mike runs away from home

A little boy becomes a little man.

First things fi…

First things first…

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Luckily, the photo isn’t at a high enough resolution to read the respective speeds on the treadmill dials, but I think the relative amounts of blurring of our legs gives away the fact that he’s running a bit faster than I am!

Last time I met Haile, it was a slightly rushed affair, as we were trying to get vests signed without interrupting his training too much. For some reason, it didn’t occur to me to spend the £2 it costs to train in his gym, and actually train alongside him. Luckily, Anthony (the latest farenji visitor to the camp) suggested it, and I actually got to run alongside the great man for twenty minutes. I must thank modern technology for this, as I doubt I could have stayed with him (he was running at 19.7 km/h) for that long without our being on treadmills! I was a bit surprised that he didn’t run for longer, but then he is racing Patrick Makau at the weekend in Manchester, so perhaps he was saving himself for that. I think, in fact, that he spent less time in the gym than anyone else – after the treadmill he did a few weights, cycled for five minutes and marched out. I suspect his business interests occupy most of his time now, as he owns the whole of the six-storey building which houses the gym, is the sole importer of Hyundai cars to Ethiopia, and set up the first cinema in Addis amongst numerous other developments. He seems to be the exception to the rule that all the athletes here spend their time resting in between training sessions!

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The Ethiopian National Stadium, venue for the National Championships.

Last weekend saw the Ethiopian National Championships, and we finally managed to find out the time of the 10,000m. Unfortunately, I forgot to apply my usual rule of adding two hours to any time you are told here, and both Anthony and I got pretty sunburned as a result. Whilst this was a minor irritation for us, it must have been a major one for the runners, who had to run in the heat of the day instead of the cool of the morning. It didn’t stop them taking off at breakneck speed though, and by the half way point there were more runners in the athletes’ tent than there were left on the track. Unlike in the UK, where people have an idea of what sort of time they will run and pace themselves accordingly in order to be able to finish, there is no shame in dropping out of a race here. The crowd is of the same opinion as the athletes – if you’re not going to win, you might as well stop. The race was eventually won in a shade over twenty-nine minutes, with a last lap of fifty-eight seconds, and those that had remained in the race (around twenty runners) all finished in less than thirty minutes. The fact that these included one athlete wearing a polo shirt, football shorts and a pair of pink sandals should probably have put those who failed to finish to shame!

The Olympic trials for Ethiopian 10,000m runners will be held in Hengelo, with the Kenyan trials at the Prefontaine Classic in America. Whilst there is a pre-trial trial in Kenya, to select those who will travel to the States, the winner of the Ethiopian National Championships probably won’t be able to compete in his Olympic trial. All of the well-established athletes – those with agents capable of sending them to big races at sea-level – are exempt from running the National Championships, so that it turns into a kind of B race (albeit with a winning time equivalent to a twenty-seven minute 10km at sea-level!) The fact that the National Champion doesn’t even get a chance to run in the Olympics here puts into perspective how difficult it is to make the Ethiopian team. Gudisa pointed out that most of those who competed in the race we watched could run what he calls the ‘farenji’ qualifying time, but that they don’t stand a chance with the more stringent ‘habesha’ (Ethiopian) times demanded by the federation here.

I’ve now got one week to go before I fly back to the UK. I’ll be training hard until Saturday, before having an easier week to get ready for the London 10km. I’ve had 11 weeks of good, consistent training, but I haven’t raced at all whilst I’ve been here. Hopefully an easier week will put a little bit of zip back into my legs, and I’ll be able to remember how to race back at home!

Yesterday I wen…

Yesterday I went running in the most severe storm I’ve ever seen. The belg rains seemed to have finished, so I thought that the dark clouds could only be holding the remnants of what the rainy season had to offer. When people warned me on my way out that ‘rain is coming’ I assured them that I did most of my training in Scotland and had therefore had plenty of experience of rain. What I lacked experience of, though, was running in rain that turns the whole road into a river to the extent where all the traffic has to stop. I managed to keep going for about twenty-five minutes, past people sheltering in buildings and shouting encouragement. ‘Izo ambessa’ is definitely my favourite form of encouragement – it means ‘keep going, lion.’ When the rain turned into hailstones so big I thought they were going to leave bruises – and which prevented me from seeing where I was going – I decided that enough was enough, and managed to shelter in the tin house of one of the construction site guards. We sat shivering and watching the storm for about twenty minutes as hailstones pinballed through the door, commenting on the severity of the storm in English and Amharic and agreeing with each other in spite of not being entirely sure what the other was saying, until it abated enough for me to get home. I hope the rainy season disappears for good soon, because storms like this also have a tendency to cut off the electricity for a couple of days. I’m back to playing the game of danger treadmill in the evenings, when I run for about forty-five minutes hoping a power cut isn’t going to send me flying!

