Tom Payn’s Kenyan Adventures – Part 2

My second day here in Embu and the athletes had a track session in the morning. As I had just arrived at altitude, coach Bruce advised that I did a run around the outside of the track whilst the athletes completed their session. This was fine by me and I managed a good solid 9 mile run in one hour with the majority of it at 6 minute mile pace.

The track session for the athletes was 10 x 800m off a slow 100m jog followed by 2 x 400m. My interest was seeing how Polline (who came 1st in the 2013 Bath Half marathon) was running and I’m pleased to report she was looking good.

Polline Wanjiku training hard
Polline Wanjiku training hard

After the session it was time to rest. I had forgotten how much resting the Kenyans do! It’s going to take me a few days to get used to not doing anything for the majority of the day, especially when you come straight from London where everyone seems to be in a rush. I must have needed the rest though as I could hardly keep my eyes open and succumbed to a nice two hour kip before lunch. In the afternoon we did a nice 40 minute recovery run and then I had dinner at Bruce’s house relatively early as we were due to start training at 6am the following day.

My alarm woke me at 5.40; as I had so much sleep I didn’t have the usual struggle to get out of bed and met with the group down by the road at 6am. It was still totally dark but we started running anyway at a very slow pace. Fifteen minutes into the run and it was now light enough to see where you were putting your feet and also to see the beautiful scenery that we were passing; lush vegetation, fast flowing rivers and all with the backdrop of mount Kenya.

Mount Kenya
Mount Kenya

As the pace picked up I soon forgot about the scenery and just concentrated on keeping up with the guys. After about 4 miles we dropped Polline and Bruce and were consistently running at below 5.30 minute mile pace, a great pace considering the altitude and hills! We finished the 12 mile run and all the talk amongst the Kenyans was about the “strong mzungu”.

Now for some more resting…


  1. Hi Kip,that’s sounds really awesome for you training at the slopes of Mt.Kenya.Im wishing you a nice training here in kenya,cheers China.

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