24 Jan 2018 – Coach Negash’s Thursday run! It’s time for a track session! Start off with 15 min warm up and then go for 3 x 2km runs. Between each run do 3-5 minutes recovery jog or walk. For the runs use 75-80% of your speed capacity. Don’t forget to cool down after. Stick with it, and enjoy the results!
23 Jan 2018 – It’s our fourth week preparing for Hawassa Half-Marathon and it’s time to step it up a notch. Join us for a 20km run today, nice and steady, just 55% of your speed effort. Warm up 15 minutes before and cool down 5 minutes after. Don’t be intimidated by the long run – it feels great afterwards.
22 Jan 2018 – Motivation for your Monday run! Running reduces risk of chronic disease since it’s one of those physical activities that everyone can fit into their weekly routine. As a regular physical activity, running is effective for avoiding chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and high blood fat levels. These health problems are often caused by improper body weight and composition, which regular running helps to regulate! Find out more about the health benefits of running here.
20 Jan 2018 – Melkam Timket to all Ethiopians! The whole city of Addis Ababa is dressed in festive green, gold and red this weekend and people in their best white church clothes decorated with colourful and golden embroidery. Everyone can join the extraordinary procession, where thousands accompany the priests with the Tabots from their home churches toward Jan Meda. Its breathtaking to see how places like the corner close to one of our training sites, Millennium Park, (which is usually in use by the goat-traders) and Jan Meda, a popular race course with our runners, become busy ceremonial sites and then back to normal overnight.
16 Jan 2018 – We are approaching Hawassa Half-Marathon full speed. Coach Negash says this Tuesday we should concentrate on working on endurance. Let’s go for a 1h 20 min run in a forest trail on a grassy or grovel road. Keep it nice and steady using 60% of speed capacity. Best places for this training are in Addis Ababa- run in Millennium Park, Entoto hills or Sululta.
15 Jan 2018 – Forget about Black Monday: the wedding season is here! In Ethiopia there is a convenient gap between Christmas and Easter fasting. Everyone who wants to have a meaty feast and celebrate in dry and sunny weather plans their wedding for January or February. This (not rare) shot is taken on one of our morning runs in Addis Ababa!
13 Jan 2018 – It’s great to mix up those terrains a bit! Coach Negash says its time to do an asphalt run. This Saturday we will do some uphill running. Run up 150m using 70% effort and come back down jogging at a slow pace. Just 10 laps and we are ready for the weekend! No better place than Millennium Park in Addis Ababa for this training. Come and run with us!
9 Jan 2018 – We are back! The Internet has been gone and we have been excited to celebrate Christmas in Ethiopia during the weekend, but its time to put your running shoes on again. Coach Negash´s Tuesday training sets out to run on a nice flat grovel road, or a bit hillier grass terrain. Warm up for 10 minutes before your 40 minute run and make sure you cool down after. Use about 70% of your speed capacity for this one. There are many excellent places for this training around Addis Ababa- there´s Legatafo, Legadadi, Jesus Church and of course Washa Mikael with its incredible views.
24 Dec 2017 – Here in Addis Ababa, Christmas is still two weeks away – 7 Jan! This incredible fasting beyaynetu is a platter of delicious vegan curries and vegetables. We don’t mind waiting for Christmas a bit longer!
23 Dec 2017 – 3rd on our list of ’10 Things to do In Addis Ababa’ takes us out of town. Wenchi Crater is THE perfect weekend getaway urbanity. Just 155km away from Addis Ababa and 3000m above sea level, the extinct volcano crater holds a beautiful lake. A 4km hike gives glimpses of farmland, hot mineral springs, waterfalls and beautiful valleys. Small wooden boats can take you to islands in the middle of the lake, one with an ancient monastery where you can meet the friendly priests. If you can, don’t rush! Stay overnight! The tranquil setting and hilltop views down to the emerald green water might just clear the mind, refresh the soul.
17 Dec 2017 – What did you have for your Sunday lunch? In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, you can often see little signs of Italian influence on food and drink- no need to look far for pasta, pizza or espresso macchiato. This here is an half-fasting pizza, topped with crated carrot. Yes, that’s right- carrot on pizza and it’s delicious! Try at home!
