Geeks on Feet

Geeks on Feet

for the love of running

Ep 28: A peek into Kenyan Running

Discussion on Kenyan running culture, training, racing, and some tips with Coach Hugo and Vijay

Aditi Pandya

3 minutes read

Kenya can be said as the Mecca of the running world. Kenya has come to be the home of world-class athletes such as Eliud Kipchoge, Wilson Kipsang, Abel Kirui, David Rudisha, Florence Kiplagat, Edna Kiplagat, amongst others.

Though most of us are recreational runners, we are pushing the limits in our own way, and the Kenyan runners set an aspirational north star for us. As a recreational runner, we have a lot of questions related to how Kenyan runners train.

In this episode, we discuss topics related to:

  • What is unique about the training that sets Kenyans apart?
  • How many miles do they put in a day or week?
  • How do they recover from their hard training?
  • What is their nutrition like?
  • What makes them less susceptible to injuries?

Guest Intros

Hugo van den Broek

Hugo van den Broek is a former elite marathon runner, with a personal best of 2h12. He has coached amateur and elite runners from all over the world. His athletes ran at the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympics and had World Best performances in 2009 and 2015. When coaching his athletes, Hugo uses a combination of experience (he has been in the world of running for more than 30 years) and his scientific knowledge thanks to his M.Sc. degree in Human Movement Sciences.

Hugo and his wife Hilda Kibet have been living and training in Iten, Kenya, since 2007. They both retired from professional running in 2015 and have 3 daughters. The couple has a guesthouse where they accommodate amateur and elite runners from all over the world, and organize running camps called ‘Kenya Camp’ for amateur runners who want to experience training in Kenya under professional guidance.

Vijayaraghavan Venugopal:

Vijay was our first guest for our very first episode on marathon training and now again. It’s been a pleasure to witness Vijay on and off the track focused on sports and nutrition. Vijay has recently visited Kenya and get to see how Kenyans train, and brings the perspective of a recreational runner.

Vijayaraghavan Venugopal is an avid sports enthusiast, he is the father of an aspiring mid-distance national junior athlete, and himself an 8-time sub-3-hour marathoner. Amongst the marathons include Boston, Berlin, Chicago and Paris. He is also the co-founder and CEO of the nutrition brand Fast&Up.

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