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Wilson Kipketers blog April 2014:  

What a great run: Thank you Denmark

It was a fantastic day! Congratulations to the Kenyan runners Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworo and Gladys Cherono for their individual win, and the Women team with the World Championships title! Congratulations to my fellow 30,000 colleagues within the mass participation – you were all heroes. Thank you IAAF, DAF, Sport Event Denmark, all the sponsors, the entire Organisation and of course the volunteers etc. 

It was a busy day for me, waking up early to go and pick up my start number and to do interviews with DR at 11.30. Which was OK. I had more than an hour to focus on the race. As now the Half Marathon is over, I’m not going to leave without saying, thank you to all the readers of my blog. I hope you have enjoyed it. 

I had a great run! Everywhere the spectators were cheering for me – shouting Kipketer, Kipketer,Kipketer. I felt the support and it gave me so much energy. I had planned for 1h 20m and I was spot on with only a margin of 34 sec. The most important thing is the preparation if you want to perform well. I had in my mind; “no matter what happen I will enjoy the race and I stick to my plan!!” That’s exactly what I did. “Always be yourself, no matter what happen”

The streets were packed with people. There were music on almost every corner and in between, the Danes got involved and contributed with ghetto blasters from the balconies. I saw so many runners having a good time.

When I passed the finish line I felt so good – the set up was really something – and in perfect time in order to cheer for the elite winners on the podium. It must have been a special moment for the elite to be honoured while the mass participants were still passing the finish line – a true image of the celebration of running.

Records were sat in all aspects – and I sincerely hope that IAAF also in the future will use the Case of Copenhagen – and if Cardiff in two years stage a mass participation race as part of the WHM – I will be there, hopefully for 1h 15 - It’s all about running and having fun.

Yours in Running and thank you for following

Wilson


Wilson Kipketers blog March 2014:  

WILSON ON THE RUN:

Mindful preparation

Now it is time to tune in on the IAAF World Half Marathon in less than two weeks here in Copenhagen. For the last year or so I have prepared for the run and I guess you have too.

I will now cut down on the kilometers and increase the speed a little bit. I will run some short, fast intervals and start preparing my mind for the race. 

From running and training alone I have to prepare for 30,000 fellow runners, thousands of spectators, tv-crews and other media. The days before race day I will make sure to get some good rest and eat well. On race day I will eat normally for breakfast and only have a banana or so before the race. I want to feel  light when I’m at the starting line together with you. 

The only way to ensure that you’re performing to the very best of your ability is to leave the thinking behind and allow the body and mind to work together with a combined physical and mental focus. Before you get ready to go out on March 29 try to get a sense of how you’re feeling. What’s going on in the mind? Are you feeling anxious, confident or completely indifferent? Sometimes if I have the time and inclination, I can even take a couple of minutes to sit down and allow the mind to rest before I proceed to the start. Before you leave, take a few deep breaths. 

This helps me to focus and gives me a greater sense of being grounded. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Once you’re running you can return to whatever pattern of breathing feels most natural for you. We are all in it together – March 29 has been our goal for a long time – and now it’s time! I look forward to running alongside with you and to be part of the greatest running festival in Copenhagen ever. I look forward to creating the perfect frame for Zersenay Tadese and the other elite runners running for the world championship. See you March 29! Yours in Running, Wilson

Yours in Running

Wilson

Wilson Kipketers blog February2014:  

WILSON ON THE RUN:

Lean doesn’t mean weak

I really believe in training the entire body and running is a full-body exercise. Every part of your body is linked together. In fact it’s not possible to work just one muscle. If you look at a long distance runner’s body you will see a lean and lanky body. But lean certainly doesn’t mean being weak, in fact, the most effective running machines are powerhouses packed with solid muscle, and the stronger, faster, more efficient and more injury resistant the runner becomes. And this doesn’t just hold true for the legs.  

I have shared my thoughts with you for the last many months and I have talked about motivation, nutrition, simple running and coping with training when travelling. One thing which is also important to me is how to incorporate strength training in my daily training and especially when travelling. You know how much I travel and how much I talk about how easy it is to go for a run practically everywhere. 

