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Training alone is tougher, says athlete Rhonex

Rhonex Kipruto wins the 10,000m at the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018 (Getty Images) © Copyright

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – With Kenya under coronavirus lockdown, world 10,000m bronze medallist Rhonex Kipruto recently left his training base in Iten and now is back home in Kombatich, a town southeast of Eldoret where he’s adjusting as best he can.

“I have to organise training alone and away from my training base in Iten, plan finances for family responsibilities, and deal with many challenges most of us are facing day-to-day,” he said in an email to World Athletics.

“I used to train in a group in an adidas-supported St. Patrick’s program in Iten and now I train alone in my home area. Pushing yourself alone is more difficult, so we have adjusted training to a more general training program, as opposite to a specific preparation.”

He receives training instructions via email and follows that, he said, “but we will not meet for some time.”

Given the sweeping changes in the global competition calendar, Kipruto admits that finding motivation has become a challenge.

“We don’t have targets and we don’t know what to train for,” he said. “I love running, so running comes naturally, but professional sport, training and all the sacrifice is driven by specific targets and these targets are now non-existent. I remain hopeful we can compete from August or September and I will prepare with that in mind.”

Being back home has meant an entirely different routine.

“As I am back to my home area, life revolves around spending time with the family, working around the farm, running to maintain fitness and weight,” he said, adding that he spends much more time on the phone that when he’s in full training.

“My life in St. Patrick’s in Iten is always structured around a train-eat-sleep routine and there is a sense of purpose in what is being done each day. At the moment, it feels to me that I am waiting for something to happen and for life to resume.

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“This is a time of real life challenges to many and I often think of sick people, doctors, nurses and hospital staff and all who are ensuring that Kenya and many one countries are functioning as well as possible at this time.”

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