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The sky before I went running. Perhaps I should have realised a storm was coming…

On Tuesday morning we trained in Sululta, a flat grassy plain where lots of the top athletes run, and we chatted to a big group of runners when they’d finished their session. One of the things I’ve noticed is that apart from the very top runners, everyone here runs in old racing flats, donated from runners abroad. If you go to running shops here, you realise that all of the new shoes have been sold to the shop by athletes who get them from agents or shoe companies. A lot of them are even signed by the runners, and the clothing is sold in terms of which year it came out and which athlete it was sent to. The runners here are able to run in shoes that were designed to be lightweight and not particularly supportive in the first place, and which have then been worn by someone else until what little cushioning they had has disappeared, without seeming to ever get injured. I imagine this would probably be of interest to ‘bare-foot running’ enthusiasts in England. For the uninitiated, there has been a theory going round for the last couple of years (mainly due to a book called ‘Born to Run’ by a Men’s Health journalist) which says that running in plush, cushioned running shoes causes injuries by stopping the foot from working naturally and encouraging people to strike the ground with their heel.

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A typical pair of trainers in Bekoji, which have become a lot more ‘minimal’ than when they started! For anyone in Edinburgh, I’m going to be collecting up used running shoes in Run 4 It and sending them to Bekoji when I get back.

Most proponents of bare-foot running look to statistics about American distance runners back in the ‘70s, when everyone ran in similar shoes to those worn by Ethiopians now – low profile with little cushioning – and there were less injuries. What people fail to remember, though, is that – again like Ethiopia today – people who ran were all runners, in the sense that they took running seriously and trained hard. If you look at results from races back then you notice that there were far fewer participants, but that in a 10-mile race there wouldn’t be many people running slower than 60 minutes. More cushioned shoes came as a response to people who weren’t necessarily particularly athletic, or who weighed more than about 10 stone, starting to run in the ‘jogging boom’. You can say what you like about Nike, but they’re pretty good at reacting to the market. It takes a certain kind of runner to be able to run in extremely lightweight shoes. If you watch an Ethiopian run in Sululta in running shoes, and then watch a thirteen-stone Scot (as I’ve done many times) hobble along the canal in Edinburgh with an expensive pair of ‘minimal’ gloves on their feet, it’ll be pretty clear which one looks the most ‘natural.’

Hopefully over the next three days I’ll be watching a bit of the National Athletics Championships here, although it’s proving pretty difficult to find out when the events are actually taking place. Mersha coaches a few athletes who are running in the 10,000m, and he seems to think the race is on Saturday morning, but when we called the athletes themselves they didn’t know, and according to Binyem, who’s in charge of the Stadium, the race is scheduled for today. I can’t imagine preparing for a championship race (especially one which is likely to be won in 28 minutes at 2,400m above sea-level!) without knowing when the race is actually going to happen. I suppose the athletes’ lack of concern shows that they’re relaxed, at least. If I manage to actually get to the Stadium at the right time for a race, I’ll try to get some photos and videos up on the blog.

I think last week was the biggest training week, in terms of overall mileage, I’ve ever done. As most of the running here is off-road, and slightly slower than at sea level, it’s probably quite a good time to experiment with running slightly more volume, and so far I feel fine. As I’m only working three days a week I also get to sleep during the day quite a lot, which must help with coping with the training! I’ve got two weeks of training left now before I head to London to run the British 10km Championships. Gudisa and Mersha have started talking about the race a lot – I think they’re more excited about it than I am. My favourite piece of advice from Gudisa is ‘When you run the race, just remember that you will not die. So you have to run really very hard!’ Mersha is getting more and more obsessed with me recovering between training – he wants me to stop working for the last two weeks of my trip and to spend all of my time between training sessions asleep. He keeps repeating the mantra ‘no recovery, no improvement.’ He’s right, of course, but there are limits to how much rest you can deal with. When I told him I wanted to run as close to 30 minutes as possible, he took me aside and quietly told me that I ‘must’ run 29 minutes. He told me so solemnly I almost believed it was possible, if only to avoid his disappointment, although it seems a bit of a major jump from my previous best. My favourite prediction for what it’ll be like to race back at sea level, though, comes from an old Rasta from the community called ‘Jamaica’ in Shashemani, who I met in a café the other day. He reckoned that ‘when you go home, man, breathin’ gon’ be easy. You gon’ mash up that competition man.’ From Richard’s experience (he was here training with me at the beginning of the trip), the first race after going back wasn’t as good as the second, after another week at sea level. That would suit me fine, as I’d love to run really well at the Blaydon race on the 9th of June. There aren’t many races with accompanying songs that are sung by 50,000 people every Saturday. Last week’s training is below:

Sunday April 29th 14 miles easy.

