improve your running style.
As a runner what I can encourage you the most is, try to train with someone who is little bit faster than you, or train with a running group, and whether in training or in a race, don’t place yourself in the back, but be in a chasing position, for its there where improvement comes from, measure yourself by going out of your comfort zone as often as you can. believe in yourself even if you have failed or savored defeat before, the past never matters, what you can do when you are willing to unleash the fighter in you is what matters on all battles in life.
And when you are injured or sore you mustn’t try to find a shortcut to be pain-free, even the elite of the elitest, the fast among the fastest savor pain every day of their life, and to get rid of it, ice , rest, stretching and massage it has always been the way to get back to the battle field, but often these days I see athletes whenever they feel a pain that last for weeks they rush to chiropractor who ends up telling them to have a surgery, eeh word os advice, please please before settling and laying under that knife, think about the future, see yourself when you are 70 or 80 years old, you know every fiber in our muscle is there for its own specific reason and when it’s tempered with, it affects us and maybe abandon us into weakness, weakness may not start to take its toll this soon but later in life when age is at hand, you will remember this.
So incase you don’t know, the best way to get over injury is not by surgery but by massage, rest, ice and stretching, swimming and yoga. I have seen a lot of my friends career being turned upside down because of surgery, they were world beaters in their time and some were Olympic champions, but now because of struggling for years with no sign of light on their horizon they’re forced by fate to give up. So listen to me my friend, make friends with massage therapists and physiotherapist Not chiropractor, if you ask me why I’m against chiropractor is because they are those people who dream of something that they think its good but it’s not.
Here is the story behind it; In the dawn of November 2010, my running career succumb to an injury that threatened and shook my entire life and entirely change the course of my destiny, I woke up in the morning but the weird thing I could not sit down, i though maybe I was tight and not fully awake, but when I grab the wall and stood up my whole waist was shifted to my left side of the body and my right leg wouldn’t move, I was trembling and scared to death, praying and saying ”God let this be just a dream”
I threw myself back to bed, closed my eyes tightly, slap my face so hard and tried to get back up out from bed again, but this time pain is all that I felt flowing all over my body like the way blood flows in my veins.
For the first time since I became a man, real tears started flowing our of my eyes, I thought my life is over, it is not a usual thing for a man to cry in my tribe and it is often described as weakness and despised, we often say a warrior never cries, but not for this day..heh My beautiful wife Rachel was awake and in the kitchen making breakfast, I called her and asked her if she is seeing what I’m seeing, she was shocked and worried, I wanted to go the bathroom but I couldn’t do it on myself, for the first time in my life I was being helped to go the bathroom with a woman, I couldn’t even lift my leg to the tub or get back up from the toilet sit without her help.
Minutes later we went to see a chiropractor, it was my first time to see one, I thought they are the best than massage therapists, but after X-ray and stuff which took us nearly 35 min, I was told that I have ”Scoliosis and a serious hip fracture, I ended up spending 110$ and my pain even got worse, as Kenyan being charged that kind of money I see it as daylight robbery, even though I can win a 10k or 1 Mile race and get paid 3000$, at least I pushed my body, made my country, my family and fans proud, but seriously 110$! it’s still doesn’t make any sense, even in hell they will say it’s not fair, that kind of money can buy me a healthy cow, or 13 healthy goats, or help a kid from a poor family pay the school fees for the whole year, for that kind of money I can live with it for 4 to 5 months in Kenya without missing a meal…. heh – my first question to him was ”Will I ever run again?” he didn’t even make the effort to say ”yes or you will be okay, like the way I tell my patients”, all he said you will never be pain-free or run like you used to! Seriously… son of a toothless crocodile,(sorry for the name calling but I needed to remove the frustration and anger out of my chest, I feel better now) –  The chiro should have even lied to me, I could have bought it, believed in it and now I would be back to winning. ”May shame be upon you who steal from those who come to you in need of help!!!
 People if someone ever comes to you for help, no matter what condition they are in, please, just please give them hope, for it is something that can heal a person, it is a light that can lit the dead candle in their hearts and give them something to look for and believe in. but all they did is break my spirit day after day after day, I never got better, I tried other chiropractor, dozens of them whom my friends told me they are great, but all of them shared the same name of chiropractor but all they did is talk and talk about how good and efficient the technique is but their work was different, I was so broken I even thought of giving up on running and everything in life.
 I was in the limits of my faith and the edge of losing my mind, But thank God for giving me many abilities to survive with in life and one of the great thing was what became my only hope to get out of that grave I was trapped in, I’m a licensed massage therapist, MT was my part-time job when I was running for Adidas, but after three years, I wrapped it and hid it in my store so I may focus with my running career.
My aunt owns a care home for elderly and sometimes I used to volunteers to massage those good old folks, and those who went through my hands, were able two walk without using the help of a stick or stroller, thought of that encouraged me to try to heal myself, so i went to the kitchen took a wooden cooking stick, put it on the wall and put my back against it, and started to push the spine to go back straight to its line, it was excruciating pain but after 5 hours I was able to touch my knees and a week later I could touch the ground without bending my knees and 3 weeks later I was back to running again, maintaining 7:55 min a mile for 5 miles… Biggest mistake I ever did is not going to see massage therapist or a real doctor whose job is not digging your wallet.
I am mentally fine now and 88% physically, I’ve lost 17 pounds in one month, but shin splints are killing me, but I will be ok, every journey has it rivers and treacherous valleys that we must cross, and for me I will not quit or rest till all my desires of life is conquered.
After what I have been through, looking back at the valley behind me, seeing poor athletes being taken advantage of, empathy eclipsed my heart, and in the calling and twist of fate, I chose to open a Sports massage office in Austin TX so I may help those who are need of help, like the one I needed, I have relatives and entire village who look up to me for help back in Kenya, I see runners who need a healing hand, I hear a voice from the depths of my heart saying to me, Look unto them, just like I look after you. Whether its God, or empathy or voices inside of me, I choose to succumb unto it and die serving it, for it makes me happy.
(Ps- Do not ditch your chiropractor because of my experience, there are some of the good out there, for not everyone is bad, but if you smell greed in them and not empathy, if they have been chocking your wallet for months and months and yet you are not improving in your performance, its time to put a reverse and drive around till you find a good parking spot 😉
Training is hard and so is everything else in life it has and will always be but we must not sit on the side of the road because of the life tests and obstacles that we are facing in life.
If you have an injury of any kind, be easy on it and unto yourself, your body is the most important thing to care of in this life, let it heal so you may be strong again, and I tell you this, you will be stronger than you have ever was, patience is the key, train your mind to be of positive mindset, then when the storm is over, take yourself outside and start all over again, remember not to start from where you left, for if you do you may end up being ”kaput”
Set a goal and day by day strive gently to reach for it, you might not be as fast as a Kenyan, but you can at least look like one or even beat one. but in this case I often tell people not to admire others too much than they admire themselves, whether you are Kenyan, American or European, understand this none was born a runner, we just make ourselves become one, and our training is what that makes us different.
So my friend if there’s any discouragement anyone has ever said against you or said it on your back, don’t dwell on it, take the time before you and use it to sharpen every knife and every sword of the muscles of your body, then go out and stab and cut your goal into pieces and show them you are a warrior and they are just cowards standing on the wrong side of the arena. in other words I will say ”no matter how ugly and big the frog is, no matter how loud it may croak and fill the river with annoying sounds, it will never, I say again – Never stop the elephant from drinking the water from the river…
So when you embark unto your quest and other endeavors in life, see what annoys you as frogs and you be the elephant!
I have often been asked why do Kenyan runners wear a sweat running jacket even when it’s hot? The thing is we don’t like being heavy, we don’t need the water weight or anything unnecessary that may slow us down, for we believe the lighter you are, the longer you will last.weight causes knee and hip injuries, and since we have a choice to keep it down, there is no reason to fear.
Our body is a very unique machine, if we can teach to sustain such things in life, it can do wonders and to experience that wonder we must do whatever it takes no matter what.Try to understand life instead of stressing about it, and when setting goals, try not to put the bar too high for sometimes things in life happens that’s beyond our control or understanding, just start by laying it out brick by brick, for it is brick after brick a house will rise to withstand the storm.
An ancient belief from my tribe, we believe that when God was about to leave man to dwell on earth, the man complained and asked, what I’m I supposed to do here? God replied, I will not be here to feed you or tell you what to do anymore but I will be with you in spirit to encourage you if you let me. Take this gift of talent and nourish it, use it beyond the edge of your ability and you will surely fulfill your desires and never hunger, and if you use it well, you may rule over everything.
PS- This is part of my book, ”It’s not easy to be a Kenyan runner” It will be out soon 🙂
God bless you all, thanks for reading my blog, I promise the book will be more thrilling and more encouraging than anything your heart has ever walk to 😉
Kiplimo chemirmir

