I arrived in Iten having spent the previous two weeks travelling in Ethiopia, predominantly above an elevation of 2,000 metres. Therefore I was already quite well acclimatised to the 2,400 metre elevation of Iten, and could get straight into some good training.
I arrived on a Monday morning, settled in to my room and drank some chai. I had my first High Altitude Training Centre (HATC) lunch, checked out a map of the local roads, and plotted a 16 km route. Then I set out for my first run at a relaxed and easy pace.
Tuesday morning in Iten is track day, with many of the local runners heading down to the old dirt track to swarm around in large groups at phenomenal speeds. I wasn’t planning on hitting the track for speed work on day 2 in Iten, but I did jog down to check out the action. From there I set out for my own easy run.
My first track session was planned for the Thursday, and it really was my first track session. Prior to arriving in Iten the only time I can recall running on a track was for a single 400 metre lap in order to calibrate a foot pod. My first ever track session didn’t quite go to plan. I completed a 12 x 400 m session but was unable to make my targeted splits for even a single lap.
I rounded out my week in Iten, recording a total of 139 km. I had completed 10 runs over the 7 days.