Two time Outer Banks (OBX) half marathon champion Eglay Nalianya is targeting to double at the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan.
The 800m runner, who has also won various road races especially in the USA said she has started the journey of competing in 1,500m following her good debut during the Athletics Kenya track and field meetings earlier this before the pandemic hit the nation.
She said she has increased her mileage in training, running 25km away from 15km to prepare her well for the 1,500m.
“My training pattern has changed because am sure I can do better in 1,500m as well as 800m. Initially, I used to train 15km while competing in 800m but now I have increased to 25km training meaning I can manage 1,500m so well. I train the 25km once a week. I have been trying running 1,500m in Kenyan track meetings to check my endurance then 400m as part of speed work,” said the constable attached to Ruaraka Traffic Headquarters.
The double Atlantic City 10km champion said that the coronavirus period has given her the opportunity to train well and doing anything possible to make sure she stays fit because she doesn’t know when the race will be ready.
Apart from competing on the track, she competes in road races during her off-seasons and won the 2017 Atlantic City 10km in 2017 in 32:58, followed by 21km in 2018 recording a 75:16.
She also won OBX half marathon in 2018 before defending in 2019 with a 74:13 and 76:16 respectively. The is meant to celebrate the first plane in the world. She is also the winner of Richmond 8km road race.
Training under Henry Lebo, the Chwele Girls’ High school alumnus said she has been encouraged to continue with good training after Diamond Leagues calendar was announced last month and set to resume September.
“After missing out at the world indoor games but I was so fit, in shape and ready to run. Even my training partners knew how good I was. I got a new manager. I don’t know if I will get that chance to compete at the Diamond League but I can’t lose hope since anything can happen in the sporting world and am trying to be ready always. Lebo has been checking my progress and giving good training programme,” she said.
Nalianya started her 1,500m journey in 2015 registering a 4:11 when she paced Lorna Salpeter, the Kenyan born turned Israelite but she decided to finish the race that was a motivation after winning the title.
Before corona hit the country, she had competed in the 1,500m to check if I had endurance and 400m for speed work to ensure she was fit for 800m.
“In the first meeting in Eldoret, I finished 4th before winning the second meeting in Nairobi in the 1,500m improving my personal best of 4:17 which was an improvement then I also won the 400m in Nairobi where I recorded my personal best of 54.2,” explained Nalianya.
However, she was optimistic corona, which has affected everybody across the world can not stop her career.
“We have to move on and life must go on as well. Though it is hard, not knowing what you will do next, we need speed work. It is hard to not knowing what am training for. I have never given up in training. I love running. If I think of going for a leave I will lose,” she said.
Above all she said she can’t forget her employer, the National Police Service (NPS) in this time, after witnessing the power of the service as she 100% depends on her salary to sustain her life.
“I can tell the police service that they have given me a chance, even in during this corona period, they have not called us as athletes back to work because they know Olympic Games is not far after the postponement. They have given us good time to train. They know the importance of an athlete. Training for championships takes time. It is not something that you can train for a month then you win. They are giving us good and quality training time,” she said.
To keep her busy, she used part of her salary to open a shop that she can spend time after training.
“I can only train for two hours out of 24 a day, I will deduct eight hours of sleeping then what happens with the remaining hours? I saw the need to open a shop to make me busy to stop overthinking,” said the 4th born in a family of eight that heavily depend on her as she is the only one in employment.
Nalianya was part of the Kenya team at the All Africa Games who lost in the heats