Monday April 30th AM – 9 miles easy. PM – 5 miles steady.

Tuesday May 1st AM – 14 x 1 minute with 2 minutes recovery.

Wednesday May 2nd AM – 8.5 miles easy. PM – 6.5 miles steady. Felt really good.

Thursday May 3rd AM – 2 sets of 3 x 3 minutes in Sendafa, followed by 10 minutes of random sprinting. PM – 5.5 miles steady.

Friday May 4th AM – 7 miles easy. PM – 6 miles steady. Tired!

Saturday May 5th AM – 20 minutes of continuous hill sprints. PM – 6 miles steady.

Total – 93 miles.

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Sendafa is a pretty popular place to sell milk – it is seen as an important ingredient for recovering from training, so most of the athletes will stop to buy some on their way home, and given Mersha’s obsession with me being well rested, I’m usually forced to drink at least a litre after each session.

On Wednesday ni…

On Wednesday night I went to a screening of ‘The Town of Runners’ with Gudisa and Edau, another runner in our training group who is from Bekoji, where the film is set. The film follows two girls as they try to make it as athletes, as well as giving a profile of coach Sentayu and a great impression of the town itself. The film is narrated by Biruk, who we met whilst we were in Bekoji, from his kiosk on the town’s ‘main’ (only) street. His commentary on life in the town, and on the gradual modernisation it is undergoing at the hands of the Chinese, is fantastic. When a mobile phone mast is built next to his kiosk he looks up at it wryly and says ‘I don’t think it will catch on.’ This was two years ago. Today, pretty much everyone in Ethiopia has a mobile, and I saw Biruk fiddling with his at the film screening on Wednesday.

Coach Sentayu comments at one stage in the film that it is impossible to tell which of the runners will turn out to be the best at a young age. Unfortunately, it seems to have turned out that the two he picked out as the most promising as thirteen year olds – the stars of the film – have struggled since. Like a lot of the young athletes who graduate from the coach’s group to the regional development camps, both were forced to drop out of school to pursue a running career that will only be successful for the exceptional few. The camps, unveiled with great fanfare a couple of years ago, turn out to be hugely disappointing. The girls are sent to opposite sides of the country, and faced with sharing unfurnished rooms with 5 or six other girls and, at times, having to go hungry because of dwindling food budgets. If you add to this the fact that the residents of the towns to which they are sent react with bitterness – one comments that the town could have spent the money on a road instead of an athletics camp – you realise that the romantic vision of young Ethiopians going straight from running to school through sun-streaked fields to Olympic glory is a far cry from the truth.

The other film I’ve seen so far at the festival is a documentary called ‘Salam Rugby’, about young Muslim women trying to play rugby in defiance of Ahmedinjad’s repressive regime in Iran. In spite of all of Seb Coe’s insistences to the contrary, and high-quality facilities all over the country, sports participation is still in sharp decline in Britain. It’s a shame that young people seem to lack the drive that those faced with far greater difficulties have in abundance. Perhaps having the extra obstacles actually acts as a catalyst to success. I thought it was funny that in ‘Town of Runners’, the only non-Amharic voices were Geordie ones – Steve Cram and Brendan Foster commenting on the clips of all the Bekoji-born World and Olympic champions on their way to glory. I’m not about to compare the hardship of living in the North East with growing up in a training camp in rural Ethiopia, but perhaps it had something to do with the work ethic all the great runners that the North East has produced have shown.

I’m trying to get as close to 100 miles for this week as possible – mainly due to the fact that having basically written that the reason for the decline in the standard of British distance running was the lack of hard training I should probably walk the walk (or run the run). As of Friday morning, I can observe that running an average of 14 miles a day is hard work, especially when training takes place at 5.30am three days a week.

