Kenyan runners go for high altitude training before a major international running event. This year the Kenya National Cross country team has gone for high altitude training in preparation for Edinburgh, Scotland Cross Country Championship set for March 30.
The high altitude training camp is at Kigari Teachers Training College. The training camp is located at my home town Embu, Kenya. Its a small country town although wikipedia says its a large town.
The town is located approximately 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of the capital Nairobi. The town is on the southern slopes Mt. Kenya, Africas Second Highest mountain. The town has an elevation of 4,429 feet above sea level.
The Truth About Kigari Training Camp
Its not a modern sports complex but a make shift training camp at a teachers training college. The kenyan athletes are housed in a dormitory. During their stay in the camp the runners share facilities with over 1000 students.
Many local and international runners have made the area their training base to take advantage of the high altitude. The coffee and tea farmers in the sorrouding area have constructed cheap residential houses to house the many runners.
The country side area around the college offers runners diverse roads to train in. Hills, Tarmac, open earth road, mud and grass. The area has a small human population with little traffic on the road, runners can run on the roads without the fear of being hit by a car.
During their stay at Kigari Camp their altitude training is about running, running and running.
Altitude does have one positive effect for endurance runners: it builds up the blood’s oxygen carrying capacity. Some experts call altitude training “doping the blood naturally”