16 Dec 2017 – Saturday series “10 things to do in Addis Ababa”. The National Museum of Ethiopia is a must-see in Addis Ababa, mainly for its highlight, the world-famous, 3.2m-year-old remains of homo sapiens’ ancestor Lucy or ‘Dinqnesh’ in Amharic. The exhibition includes fossilized evidence of other amazing remains, as well as objects from ancient and medieval periods such as lavish royal and secular paraphernalia, traditional and modern Ethiopian art and ethnographic displays. English-speaking guides are available, and entrance sets you back just 10 birr.
15 Dec 2017 – When coming to train in Ethiopia, Yaya village, might be the perfect place to be. Set up by legendary athletes Haile Gebrselassie and Belay Welasha,the ‘village’ has all the facilities for professional athletes, complete with swimming pool, football field, outdoor cycling, horse riding, well-equipped indoor gym as well a spa. However, it’s the enthusiasm of athletes running on the chilly hilltops of Sululta, covered with the fresh smells of eucalyptus trees, that really enchants the visitors. Guillaume, who came to train with us, with an athlete guide Abdillahi, all smiles at Yaya village.
14 Dec 2017 – Coach Negash’s Thurday run: for your second weekday training run for only 45 minutes, but increase your speed to 60% effort. The main goal is to start increasing speed. In addition to your run, take 10 minutes to warm up before and 5 minutes to cool down after run. You can do additional stretching according to need and feel. Stick to completely flat terrain, for instance a nice meadow or if you’re around Addis Ababa, go to Sululta Satellite area, Sandafa or Dabi Giorgis.
12 Dec 2017 – Coach Negash’s Tuesday run: Start off you half-marathon training by going at 50% of your speed capacity. Try running for 1.5 hours, including your warm-up and cool-down. The main goal in the beginning is to improve breathing and endurance. Keep to relatively flat surfaces; forest trails and gravel roads are perfect terrains for zig-zagging. Addis Ababa offers excellent spots for this type of training – Millennium Park, Entoto Hills, Sululta… take you pick!
11 Dec 2017 – Hawassa Half-Marathon is exactly 2 months from today – perfect time to start your training. Over the next 8 week we are posting exclusive tips from our very own coach Negash 3 TIMES A WEEK! Amongst his many achievements, Coach Negash trained the Ethiopian National Team from 2001-2008 and is credited with bringing out 10,000m world record holder and Olympic gold medallist Almaz Ayana. Coach has customised his half-marathon tips for recreational runners, so stay tuned and keep running!
10 Dec 2017 – Sunday lunch, Ethiopian-fasting style. Millions of Ethiopians are currently part-taking in the 40-day Advent fasting period, leading up to the feast of Genna or Christmas Eve. This is celebrated according to local calendar on Tahsas 28 (7th of January). The morning meal is usually missed and no animal or dairy products are consumed. Since every Wednesday and Friday are fasting days, most restaurants have fasting menus all year round. O Come All Ye Vegans, life is so easy for you here!
9 Dec 2017 – Today we are starting a new Saturday Series “10 Things to Do in Addis Ababa”. First stop: Entoto Mariam Church. Mount Entoto is just less than an hour car-ride away from central Addis Ababa and takes you to the highest peak overlooking what some call the ‘capital’ of Africa. At a height of 3,200m and surrounded by Eucalyptus forest, you will find a beautiful church right next to the first palace of Emperor Menelik II. The palace was built upon his arrival from Ankober and its building is considered as the first step in founding Addis Ababa. In addition to breathtaking views to the city and Entoto Mariam Church, one can also visit a small museum containing personal belongings of Menelik II and Haile Selassie I, as well as other historical and religious artifacts.
7 Dec 2017 – “Running with you guys over the Addis hills inspired me and gave me a deeper affinity with running. I really hope to make it back someday. How are your trainers doing? I can’t remember the name of who I ran with in 2011 but he was a legend. I still think fondly of the experience.” Harry, from Bristol (UK), one of our first Run Africa runners from the early days.
5 Dec 2017 – Tuesday Training Tip by Coach Negash! Getting the shoes right is crucial for endurance and perfecting your performance. Coach Negash says that it all comes down to the terrain. Any running shoes can do the trick in a forest or meadow, but asphalt requires very light shoes with flat and thin soles to endure the impact. Find the ones that fit with your route and keep on running!