I’ve also had to spend a decent portion of this week in Ethiopian Immigration trying to extend my visa. The first day I queued from 9.30 until 11.30 to be told that the only woman that works in the office was going for a two-hour lunch break. At this point I’d had enough. The second day I made it to the front of this first queue to be told to ‘go to number 77’, which sounded like some sort of Kafkaesque side-chamber but turned out to be another queue. Being British, I like queuing. There are plenty of aspects of British culture that I don’t like, but queuing seems to be the fairest way of dealing with situations where everyone thinks their time is more valuable than anyone else’s. Ironically (given my experience of visa offices in India), the only other queue-enthusiast in the office was an Indian guy, who asked me to save his place whilst he stood in front of the woman warding off anyone who tried to walk straight to the front. When I managed to get to the front of the ‘77’ queue, I was told I needed a letter of recommendation from the Climate Change Forum. Four hours well wasted – I’ll be back on Monday. At least as a foreigner I escaped the worst of the bureaucracy – if you’re Ethiopian and want to apply for a passport it involves a four day queue to obtain an appointment for five months time. A thriving portion of the Ethiopian economy seems to be made up of professional queuers operating outside immigration. Perhaps it’s the ideal job for an Englishman.

Apart from my attempt to run 100 miles this week leading to general tiredness, training is going better than at any other point of my trip. I’m no longer aware of being at altitude at all, and I’m able to run more or less the pace I would run at sea level. The other runners in the group are running a half-marathon this week, and as a sign of things getting serious before the race, coach Mersha insisted that we all stop at a farm on the way back from training today to drink fresh-from-the-cow milk. I managed to persuade him that it was probably safer if I didn’t, and Gudisa and I were allowed to take ours home. We boiled it with some ‘wush-wush’ (go-faster) tea and loads of sugar to make a kind of high-energy chai, which Gudisa says the Kenyans drank a lot of when he was there. Hopefully it’ll have the effect Mersha wants it to. He was quite keen on me running the race, but as it’s at 1,800m above sea level and Gudisa says if he runs an hour and four minutes he’ll be outside the top fifty, I think I’ll delay my half marathon debut to the Great North Run in September.

The belg rains, which have turned our forest into a bit of a mud bath, have finally stopped. This is a big boost to injury prevention, both from the point of view of not slipping on the mud, and the fact that I was doing some running on the treadmill when it was raining, and this tends to be when the electricity cuts out most frequently. I don’t know what happens when you’re running on a treadmill that suddenly goes from 15km/ph to zero whilst the lights simultaneously turn off, and I’m hoping I won’t have to find out now!

The radio stati…

The radio station to which the majority of the city’s minibuses are tuned has started to remind everyone of Ethiopia’s expectations at least several times per hour. I hope Keninisa Bekele isn’t listening, or he’ll be a nervous wreck weeks before the Olympic 10,000m starts. Every fifteen minutes or so, the commentary from the 10,000m final in Beijing is played, with the announcer describing Bekele kicking away from Zersennay Tadesse of Eritrea with excitement in his voice but also with a clear sense that it was the inevitable outcome of the contest. In spite of two years of injury problems, Ethiopians can still only foresee one outcome for the London games. I haven’t even heard Mo Farah’s name mentioned.

I went to watch the London marathon in a hotel in town (until a power-cut at twenty three miles), and as everywhere else was showing football, the bar was full of athletes. Among them was Imane Merga, along with several other Ethiopian Olympic hopefuls and the Israeli Olympic marathon team (all of Ethiopian origin following a big emigration of Ethiopian Jews in the ‘90s). You would have thought that this group would have understood how difficult it is to perform on such a level, but the expectations they held for the Ethiopian athletes were just as high as those of the general public. Even before the power-cut, most of them had lost interest at the point when Feyisa Lilesa was dropped, in spite of the fact he had been running at 2.04 pace whilst desperately trying to hang on to Wilson Kipsang. ‘Lilesa has stopped,’ Gudisa told me, which meant that he’d slowed down to around 2.07 pace and would still finish in the top ten.

To put this into perspective, Lilesa finished over a mile in front of the first British man, but still won’t stand a chance of getting into the Ethiopian Olympic team. I was asked this morning at training who was going to be running for Britain, and had to admit that we have only one athlete with the Olympic ‘A’ standard whilst Kenya have over three-hundred (and counting). No disrespect to Dave Webb (he’s run a faster marathon than I have), but Britain’s marathon squad must be the only one that contains a woman (Paula Radcliffe) with a faster time than one of the male team members.