Performing exercises that smartly strengthen my core and upper body are just as important as strengthening my principal running muscles such as the glutes and hamstrings. With a lean but strong physique, a runner can endure muscle exhaustion and maintain optimal efficient form longer.

I have made my own tiny bring-along strength training programme that also works everywhere. I prefer to do my strength training in connection with my running – in that way I can complete my training in one go ;-)

Strength training will enhance your running and minimize risk of running injuries.

With less than two months to go to our mutual goal – the IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon – and with some strength training you just might cross your next finish line with a new PR.

Last thing which is very important is MENTAL training!!

Yours in Running

Wilson


Wilson Kipketers blog January 2014:  

WILSON ON THE RUN:

Running New Year's Resolution

January 1 inspires many of us to dream big. We dream of running regularly, earn that finisher's medal or just to start running. It's good to set goals! As the saying goes, you can't hit a target if you don't have one. 

I sat mine on the 11th of November 2011 when I was part of the Danish bidding committee for the IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Championships 2014. At the presentation I was asked if I would participate in the recreational run and I said “Yes”.

2014 is now and the training for the World half marathon is well underway. But I was also inspired by New Year and my New Year’s resolution is to identify what makes a good training session.

Actually I already found out that there is no fixed recipe for a successful training session. With no scientifically basis I would say, that mood is the most influential factor of a good training session. When I’m happy and relaxed my running feels so much better than if I’m tense or tired.

But again, this is just the first observations I made on these first weeks of the 2014 running. I will dedicate this first blog of 2014 to all you great runners out there – help me identify the elements of a good training session: When do you have this champagne feeling after a good run? How did you feel just before going for your run? Did you train with others? Or did you go by yourself? I would really appreciate all your input and I will of course use it for my next blog.

Thanks in advance

Yours in Running,

Wilson


Wilson Kipketers blog December 2013:  

WILSON ON THE RUN:
Mindful approach to food

Running requires a mindful approach to food, since everything we drink and eat has a direct impact on our performance and even our enjoyment of running. It’s all about principles and routines.

Preparing to run a race means more than just getting fit. You also need to get your diet up to speed. So planning your nutrition should be part of your ongoing training, not something you start to do only in the weeks leading up to the race. And for all recreational runners this probably should be coordinated with the rest of the family.

In December people in Denmark eat a lot more than during the other eleven months. It’s cold outside and hot heavy meals are on the menu. As I have talked about many times before, running is a life style and has to fit in with the family’s routines. This goes for the actual training and also for food and restitution. I therefor eat the very same meals as the rest of my family. As I travel a lot, the kitchen is my wife’s territory ;-) and I happily adjust to the meals being served. For breakfast we eat oatmeal and bread which is very common in Denmark. For lunch we eat rye bread sandwiches and in the afternoon we often have a little snack. For dinner we have for example typical Danish meatballs or roast pork. And for recreational running and training this is quite fine.

But to optimize your training, when you eat I would say is even more important as what you eat. To me it works well not to eat too close to my training. Ideally two hours before. But for as I only run for maximum one hour at a time, it’s not so important. I would say that within an hour of finishing your run (and ideally within 30 minutes), you should refuel with a snack. 

Even if it is cold your training also provides you with the opportunity to practice your fluid-replacement strategies. You're going to need to drink regularly during long races (half-marathons and marathons). Experiment with hydration during your training runs. Do you like drinking on the go, or do you prefer to stop running, take a few gulps, and then get moving again? I myself prefer to stick to water but I know many runners like to drink energy drinks during training.

Good pacing is also paramount. You’ll burn through precious glycogen stores more slowly if you maintain a consistent pace than you will if your pace is erratic, even if it averages out to be the same. Proper training also helps. A good marathon training plan will increase your capacity to store glycogen and improve your running economy and fat-burning capacity, enabling you to burn through stores at a slower rate.

Till next time: Run, eat and relax!

