When you run the marathon, you run against the distance, not against the other runners and not against the time.
Once you have commitment, you need the discipline and hard work to get you there.
I have to change a lot of things before I become a good marathon runner.
You need three things to win: discipline, hard work and, before everything maybe, commitment. No one will make it without those three. Sport teaches you that.
For me a day without training is like a day without eating.
In the rainy season, sometimes to get to the first lesson we had to run really quick, because we had to cross the river to school and we'd have to go up and down the bank to find a place to cross because there is no bridge.
The marathon always starts after 30K. That's where the problems start. You start without any problems, without any pain. All the pain comes after 30K. Sometimes, it's possible to have pain even in the finger.
In the marathon a crazy athlete can just keep pushing from the beginning, at a championship you don't need a time just to win the race.
If your body is damaged, wounded, it can be fixed, but if inside, mentally, you are wounded you cannot fix it, it's hard.
First, do enough training. Then believe in yourself and say: I can do it. Tomorrow is my day. And then say: the person in front of me, he is just a human being as well; he has two legs, I have two legs, that is all. That is mentally how you prepare.
I'm lucky. The best possible place in the world for training is Addis Ababa, so I am home all the time except when I am racing. I like to be there, near my family, my kids, also the real estate business I run with my wife.
When I had no shoes I was comfortable - I used to run barefoot. When I wore shoes it was difficult. To run in shoes was ok, but at the beginning of my career it was hard.
I feel a social responsibility. We need to open people's eyes. There is a lack of education in Ethiopia.
I will always listen to my coaches. But first I listen to my body. If what they tell me suits my body, great. If my body doesn't feel good with what they say, then always my body comes first.
When you promise something, you must fulfill it.
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