LATEST: What are you waiting for?! Watch the 3-minute video then come and join us!
24 Sep 2017 – Great Ethiopian Runners, ahoy! Two months to go until Africa’s greatest road race! Start now: sign up with us! We will customise a programme to suit you, WHATEVER your level! Find out more on our Events page.
10 Sep 2017 – Happy Pwagme! Ethiopia’s own 13th month, just six days long. Happy New Year 2010! And happy Mary Keitany; happy Mo Farah! His quote after winning Great North Run (Newcastle-Tyneside, UK) for the 4th time today? ‘I’m looking forward to sticky toffee pudding and apple pie’.
5 SEP 2017 – Taking to the altitude, mother inspires daughter inspires friends. Great work at 2,600m, Melissa!
4 SEP 2017 – Yesterday was time for ‘Walk Africa’ once again! 14km along Entoto Ridge at 3,100m altitude. Well done, all.
3 SEP 2017 – Hail the trail! It’s all going down in Jinja, Uganda in a few weeks.
27 AUG 2017 – Here’s an interview with Team GB runner and coach Shaun Dixon after two weeks’ training with us, in the lead-up to his sub-2h20 attempt at Eindhoven Marathon:
What made you choose Ethiopia?
I looked into various altitude training options. Addis was (i) highly recommended to me by two separate friends, (ii) it coincided with an Ethiopian Airlines plane change (to a friend’s wedding in Malawi), and (iii) it is much more accessible than, say, Iten in Kenya or anywhere in Uganda. So it made perfect sense.
What were your expectations beforehand?
There is plenty of caution within the running community about the effects of altitude, that it ‘doesn’t work for everyone.’ Of course, for the vast majority, the benefits are remarkable. For me though, with Ethiopia’s wealth of sub-2h15 runners, I was most worried that the training might feel very elite and challenging, and that I’d struggle with the altitude and keeping up.
That anxiety is very common among our visitors before they arrive (and actually dispel the myth for themselves!) What things surprised you about your experience in Addis, and what new things have you learned?
GROUP TRAINING AT ALTITUDE: I was amazed to find that I didn’t struggle at all with the altitude. I was cautious for the first two days, and I fitted right into it. August is a muddy time of year, but we’ve still trained twice a day and I’ve felt really good. In terms of training in a group with Ethiopian runners, I quickly saw that there is huge variety in ability here – it’s not only the top-flight guys we read about internationally. And, of course, even the super-elites are only human! Having a group to try and stick with has taken me out of my comfort zone but it’s been reassuring and motivating to know that I could keep up and be an active part of the sessions with them. Best of all is their willingness to welcome you to join them. My assumptions from seeing interviews was that Ethiopian athletes are very shy and quiet, but in fact they are really outgoing and welcoming.
ENJOYING THE UNEXPECTED: In Ethiopia the act of running itself is more important and more of a focus than total attachment to a training plan or other elements common to more structured Western training. The varied terrain, as well as uncertainty about a session sometimes – How muddy or undulating will it be? Will we be allowed onto the National Stadium track at 6am?! – threw up uncertainties, but this was was liberating and pure.
PUTTING TECHNOLOGY INTO CONTEXT: Training in Europe is often more structured and ‘mapped out’, so it is easy to stress if you miss a workout or don’t hit certain targets, as you tend to push yourself a lot against the set parameters of pace-per-mile, GPS and so on. In Ethiopia there is much less focus on specifics. You can’t worry too much about pace or distance when you’re running on such varied terrain – skipping over rocks, charging along forest paths and across meadows… Nobody really seems to start or stop their watch here, and split times seem irrelevant compared to back home. Technology is of course more and more accessible but it’s easy to become too reliant on it. The very physical training I’ve done here has allowed me to run hard without tying myself to any preset targets or parameters. In my own coaching at Let’s Get Running I always emphasise the need to try and run by effort and feel, and I am now thinking of even more new ways to encourage runners to be responsive to their bodies and surroundings.
FOOD: The diet has been really varied and interesting. New foods I’ve enjoyed included fresh injera, Ethiopian porridge [genfo] and amazing hotbreads cooked by Qonjit chez Run Africa [difo dabbo, anebabero and ambesha]. Also, by having hardly any meat or dairy – we chose to follow to the Ethiopian Orthodox August fast – I was pleased to shed a bit of weight and tone up even more!
Well, good luck in Eindhoven in October!
26 AUG 2017 – Some thoughts on the last drama-filled split seconds of Mo Farah’s track career (Zurich Diamond League 5000m):
• It is quite possible that Muktar Edris might have won if not pushed forward by Chelimo. Edris is definitely moving fastest about 10m out, but he dips for the line much too early and so is just beginning to slow and is already off balance when pushed.
• Yomif Kejelcha would have been in much stronger contention if not cut off by Edris 100m out – see how Yomif nudges Edris’ back on the final curve.
• Solomon Barega is a name we can expect to hear a lot more of in future. He was right there in 4th, and is young.
• The cultural appropriateness of Steve Cram’s ‘falling-at-his-feet’ comment is questionable, especially from both an East African and a Muslim perspective, but such is the spontaneity of commentary. Clip here
25 AUG 2017 – Who is this guy?!
24 AUG 2017 – New training season starts tomorrow for Run Africa AC ! Here are some throwback photos from Hawasa Half Marathon back in April. Can’t wait for more sunshine!
19 AUG 2017 – ‘If time allows I take a full 2 months off after a marathon.’ Sensible advice from Sisay Lemma, 2h05 runner and Warsaw, Vienna and Frankfurt victor.
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