Konstanze Klosterhalfen doesn't just want to warm up under the roof of the hall for the summer of the World Cup. "I know that there is still something in it," assured the 26-year-old 5000-meter European champion.
That's why she will be chasing titles and records over 3,000 meters at the European Indoor Championships from Thursday to Sunday in Istanbul. In her victory at the German championships in Dortmund (8:34.89 minutes) and at the indoor meeting in Birmingham (8:35.14), she had recently stalked her national record of 8:32.47 minutes.
"I didn't know where I stood"
"Koko" Klosterhalfen wasn't at all sure whether she would start the indoor season in top form. After all, the second of the 2019 Indoor European Championships over 3000 meters started one day after a four-week training stay in Iten, Kenya, in Dortmund. "I didn't even know where I stood," she reported after the abrupt change from the street to the indoor track.
In the "Home of Champions", as the small town around 300 kilometers from Nairobi is called, at an altitude of 2400 meters, she not only trained hard. "It's a very special place. The best train there, which gives you even more self-confidence," said Klosterhalfen. "When you see how easy and beautiful the Kenyans run, it gives you a good feeling." And on Instagram, Klosterhalfen reported to her 114,000 followers about "a month full of love for running, joy, tears, lots of new people and good memories!"
In Kenya she worked a lot on speed "to find the fast leg again". She wants to use the start at the European Indoor Championships to get a feel for the tactics in a championship race again. "I need that for the summer and I hope that I will be able to do all the routes with my old strength," said the track and field athlete from Bayer Leverkusen, who mostly trains in Portland, Oregon. She holds the German outdoor records over 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meters.
Strong half marathon debut
"I hope that she will continue to stabilize and that things will continue for her on a global scale," said head coach Annett Stein. "She recently showed in her first half marathon what kind of performance range it can take over a very long distance." In October 2022, Klosterhalfen ran a strong 1:05:41 hours on his debut in Valencia. "The half marathon is still far away, I'll definitely get there again because I love running so much," said Klosterhalfen. Even the 10,000 meters she "does not want to run that often".
After two years of ups and downs, Klosterhalfen wishes to stay healthy until the World Championships in August in Budapest. She started the 2021 Olympic year with a pelvic injury and finished eighth in the 10,000 meters at the Tokyo Games. In 2022, she suffered a thigh injury after a fall and dropped out at the World Cup in Eugene in the USA weakened by a corona disease in the run-up - but was then able to celebrate the EM gold in Munich.
The passion with which Klosterhalfen loves running was shown when planning her 26th birthday on February 18: Instead of partying, she celebrated her happy day at the indoor title fights in Dortmund. And instead of cake and gifts, she wished her parents would bring the electric treadmill from the garage to the apartment: "It was just too cold for me in the garage."