Ethiopia: Yaya Journal Journal Running

Yaya Journal 7: Altitude

Living and training at 8,858 ft is no joke! Before coming to Ethiopia, numerous people in the running community offered me advice for transitioning to and sustaining my training at such high altitude. Here is a list of some of my findings from my experience, along with the helpful tips that were offered to me: Start SLOW: Coach Roy Benson, co-founder of Green Mountain Running Camp and ROO Podcast interviewee, offered this advice when he knew I was headed to Ethiopia. He said, “Start so slow on a run you almost feel like you are walking.” Starting slow meant not …

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Ethiopia: Yaya Journal Food/Nutrition Journal

Yaya Journal 6: Sharing Food

In Ethiopia, many meals are shared from a communal dish in which everyone eats with their right hand. In contrast, growing up in the United States, I had been accustomed to eating with a fork and knife, and from my own plate. As a celiac, I am often cautious about sharing food with others, due to fear of cross contamination from gluten, which could get me very sick. As a vegan, I frequently plan in advance before going out to dinner to make sure that a restaurant has menu options for me. Being a celiac-vegan in Ethiopia has turned out …

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Podcasts Running Running Podcasts

ROO #87: Rene Kalmer on Loving Running Throughout One’s Lifetime

In the episode, Rene Kalmer, professional runner and Olympian from South Africa, tells the story of how she got into running, from her first cross country race at the age of 10 to her breakthrough running year at the age of 16. She reveals the secret to her longterm success as a deep love of running. Rene recounts her dreams of becoming an Olympian, watching fellow South African female runners Elana Meyer and Zola Budd from a young age. She explains how she transitioned from running the 1500 meter at the 2008 Beijing Olympics to running the marathon at the 2012 Olympics. Rene shares details of her marathon training, including key workouts and her relationship with Christine, her sister and training partner. She provides insight on the importance of listening to your body and how she practices this on a daily basis. Rene discusses why she left teaching to pursue running full-time. She recaps her recent experience at the Berlin Marathon where she placed 9th in a time of 2:29:27. Rene describes how she overcomes the mental challenges that are experienced during a marathon. She reflects on her three-week stay in Ethiopia, including her most memorable run and her perspective on why Ethiopian runners are among the best in the world. Rene notes the support of her family as paramount to her success. Lastly, Rene previews her journey in qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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Ethiopia: Yaya Journal Journal Uncategorized

Yaya Journal 4: Be Strong

During my first week in Ethiopia, fellow runners would call out “ayzos” to me on the trails. I was confused since it sounded like “Achoo!” I soon learned that ayzos is an Amharic expression that means “be strong.” This past weekend I took a four hour intensive Amharic class that covered basic words and phrases. Ayzos was included and even made it to the top ten most frequently used Amharic words on the teacher’s handout. Dil, the teacher, explained that ayzos was not only an expression of fortitude, as in the case of “keep running!,” but also a way to …

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Podcasts Running Running Podcasts

ROO #86: Joseph Kibur on Running as a Business and Life Path

In the episode, Joseph Kibur, runner, founder of the Yaya Village and the Yaya Girls Program, tells the story of how he got into running, from his first race to how running kept him out of trouble in his youth. He recounts how his 1993 Canadian Cross Country National Championship win was unexpected. Joseph discusses the logistics of running competitively at Simon Fraser University with only three days a week of running training due to his injury-prone history. He reflects on how the lessons he learned from running helped him establish his successful NetNation Communications Company. Joseph describes his return to Ethiopia and his journey starting the Yaya Village. He explains why he choose to focus on helping female runners with the Yaya Girls Program instead of male runners. Joseph offers his unique insider-outsider perspective on why Ethiopian runners are among the best in the world. He provides insight on the power of letting go in finding one’s work-life balance. Joseph honors two of his mentors, including his Coach George Gluppe and fellow Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie. Lastly, he reveals races on his bucket list and upcoming projects.

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Ethiopia: Yaya Journal Journal Uncategorized

Yaya Journal 2: Surface Strength

I am not ready to write an in-depth blog post on why Ethiopia is filled with some of the best runners in the world. I have only been here for two weeks and just begun to skim the surface of this phenomenon. Here in Sululta, in the Oromia region of Ethiopia, the majority of the surfaces people run on are made of dirt, pebble, and wooded trails. The foot and lower leg intelligence that is required to navigate the uneven terrains of the majority of runs requires strength—and that underlying strength to run efficiently on this rocky ground is developed …

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