Ex-world champ Lornah Kiplagat launches customised sports coaching app

Lornah Kiplagat

Multiple world distance running champion Lornah Kiplagat speaks during the launch of the Lorna Kiplagat Sports Coaching App at Strathmore University in Nairobi on May 17, 2024.

Photo credit: John Kariuki | Nation Media Group

Meshack Senge, coach of 2022 Kenya Hockey Union Women’s Premier League champions Strathmore University, believes the newly launched Lornah Sports Coaching App will help enhance his team’s professional development.

This, is especially true, as the new App also offers customised nutritional planning aspects besides virtual running coaching alongside strength and injury prevention exercises.

Strathmore University’s “Scorpions” stung their way into becoming the first university team to win the women’s premiership in 2022.

“Being a firm believer in research and strength and conditioning aspects of performance sport, I’ve have faced a challenge with nutritional aspects of the team and this App offers a great solution that should improve our performance,” Senge, a former Kenya international, said.

He spoke on Friday at the launch of the Lornah Kiplagat Sports Coaching App, introduced into the market by multiple world distance running champion and Olympian Lornah Kiplagat.

The launch, held at Nairobi’s Strathmore University, was attended by the university’s Vice Chancellor, Dr Vincent Ogutu, an avid sportsman.

Finance scholarship programmes

Ogutu said the App will come in handy in the final stages of his preparation to run the half-marathon Vice Chancellor’s Run that he has organized on May 25 to help raise funds to finance scholarship programmes for needy students at the university.

“There is a lot of science involved in developing this App… I’ve just signed up to it and I’m going to use it to promote the other training that I’m doing because it can only get better,” Ogutu, who will be running the 21-kilometre race on May 25, said.

“The other Apps I’m doing have little information on diet, certainly not the Kenyan diet, so I’m looking forward to interacting with this App.”

Kiplagat, who famously won the gold medal in the senior women’s race at the 2007 World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa, running for her adopted nation of the Netherlands, said she was inspired to give back to the sport by developing the Lornah Kiplagat Sports Coaching App.

“When I retired from elite running, I went into recreational running and I’ve been coaching quite a number of people here in Nairobi. There was so much pleasure in coaching recreational runners because they really appreciate and treasure the training and I found so much joy in this,” Kiplagat, world half marathon champion in 2006 (Debrecen, Hungary), 2007 (Udine, Italy) and 2008 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), said.

“I thought, ‘how can I reach a larger number of people?’, and I thought this App would be the best solution – where we can tailor-make training for each and every recreational runner where we can advise them on coaching, nutrition and injury prevention because many people want to start running, but they don’t know how.”

The App was launched at an introductory monthly price of Sh2,500 (bronze), Sh4,500 (silver) and Sh6,500 (bronze).

Online running programme

It also comes with a discounted annual offering of Sh27,000 (bronze), Sh48,600 (silver) and Sh70,200 (gold).

The gold plans provide the entire package of a personalised online running programme, personalised nutrition plan, personalised strength and injury prevention programme, weekly group run, access to a team of experts and also make available a personal coach.

Among those involved in developing the new App is Kiplagat’s husband, Pieter Langerhorst, a career marketer and sports management guru, alongside Dr. Edwin Kiptolo Boit, holder of a doctorate in Sports Science, and Nandi Chepkemei, a Sports and Exercise Science graduate from Loughborough University in England.

“Recreational running is not well structured in Kenya, people do things by themselves, and that’s why this app is personalized. The App is very specific to you, specific to your body type, specific to your schedule…. It’s specific to your needs,” Boit explained at the launch yesterday.

Global empowerment around health issues has seen an upsurge in recreational runners, creating a corresponding need for bespoke training offerings, which Boit says the App addresses.

“People are knowledgeable about their health and running has the lowest barriers because you just need a pair of sneakers and an open road… it’s not as hard as going to the gym, cycling or looking for a swimming pool. Running has created the perfect environment for people to easily be active.”