Yours in running, Wilson


Wilson Kipketers blog November 2013:  

WILSON ON THE RUN: Dark Denmark

It’s getting colder and darker in Denmark, and with less than one hour of light in the afternoon after work or school, running in the dark will become a discipline you have to deal with ;-) In the mornings it is dark too. Actually it is dark when you leave for work and almost dark when you come back in the afternoon.

On 21 December we have the shortest day in Denmark. The length of the day in Copenhagen is just 7 hours and 1 minute. The sun rises at 8.37 am and sets again at 15.38 pm. The temperature varies from just below zero degrees Celsius in the early mornings to around 10 degrees Celsius on a good day in the afternoon. 

I myself prefer to run in the afternoon. Although running in the dark is a challenge, it is not impossible. It all starts with good preparations and a mental plan. In Denmark we are fortunate to have good running paths also in and around Copenhagen with reasonable good lightening and even surfaces.

Every time I’m in a car in the dark I’m amazed how dark runners along the road appear. It's important to remember that just because you can see a car doesn't mean its driver can see you. Being seen is the first step to running in the dark safely. I wear simple reflective gadgets – and I choose running gear with extra reflective features. I never use a headlight – mostly because I don’t like the shadows of the light to dance in front of me.

During summer time and in the light hours I have tracked my “dark loops” – so I know where to run in the dark. I have noticed where there are street lamps, good pavement and plenty of sidewalks.  And I have made an escape course – a very short course – were I can do my loops according to the weather conditions – because mind you – it’s not only dark and cold in Denmark at this time of the year – it is also rainy, misty, foggy and not at all always a walk in the park. 

Running in groups when possible is also a good idea. There is safety in numbers and cars will more easily see a group of reflective runners. And I would say that you should always run against traffic. And I know many bright runners that bring a cell phone when running alone and when running during winter time.

I try to remember to leave a note at home for my wife to tell her, which loop I have chosen – that is if I can’t persuade her to run with me.

And finally – I’m so fortunate that I travel a lot and can benefit from taking a run in the daylight and when I’m at home in Monaco. And to test my running I have just completed Nice Cannes Marathon in 3.15 (nice ;-) ….. 

Till next time – run in peace and enjoy the dark – 

Yours in running

Wilson


Wilson Kipketers blog October 2013:  

WILSON ON THE RUN: Wilson's training in Kenya

I’m in Kenya right now writing this blog. As you all probably know I was born and raised in Kapchemoiywo Kenya. As a teenager I started my running career at St. Patrick's High School – but I have been running all my life. Running in Kenya is natural and part of peoples lives.

So when I’m in Kenya I try to get some inspiration from the best marathon runners in the world. I tend to call it Wilson’s spying. When I am running I start by listening to the footsteps of my run. You can actually learn a lot from just listening to the sound of your footsteps, If you have a good rhythm. Sometime you can run with a heavy or uneven sound and sometimes you feel light and that’s a good sign. It’s best to run in a relax manner and control.
Sometimes I even ask the runners to listen to their own sound and to listen to the others in order to feel the rhythm of the running and in order to run inside your mind.

I Start with small and short running sessions to improve my condition and I increase  week by week. And I try to run with a mid/forefoot striking. I know there is a lot of discussions going on regarding heel or mid/forefoot striking – but when I run with other athletes, I try to tell them to think about their running styles and what they eat before training and competition.

This simplicity and feeling of joy is also the key elements in running. It’s payback time now, I can learn and I hope I can inspire some of the future Kenyan runners to start running short distance before they move to marathon.
So keep running guys and enjoy,
 
Yours in running
Wilson
 


Wilson Kipketers blog September 2013:

WILSON ON THE RUN: I’m ready but are the stars?

Summer is still on in Denmark and my training goes very well. I’m ready for the IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Championships next year – but are you? And are the stars?

When I was in Moscow for the IAAF World Championships last month I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of the stars of today. We spoke about the upcoming IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen, and I asked every one of them if they would consider joining us on March 29 2014.