4 Dec 2017 – High altitude training is sometimes compared with legal doping because of the way it boosts oxygen-carrying red blood cells. We have just received the news from Daniel of achieving his personal best in Taipei 5km in Taiwan, in less than a week of training with us here in Ethiopia. Congratulations Daniel, keep the pace!
3 Dec 2017 – Sunday relaxation in Ethiopia is incomplete without coffee ceremony. Here, popcorn is a popular snack that goes well with a shot of freshly roasted Ethiopian coffee. The smell of coffee then infuses with a herbal incense called etan. That`s the way to get ready for the new week!
2 Dec 2017 – Things to do in Addis Ababa nr 1. While the landscapes of Ethiopia themselves pose incredible training opportunities, there are hundreds of cultural sites and practices that make training here all the more exciting. For instance, Washa Mikael Rock Hewn Church in Addis Ababa is situated in the middle of one of the most popular training areas for local elite athletes.
1 Dec 2017 – Shout out to GoodGym for bringing runners together with local communities and giving social value to running. A running flash mob of volunteers – way to set an example!
30 Nov 2017 – Throwback Thursday! Still riding the wave of Great Ethiopian Run ‘17 from Sunday. What a day! A great shot of Daniel with a true legend Haile Gebrselassie on a race day. We loved training with you this past week Daniel, til next time!
26 Nov 2017 – What a Great Ethiopian Run 2017! Congratulations to all who completed the race! RunAfrica is happy to have participated with runners from across the world- Austria, Ethiopia, Estonia, France, United Kingdom and Taiwan represented. As Olivier said:”From treadmill to Great Ethiopian Run”- after just three months training with us and completing his first ever race with excellent time of only 52 minutes. Keep running!
25 Nov 2017 – Just one day to go: Great Ethiopian Run 2017 is tomorrow! In Addis Ababa you don´t need to look far for inspiration and yesterday´s GER 2017 press conference was just a proof of that. From the left: Minister of Tourism Yohannes Tilahun, Olympic gold medallists Meseret Defar and Vivian Cheruiyot, a legendary Olympic and world champion Haile Gebrselassie, and a four-time world champion Lornah Kiplagat.
24 Nov 2017 – History in the making! We are excited and honoured to have participated in a conference where the groundwork for establishing Addis Ababa Athletes Association was laid. What an inspiration to work alongside great Ethiopian runners like Markos Genet and two-time Olympic medalist Sileshi Sihine!
23 Nov 2017 – 3 days to go! Great Ethiopian Run – can’t wait!
21 Nov 2017 – Danilo Balu (2h53), en route to Sao Paolo after Frankfurt Marathon, shares this Brazilian proverb: “The marathon can leave you ‘correndo como uma colher’ (running like a spoon)! With adequate training you can maintain form and run big, run strong correr grandão…” Obrigado, Danilo, hasta prontito amigo!
20 Nov 2017 – Just 5 dedicated altitude sessions and he has blazed his 10k time in Rome. 38.07! Very well done Yassin. See you back here again soon, no doubt!
9 Nov 2017 – A new and competitive Addis Ababa 7km race called ‘Begizé Nrot’ was announced with just 5 days’ notice, and we won the team cup! Ordem e Progresso!
5 Nov 2017 – As always, a chaotic start to a heroic race: the 2017 Addis Ababa Half Marathon. Well done to Getu and the Gizaws!
24 Oct 2017 – Interactive gender-awareness training for our club athletes. Positive role modelling ‘in the field’, requiring the men to exemplify equality and socially constructive behaviour. Thank you, Partnership for Change!
12 Oct 2017 – Our athlete guides modelling our latest clothing range.
5 Oct 2017 – 10.000m world record holder and Olympic gold medallist Almaz Ayana nominated for the 2017 Global Athlete of the Year award.
2 Oct 2017 – More joyful ‘Walk Africa’ exploits at Entoto. No thick-billed ravens seen this time, but plenty of hyena. Well done all!
1 Oct 2017 – Spring water of champions? BEKOJI! This small highland town has won more Olympic gold medals than India or Indonesia, in large part thanks to one man: Coach Sentayehu Eshetu.
25 Sep 2017 – On the athletes’ bus with sister club Moyo Sports. Tadesse: superb athlete turned bus driver. Fasil: superb athlete turned ladies’ pacer. Jemal: 5th in the Worlds 10,000m last month! ‘London is a very beautiful city!’
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.
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.
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.