Attempts to explain the ever-declining standard of men’s distance running have been made for years now, but I think the basic reason is a shift in the culture of running in Britain. If you widen the base of a pyramid, its peak is supposed to get higher – so the huge increase in mass-participation running should, theoretically, improve the performance of the more serious runners. I don’t know how people jogging round marathons in four hour is really going to help anyone to run fast though, and it has skewed the perception of what represents a fast time in Britain. I ran a 10km tempo run this morning in thirty-three minutes, which I was quite pleased with given the altitude, and Gudisa just wrinkled his brow and said ‘it’s still a woman’s time, though.’ This attitude is clearly pretty helpful when it comes to trying to improve – and is probably far closer to that held by the runners in the heyday of British distance running to the attitude prevailing now. Altitude and genetics make a difference, of course. But having a large group of people training incredibly hard is probably more important.

The financial incentive to run well is clearly massive here, too. Most club runners aren’t paid much (as I’ve mentioned before the basic salary is about £37 per month), but running is their job. One of the runners in our group, Indale, recently won around £1,000 for 9th at the Rome marathon, which represents roughly two years of his salary. Obviously if the rewards were quite that high in the UK it would have some effect on performance, although the likes of Brendan Foster, Charlie Spedding and Steve Jones managed to achieve what they did whilst working ‘proper’ jobs, so it can’t be overly decisive.

The pressure that most of the athletes here are under explains why our coach, Mersha, seems almost personally affronted if I fail to run the times he wants me to in training. He keeps telling me that the reason I can’t run faster here is psychological rather than the simple physiological concern of a lack of oxygen. He introduced me to the National Team coach, who asked me if I was going to try to run the Olympic qualifying time for 10,000m, and then seemed offended when I laughed at the idea. He said I just needed to spend a bit more time in Ethiopia. This attitude (whilst I’m obviously fairly unlikely to run three minutes faster for 10km when I get back to the UK) can’t hurt for athletes here either. Mersha’s favourite phrase is ‘dramatic transformation.’ It’s pretty difficult to judge progress here given the altitude, but we’ll find out if his plan has worked in the British 10km championships in London on the 27th of May.

Training has gone pretty well this week, with the 10km tempo run faster than anything I’ve done so far. I also had a decent track session on Thursday morning, in spite of the fact that I had to train at 6am before the National team started and had ended up drinking with a group of Rastafarians I’ve met until pretty late the night before. They’re all of Jamaican origin but have moved here to relax, play music and ‘just live.’ I can’t think of many places in the world better for doing this (or many where you could afford to!) Between them and the fact that beers cost 30p here, I always end up having quite a lot to drink at the bar round the corner from the flat. The best beer is called ‘meta’ (it’s really conscious of itself as a beer), and the barman tends to bring you a fresh one whenever you’ve nearly run out. He rushes round the tables in a long white coat, like a doctor prescribing drinks, and reminding people to ‘techawot,’ a word that lacks an English equivalent but basically means something along the lines of ‘play’ or ‘drink and relax.’ It’s also used whenever there’s a silence in conversations, when it becomes the equivalent of the English ‘this is awkward, say something.’ I’ve been put on the spot like this quite a few times since I’ve been here in spite of the fact that my Amharic is generally insufficient to come up with a particularly interesting response.

The last couple of week’s training:

Sunday April 15th 12 miles, hard as Ambo is incredibly hilly.

Monday April 16th AM – 5 miles steady. PM – 8 x 2 minutes on grass.

Tuesday April 17th AM – 9 miles, again very hard with the hills. PM – Easy 5 miles back in Addis.

Wednesday April 18th AM – 7 miles easy. PM – 5 miles easy. Very muddy.

Thursday April 19th AM – 4 miles easy. PM 2 sets of 5 x 300m with one minute recovery and a lap jog between sets.

Friday April 20th AM – 8 miles easy. Tired. PM – 5 miles steady. Felt good.

Saturday April 21st AM – 10km tempo run, uphill and into the wind. Tough. PM – 4.5 miles easy.

Total – 89 miles.

Sunday April 22nd 12 miles easy. Tired today.

Monday April 23rd AM – 4,800m on track, 3 min rest, 2,800m. A strange session, but a good one. PM – 5 miles on treadmill.

Tuesday April 24th AM – 4 miles easy. PM – 6 miles on treadmill.

Wednesday April 25th 4 miles easy.

Thursday April 26th AM -1km, 600m, 1km, 600m, 1km, 600m on track with 200m jog recovery. PM – 5 miles easy.

Friday April 27th AM – 8 miles easy. PM – 5 miles easy. Felt good

Saturday April 28th 10km tempo run. Best run so far.

Total – 73.5 miles.

