Last July I was busy preparing for my first marathon and I had scheduled a four night stopover in Addis Ababa on my trip home from Tanzania. As my running buddies joked about me getting training tips from the Ethiopians I decided to Google "Running camp Addis Ababa". Top of the search results came YaYa Athletics Village owned by a famous Ethiopian runner, Haile Gebrselassie. Another Google search and I learned why exactly this man is considered a legend:
In the slideshow above you can see a gym, athletics track, swimming pool, walkways and if you look closely you can see outdoor exercise and circuit areas.
Another hotel ammenity is the provision of a running buddy. You just tell reception what time you would like to go for a run and a running coach will meet you at reception to guide you. This is a free service.
At 12 noon after a healthy buffet breakfast I met my running buddy at reception. After running with Mo Farah during his three month stay, I'm sure I was a bit of a challenge! However he was very patient, especially when the altitude hit me 30 minutes into the run. This "high altitude" training centre is 2,700m above sea level and I was told as I tried to catch my breath that usually athletes acclimatise for at least a week before attempting a short run!
Nonetheless it's all about the photo and I can officially say I trained in Haile Gebrselassie's training camp.
A major part of an athletes training is of course the food. Each meal had a large buffet full of fresh wholesome food. At night dinner was concluded with traditional coffee and snacks of popcorn.
- Drink Milk
- I'm not very fast
- Drink Milk
- No need for fancy stretches at the start of a run, just go
- Finally, drink lots of milk.