Interview with Tadesse Abraham

31. March 2021

A few days ago, Tadesse Abraham was supposed to start at the Swiss Marathon Championships in Belp. Due to bad weather, they were postponed. Then the new figurehead of the Wings for Life World Run also tested positive for Corona. Reason enough to ask.

After the training camp you got infected with the coronavirus and weren’t able to take part in the planned spring marathon. How are you today? 

I’m very well, thank you. Fortunately, I had no symptoms. I was obviously very disappointed that, after a very good training session, I couldn’t go home, but had to quarantine in Ethiopia – and missed the marathon in Belp because of that. On the other hand, however, when one door closes, another one opens. I was lucky not to have any symptoms, and upon my return my fiduciary doctor, Dr. Peter Züst, confirmed that everything was ok. My blood levels were good. And, at the same time, they offered me the opportunity to attend the Hamburg Marathon on 11 April, since the Bern-Belp Marathon was postponed to 3 April, due to bad weather.

Now the preparations continue. Your next big goal is the Olympic Games in Tokyo. How do you prepare for it?

As I mentioned before, I want to confirm my fitness at the Hamburg Marathon on 11 April. I’m looking forward – a marathon again at last! It feels like ages ago since I ran my last marathon. The fact that I run it for the first time for “On” makes it even more special. After that, I’m really looking forward to being part of the Wings for Life World Run, where, on 9 May, I will run with my team The Human Safety Net (THSN Refugee Team), a project by Generali Switzerland, which we launched together last year with the goal to help integrate refugees through sports. The big goal remains Olympia Tokyo – and I plan a training session in Engadin during the summer. How I get there remains to be seen, respectively, I assume that I have to keep my plans open due to the current pandemic. As the word is: If your plan doesn’t work, change your plan, but never the goal. And the goal remains: Tokyo.

Here you can find more information about the Wings for Life World Run

You do the main chunk of your preparations in Ethiopia. What are, next to the altitude, the most important reasons why you train there?

The amazing number of great runners. I train with world-class athletes who ran marathons in 2:04 or 2:03 times. This encourages and nurtures me. And, especially in winter, the weather is more reliable there.

Even amateur runners are robbed of their running goals during this corona crisis. Do you have any tips to get them motivated?

Stay positive, don’t set yourself to high a goal only to be disappointed afterwards. Be grateful to be able to go outside and enjoy the beautiful nature in Switzerland. Bring some variety into your training: change tracks, speed, duration. And also, work on your foundation in order to be ready when you can go to runs again.

Can you impart an insider’s tip? Concerning training, gear, nutrition or recovery, something you do?

General tips are difficult. I can try with a tip for people who start running: Win security over distance, before working on your speed. For ambitious runners: Don’t forget to rest. It does not any good to squeeze in a training session after a stressful day. Your body will feel the consequences sooner or later. And a healthy, balanced nutrition is part of the deal.

Foto: ZVG