Iten: The HATC Lifestyle

A period of pure training is based around just three activities: training, eating and resting. While staying at the High Altitude Training Centre (HATC) in Iten all meals are included, and are served at set times, therefore defining the schedule into which all three activities are planned.

Iten - High Altitude Training  Centre (HATC)
Iten – High Altitude Training Centre (HATC)

The schedule of meals is as follows, and based on those meals I think of each day as containing five possible training sessions:

Pre-breakfast
Breakfast: 07:30 – 09:00
Post-breakfast
Morning tea: 11:00 – 11:30
Pre-lunch
Lunch: 12:30 – 13:30
Post-lunch
Afternoon tea: 16:00 – 16:30
Pre-dinner
Dinner: 19:00 – 20:30

It is possible to arrange for some breakfast to be kept aside for you if you plan a longer pre-breakfast workout, and morning/afternoon tea can be easily skipped for long sessions. But most of my days have been constructed around placing my training, including workouts, stretching, sauna and massage sessions into five empty slots for each day. Any remaining empty boxes are then consumed with rest, which could entail reading, surfing the internet, the occasional shopping trip, or sleeping. The amazing thing I have found is that the amount of spare time does not seem to be very much.

I will greatly enjoy this period of relaxation and focussed training, but it is quite scary to think of the professional athletes who construct years of their athletic careers into a similar pattern. I know that I would definitely start to feel overly isolated if I maintained the lifestyle for more than a couple of months at a time.

So how exactly have I been filling those empty boxes? I will write about that in my upcoming posts, as well as discussing what each of the above-mentioned meals consists of, and the running backyard that is Iten.

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