Mo Farah, said he had signed up for the London Marathon next year. With no major championship to aim for next year other than the Commonwealth Games and the Europeans, Farah is excited about the challenge of a new distance and the chance to step off the racing treadmill for six months to prepare his body for the physical trial ahead. I tried to convince him of the perfect timing with the world half marathon as preparation for London 14 days later. So now we will have to wait and see ;-)

Meanwhile I’m on the run with Peace and Sport and also my running shoes. I never travel without them. To me running should be a pleasure. When I run I don’t normally wear a watch. I try to find into a rhythm and try to find an even speed – to me it is important to find joy in running and to control my training. It is no good to start out in Mo-speed and returning to home crawling the last 5k.

I normally try to fit in one hours of training every day – and all depending on weather, country and company I will mix flat country training with some hilly training and if possible I will also go in the woods or along the beach. The variety of the training motivates me. At the moment my favorite speed for my training is 5 m/k and I try to feel the speed.

Till next blog – train smart and stay cool

Yours in running
Wilson 


Wilson Kipketers blog August 2013:  

Getting inspired by the elite 

It’s still summer, and days are still nice and warm for running and training. These days I’m in Moscow representing the IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Championships 2014 as well as Peace and Sport at the IAAF World Championships. I will do some lobbying and meet with several people within the world of athletics while I’m here. But luckily I also have time to watch some of the great athletes competing.  Watching the elite inspires me and especially of course watching the running events.

Mo Farah - Magic Mo – for instance – has this extreme cool way of controlling his race. Yesterday he underlined his status as Great Britain’s greatest ever distance runner by winning the world 10,000 metres title in Moscow.  The double Olympic champion exacted revenge over Ibrahim Jeilan in a pulsating race, taking the lead with two laps to go and refusing to relinquish his lead as he won his fourth global gold medal. Farah won in 27mins 21.71secs.

And talking about being cool and having the race under control – the 1st and 2nd in the women’s marathon also impressed me: Edna Kiplagat of Kenya won her second straight world championship title in the women’s marathon making a late surge to pull past Valeria Straneo of Italy. Kiplagat won in 2 hours, 25 minutes, 44 seconds.

Racing on a flat course along the Moscow River, Straneo took a quick lead while Kiplagat stayed well back in the field during the early stretches. But she joined the front pack at about the 14th kilometre and stayed there. Kiplagat pulled nearly abreast of Straneo several times, but waited until the 40th kilometre to make her big move. She smoothly passed Straneo and easily pulled ahead for the final stretch through a wooded park and into Luzhniki Stadium. Kiplagat and Mo thus demonstrates how important it is to stay cool and in control during the race – and I would say, that goes for any runner – elite and recreational.

For the World Half Marathon in Copenhagen next year this could also be one of the things to “train”. For instance: getting acquainted with the course beforehand.  In the next months I will therefor make sure to get some of my training on parts of the IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon 2014 course and by the 29th of March I will have a pretty good picture of the corners and curves of the course.

Till next blog – train smart and stay cool

Yours in running
Wilson


Wilson Kipketers blog July 2013: 

Wilson on the Run


Now winter is really over and the summer is right ahead of us. All the cold running in dark streets belongs to the past, and the first results of the good and constant training are starting to show.

Summer is a great time for running, and as your level of fitness and motivation probably has increased over the winter you can start speeding up when running. I myself have just been out on a pleasant 1½ hour run with a fairly decent average speed and with some short, fast intervals as well.

However, with summer comes higher temperatures and you want to take precaution when doing your runs.
The new fluid recommendations for runners say that they should "obey your thirst" and drink when their mouth is dry and they feel the need to drink. In training, drink before running and make sure you have access to fluids if exercising longer than 30 minutes.

I normally don’t have to drink if I run less than an hour. But then I have been drinking water during the day and just before the run and after. As I have written before, recreational running should also fit the entire programme of a family, so another good idea could be to ask your girlfriend or kids to cycle along with you – they are good company and they could bring a bottle of water for you. If they by any chance don’t want to come with you – you could also organise the run in a way so you make loops and pass the same spot every 20 minutes – here you could have a bottle of water waiting for you.