23 thoughts on “Its not easy to be a Kenyan runner

  1. Pingback: Its not easy to be a Kenyan runner (via KIPRUNNING VILLAGE OF WISDOM) « On a bright and sunny day,

  2. What an amazing and inspirational story. I am so motivated to find out how fit and healthy I can become in both body and mind, while testing myself to faster and faster marathons. I have only run one marathon so far and it was at the end of the Texas Ironman Triathlon. It took me 1 year of training to become ready to attempt this event. I ended up going an hour and a half faster than I had hoped for. God was very much a part of my training and He was right there with me race day. I ended up finishing the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run in 10:40:41. My first marathon was 3:47:15.

    I did run track and cross country in middle school, high school, and college so I had a great base. I’m now 31 and have decided to see how strong a runner I can become before my body gives out. When I’m riding race rides with my friends my heart rate can still hit 202, and I totally understand what you mean about not being scared to push it. After reading your story I want to push even harder. 🙂

    Thank you so much Kiplimo for sharing all this knowledge with me.

    Oh, and wish me luck this December at the Dallas White Rock Marathon. I’m going to try to break 3 hours.

    JT Peebles

  3. Thank you very much for your article. It is very touching and also inspiring. It cost me to see things in a different light. The motivation behind things people do not see… Thank you again.

  4. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story and your training tips which I can put into my training routines. I wish you all the best of luck in all your races!!!

  5. WOW. Awesome spirit. I pray u be fully recovered & well. May you be so richly blessed & rewarded by the Lord with abundance your heart desire.

  6. Simply beautiful. Well said. Fantastic perspective. I have taken part of your words and quoted them in my own blog post today – I was so inspired and wanted to honor you. Thank you.

  7. Respect. I dare not even call myself a runner after reading this, for I am one of those people who “run for fun”. Once upon a time, I ran for people around me, for a team, which had a effect akin to mental steroids. I lost that feeling now. But truly an inspirational piece; I’ll view Kenyan runners in a different light now. Epitome of willpower and mind-over-matter.

  8. Pingback: What Running Means (to Kenyans) | Love the Run

  9. Thank you so much! I am curious to why I always see Kenyans in tight shorts during training? And do they ever run barefoot? And how do they do strength training?

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