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Am I Really A Kenyan but Never Realised It Until Now?
by Denis Oakley in

Ok. I admit I probably have some disadvantages here. I'm white, not black. I've only spent a few weeks in Kenya and wasn't born there and my running.... Well so far I don't think I've ever done better than an estimated 9th in a charity fun run a few years ago.

So why do I think my life is changing? Well my Friday morning sessions are high cadence ones on a treadmill. Easy, moderate, hard, then easy again. As the weeks have gone by I've slowly seen my speeds go up and up and my cadence also gradually increase from the high 80's to just below 100.

I read an article the other day - courtesy of Joe Friel I think (and that is a blog worth reading regularly if you are a triathlete even if you don't use all of his ideas. It talked about the pain cave. No! It was on Ironguides by Eric Doehrman. He talked about the pain cave being this painful place that you have to go into to get the best possible performance. Then about how your mental approach to the pain cave was important. Was it a torture cell or a place to relax?

So any way this got me thinking about how much I actually push myself. Most of the time I probably donf't. The only real example that I can think of is the Muncih Marathon a few years ago when I was crippled by ITB for the last 10k. Even then I let the pain overcome me down to a hobble - until the last k when I was magically able to overcome it and run in at a good pace.

So I'm starting to try and push myself a bit harder and get to this pain cave and have a look around. And so this is the point of feeling like a Kenyan. I pushed the speeds on the treadmill up a bit today. I kept the usual 7 easy but pushed the moderate up to 9.5mph and the hard up to 12mph. ( it was going to be 11.5mph but the closest pre-set was 12 ...). I was a bit nervous about running for 10 minutes at 1mph faster than I had before on the treadmill. As it turned out thanks to PPK's Resurrection  it was not as hard as I expected and I flew. OK it got a little bit ragged over the last 2 minutes but with a good 100 rpm throughout I was happy. There was also lots of room for improvement. 13 and 14 may be possible, and if I can do 12 for 10 minutes - then 20 and 30 is possible and that would put me close to a 30 minute 10k! OK a treadmill is different to a road and I am not a Kenyan - but with work I will come close. :)


Denis Oakley said...

One thing that I forgot to mention was that on my swim it was really interesting after I took the paddles off.

The water felt so thin and silky. I was really aware of the flow of water over my arms. And with much less resistance to the water my cadence really increased without stroke disruption. Happy man indeed

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