My kids still find my running a little too long, but my wife sometimes goes with me and I enjoy her company and we get to have some good talks also. You could also say: Try to beat the heat – run early in the morning or late at night when the sun isn’t up and the air quality is better. Or find a shady road or run in the forest.

If you are running on your vacation in a much warmer country than Denmark you could also consider managing your expectations and ease into hot weather running: I would say that optimally it takes about 2 weeks for your body to adjust and acclimate so ease into it. As a tip I would say: the longer the distance, the cooler the optimal temperature is for runners

Wear light-coloured loose fitting clothes and a visor instead of a hat. Loose clothing allows heat to escape and if there’s a breeze, you might catch it. If you have the option – a good warm run is almost perfect if you can finish with a short run on a beach and finally go into the water to cool your legs.

Till next time I wish you all a good, warm summer run
/Wilson


Wilson Kipketers blog June 2013: 

Wilson on the Run

Running and playing has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was younger I played and ran – then - when I became faster I ran and played. Today I still run and play. Actually I’m convinced that the motivation for running should be found in the pleasure of running and the playful approach to running.

If you ask me, how often you should train for a half marathon and for how long, I would probably say, that running for approximately an hour four times a week would be perfect. But it is not only a matter of hours of running – it is more a matter of focusing on the run.

If you really want to improve your running you need to understand yourself as a runner. When do you enjoy running the most? When do you feel like running? How do you find motivation to run? How can you include running to be one of the many disciplines of the day? The answers to these questions are the first step towards your next half marathon ;-) And the answers will of course depend on each of us asking the questions.

I myself try to run every day. Optimally I would run for an hour each day. But I try to listen to my body and spirit. The essentials are to keep running for as long as it is still a pleasure. I’m convinced that running against your own will is not making you a better runner – but a bitter runner.

I travel a lot both as an ambassador for the IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Championships 2014 and for the organisation Peace and Sport. Travelling and running is a good combination – you can run practically anywhere, and I do. But sometimes time is limited and I don’t get to run quite as much as I would like to. I was in Paris representing Peace and Sport, and I had to participate in a cocktail dinner among other things and therefore I had to downscale my running ambitions for that day. I guess this is what happens to all of us recreational runners sometimes.

Today I have been out running for an hour – and tomorrow I will go for another hour – I will make sure that the course is different from the one of today – I will do some uphill running – I will run alone –  at my own pace, clear my head – and feel like a runner. 

Till next blog - Yours in running
Wilson




Wilson’s blog May 2013:

On the Run


Copenhagen is a running city! I know that from my many years in Denmark and I’m proud to welcoming you to Denmark for the IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Championships 2014. Up to that date I will keep you posted – being on the run myself.

When we were in Monaco and won the Danish Bid for the World Half Marathon, Sebastian Coe specifically asked me, if I was going participate myself – should the event be awarded to Denmark. And I said; Wilson will be back.

Here I am as the officially elected ambassador of the IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Championships 2014, and I will monthly let you know how I prepare for the event myself and how I go about being ambassador.

Well, training is important – also for me. I run on a regular basis – that is 4 times a week. Distances all depend on where I am, where my family is and how many travels and meetings I have. I tend to squeeze some good hours in – just before school ends for my kids. Then I’m more relaxed and focused afterwards.

With this blog I also intend to give you some insights on the job as ambassador. Lately I met with a digital magazine, Sport Executivethat writes about sports and sport management.  We had a long chat on running and my perspective on training here in Denmark and in Kenya where I originally come from.

Actually I find the passion for running similar all over the world – there is no significant difference. It makes it so much easier to talk running – no matter where you go – because the topic is worldwide.

In the coming months I will let you in on my training for the half marathon, I will talk about the various initiatives The Danish Athletic Federation involves me in and I’m open to questions and remarks. So if you have a specific question, please let me know - and I will see if I can come up with a good answer.

Till next blog - Yours in running
Wilson