I’ve had a few requests for a photo of the the freshly streamlined me, so:

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This week I’m…

This week I’m going to try to bow to the pressure to write about something other than running for part of the post. As Brendan Foster put it, ‘sitting around waiting for your red blood cells to multiply isn’t the most fascinating pastime’ and I’m sure reading about altitude training can be less interesting than actually doing it!

Whilst I’ve been here I’ve been working for an NGO called the Climate Change Forum to get some experience in the sector before studying International Development next year. The work has been fairly varied so far – from redesigning parts of their branding and website to reading and summarising reports written in English. This aspect of the job has given me a preview of the density of some of the documents produced by the UN and the World Bank – I’ll have more of that to look forward to next year! I’ll hopefully be visiting a couple of their projects in more rural areas soon to take photos, and apparently I’m in charge of filming ‘Earth Day’ in mid-April. My Amharic is now at the level where I can confidently negotiate the three stages of public transport necessary to get to the office – a ‘Bajaj’ similar to the motorised rickshaws in India and two ‘taxis’, which are really minibuses that operate informally and leave whenever they’re full. These can be quite confusing as they are liable to change their route based on the consensus of those inside! I’m a regular in one of the cafés near work now, where they do a four shot macchiato for about 20p. I’ve been to major coffee producing countries before where they export all the good stuff and all you can get is Nescafe, so the café culture here has come as a welcome surprise.

This afternoon Gudisa and I went to the café down the road where the owner introduced us to a ‘famous Kenyan runner’. This turned out to be a miscommunication – he was Sudanese and not a runner, which was fairly apparent by his corpulent appearance – but rather Abubaker Kaki’s (1.42 for 800m, silver medallist in the 2011 World Championhips) coach. He chastised us for sitting down whilst we were ‘recovering’ from training, as apparently this puts undue strain on the hamstrings and we should have been at home lying down. I’m pretty certain I would go crazy if I spent the 21 hours a day I don’t spend training horizontal though! It does seem to be the way all of the club runners here live, however, as none of them have other jobs. They are paid around 1,000 birr a month by their teams, which is about £37 or roughly equivalent to the amount you can make breaking rocks at the roadside for nine hours a day. I know which job I’d rather do given the choice!

I’m more or less acclimatised now as far as I can tell. The conversion for altitude at 2,400m is supposed to be around 25 seconds per mile, and I did a 5 mile tempo run today in 27 minutes, which should equate to around 24.55 or approximately what I’d expect to run at sea level. We did the run about an hour away from the centre of town in Sabata, on a newly laid road that was perfect for running. Accordingly, there were at least 500 runners from another 20 teams there, which made it feel a bit like turning up for a race (and one where I’d almost certainly finish pretty close to the back!)

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One of many groups flying past.

The photo below is of a coach talking to a group that includes Gebre Gebremariam and several other sub-60 minute half marathon runners. When he’d finished his little speech he got a round of applause from the athletes, who were sitting around him, cross-legged and in silence, like primary school children. I imagine there’d be plenty of coaches in the UK who’d gladly swap their group for his!

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Finally, for the few people interested, here’s the training I’ve done in the past two weeks:

Sunday 11th – AM 8 miles steady. PM – 4 miles steady

Monday 12th – AM 7 miles steady. PM – 4 miles easy

Tuesday 13th – AM 16 miles, easy pace but incredibly tough on Entoto.

Wednesday 14th – AM  7 miles steady. PM – 4 miles steady

Thursday 15th – AM  Approx 3km (4 mins rec), 3 x 1km (2 mins rec) on unmeasured dirt track. PM – 4 miles easy

Friday 16th – AM  8 miles steady. PM – 4.5 miles steady

Saturday 17th – AM 12 x 40 second hill reps, jog recovery. Felt ok, repetitions sufficiently short not to be overly effected by altitude! PM – 4 miles easy

Total – 85 miles.

Sunday 18th  – AM 13.5 miles steady

Monday 19th – AM 8.5 miles steady. PM – Missed session to meet Haile!

Tuesday 20th – AM 8 x 1km on track (90 seconds recovery). PM – 6 miles steady

Wednesday 21st – AM 9 miles steady PM – 4 miles easy

Thursday 22nd – AM 11.5 miles acceleration run in forest. Felt good. PM – 4 miles easy

Friday 23rd – AM 8 miles easy. PM – 4 miles easy

Saturday 24th – AM 8km tempo run on the road in 27 mins. PM – 4 miles easy

 

Total – 90 miles.